Friday, October 3, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg

September was our month for field trips. We went to Tennessee for a half marathon and to explore  Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but before that, we went to Colonial Williamsburg. CW was hosting their annual homeschool days, and we were able to score some deeply discounted tickets. We were also able to pay a deeply discounted homeschool days rate at Great Wolf Lodge.

River modeling his complimentary wolf ears- he wasn't super impressed with them

Great Wolf Lodge is a fun hotel with lots of things for kids and families to do: indoor waterpark, arcade, spa, MagiQuest, and lots more. We really only took advantage of the indoor waterpark since we were splitting our time between GWL and CW. It was raining the day we arrived, so instead of traipsing around CW, getting soaking wet, we splashed around in chlorinated water and got soaking wet. The waterpark was lots of fun with a wave pool, giant slides, lazy river, kiddie pool, giant splash zone, and more. My only complaint was the amount of chlorine used- since it was indoors, you could almost taste the chlorine as soon as you entered.

Sunshine thought the wolf ears were great, but the bunk beds in the kid's room were even better

The next day it was overcast and sprinkled off and on, but it didn't pour, so we explored Colonial Williamsburg. We helped Sunshine figure out the clues for RevQuest, and that helped us hit a lot of the main points of CW. We successfully passed on the needed information and helped the revolution proceed :)  We thought RevQuest was a great way to get kids (and adults) more involved and interested in colonial times and the revolution. In that way, it was very similar to the Junior Ranger programs Sunshine does at the national parks.

getting important information needed to find the next clue
Sunshine is in the boonie hat and pink t-shirt

CW is closed to vehicular traffic. above are some of the brick homes we walked past. a number of the homes are privately owned and lived in and not open to the public. not sure I'd want complete strangers walking past my house and trying to peer into the windows...

Revolution in the streets- you can see the people in period dress scattered through out the street and crowds

trying out the pillory. the rain was picking up again at this point

view of the Governor's palace from part way down the Palace Green, through the rain

The following day was our last day in the area, but before heading home we went back to CW to see some things we'd missed the first day. We toured the Governor's palace- the entryway had all these interlocking swords attached to the walls. Very cool, but we forgot to take pictures of it :(

better view of the Governor's palace

Mr M didn't enjoy kneeling on hard wood- "hurry up and take the picture!"

trying out the stocks- Sunshine was too short to sit on the bench and still have her feet through the holes, so she had to sit on the ground :)

the stocks also had a place to handcuff someone to the post. notice the lower set at Sunshine's level and the higher set above them.

we saw this lady and her team of oxen several times- they were dragging downed tree limbs to (somewhere I can't remember) so they could be cut up and burned. possibly the brick yard or the cooper's to fuel the fires they used.

getting silly with the wood curls at the cabinetmaker's 

and just to show that I was there too, here's a group photo under a tree on the Palace Green

We all enjoy history (ok, maybe River isn't quite into it yet, but give him time...), so we had fun visiting the old houses and shops and watching people make things the way they were made in colonial times (silver, dresses, bricks, fine woodworking, barrels and buckets, and so on). Though we wouldn't have wanted to be put in jail back then- it would have been very unpleasant, especially if the weather was very hot or very cold.

It was all very interesting, but we're not done- we need to go back to the Williamsburg area since we didn't have time to visit Jamestown Settlement or Yorktown Battlefield.

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