Friday, May 22, 2015

Colonial or Unexpected, Williamsburg is a Good Fit for the Good Girls

Bruton Parish Church.
Colonial Williamsburg is a well-polished gem. We started with 300-year-old Bruton Parish Church whose rector, W.A.R. Goodwin, began renovations there and eventually talked  John D. Rockefeller Jr. into funding the recreation of the entire historic town.


Governor's Palace.

In addition to the Capitol and the Governor's Palace, other must-sees:

Coffee Shop. Photo © by Judy Wells.

Debi, Judy and Carol imbibe.

• The Coffee Shop, where the colonial-style hot chocolate is the best you've ever had.

• The Wigmaker.
Wigmaker's window display. Photo © by Judy Wells.
• Bassett Hall, where the Rockefellers made their home, their smallest one, in Williamsburg.

Bassett Hall. Photo © by Judy Wells.
Dinner at The King's Arms was a delicious experience enhanced by musicians and the absence of electric lights - candles only.

Musician. Photo by Debi Lander.

For an excellent meal in Merchant's Walk, try the Blue Talon Bistro.

Blue Talon Bistro.

By all means, strike up conversations with the "inhabitants " of 18th century Williamsburg. It's fun and you will learn about what life was like then from the people who are living it today.

Visiting plantation owner. Photo © by Judy Wells.
Man in the street, Photo by Debi Lander.

In the pharmacy. Photo © by Judy Wells.


Young carriage driver. Photo by Debi Lander.

Debi and Judy


Of course, we tried on hats.

                                                     Judge Judy

And goofed off.

An unexpected element of Colonial Williamsburg was the museum, actually two in one, the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.

Baby in Red Chair
 Rain or shine, take the shuttle bus here. You will probably recognize "Baby in Red Chair" and possibly the Dentzel carousel figure of a cat with a goody in its mouth, but the rest, from silver to dollhouses to musical instruments will fill your day with revelations.

Cat carousel figure
Scotch Highland cattle. Photo © by Judy Wells.
Unexpected Williamsburg included a quick tour of Busch Gardens where our fave was the Scottish farm with its Highland cattle, dark Clydesdales, sheepdogs and sheep.

Visitors don't usually think of Jamestown, where the first successful English colony in the New World was established in 1607, as part of Williamsburg, but it is nearby and was a highlight of our trip. Actually, there are two historic Jamestowns. The first location was later abandoned for a safer one.

Replica of the Susan Constant, largest of the three ships that sailed to Jamestown. Photo © by Judy Wells.
At the Jamestown Settlement, the latter, you can tour the large museum then see the recreated Indian village, English fort and replicas of the three ships that brought settlers to the New World. All are as authentic as possible.

Barbara works on a jacket by hand, the way 18th century seamstresses did. Photo © by Judy Wells.
There are many behind the scenes tours you can  arrange. We highly recommend the inside look at historic costuming.

Current dig. Photo © by Judy Wells.
Don't miss the real thing, Historic  Jamestown, the first actual settlement which until the 1990s was thought to have been covered by the James River. It wasn't and the things they are finding there are remarkable. See archaeologists at work and study the growing mass of artifacts in the fascinating Archaearium.
Artifacts being prepped for display. Photo © by Judy Wells.

Jug. Photo by Debi Lander.

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