My parents are in town visiting for a week. Since we have done most of the touristy things in Baltimore over the years we often venture out in the region when they’re here. This trip we went down to Williamsburg, Virginia. Although the rest of us had been before my mom had never been to Colonial Williamsburg before so she wanted to go. It had been long enough since I had been there that I didn’t remember too much about it.
We drove down on Friday and thanks to the always lovely traffic in and around DC it took us almost 5 hours. We didn’t actually wind up getting to Colonial Williamsburg until almost 3pm. Luckily we had purchased multi-day passes that are good for the rest of the year, so we didn’t have to worry about it. We walked around and watched some of their reenactment stuff until things closed at five.
Saturday we decided to spend touring Jamestown and Yorktown. I had never been to either one of those before. Jamestown, the site of the first successful colonial settlement, was a really interesting place and my favorite of the three places we went. There’s not much to actually see there in terms of historical buildings or anything, but it is an active archeological site so they’re still working on uncovering information about the settlement. In addition to the visitor’s center, which has the typical visitor center type exhibits and short movie there is also an archeological museum with some of the artifacts they’ve found. There is a chapel still standing that was built much later than the original settlement. There was a living history tour in there with two guys acting in character to tell you about the religious disputes between Catholics and Protestants that affected the colonies. One thing I learned between this and the reenactors at Colonial Williamsburg is that I don’t really care to learn about history this way. I find it kind of goofy. I’d rather just have a tour guide telling me about stuff. We also did an archeology tour that lasted about 90 minutes and was really fascinating. Technically I think it was supposed to last closer to an hour, but I didn’t mind because I really enjoyed everything the guide had to tell us.
After Jamestown we drove over to Yorktown where there are battlefields as well as a historic little town on the water. Lots of people were there for the beach. There is a little section on Main Street that has some historic buildings that we didn’t wind up walking through, but they are there. We grabbed lunch down on the waterfront and then drove around the battlefield tour. I also don’t really care about battlefields. I am not interested in the logistics of war and since it’s all pretty much just staring at some fields while reading a sign about what happened there, it’s really not all that interesting to me. I felt the same way about Gettysburg.
Sunday we went back to Colonial Williamsburg for a few hours. We did the tours of the Governor’s Palace and the Capital building. Those were pretty interesting. After that we headed back to Baltimore. We had great weather and it was a nice Memorial Day weekend trip.