Monday, August 5, 2013

Jamestown Settlement! H Fam Sightseeing Part 15

Just got home from our family beach vacation in the Outer Banks, North Carolina! It was a really wonderful time. Now time to share with you our adventures!

We could of made the trip all in one day from D.C. to Outer Banks, but we heard the traffic was really bad and could almost double your driving time (and they aren't kidding by the way!). So we left on Friday and stayed overnight in Newport News, VA. On our way there we stopped at the Jamestown Settlement right outside Colonial Williamsburg, VA. Here's the blurb from the site:

"At Jamestown Settlement, prepare to embark on a journey to 17th-century Virginia. The world of America’s first permanent English colony, founded in 1607 – 13 years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts, comes to life through film, gallery exhibits and outdoor living history.

gallery exhibits and an introductory film describe the cultures of the Powhatan Indians, Europeans and Africans who converged in 1600s Virginia and trace Jamestown’s beginnings in England and the first century of the Virginia colony.

Outdoors, board replicas of the
three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607, and explore life-size re-creations of the colonists' fort and a Powhatan village. In the outdoor areas, costumed historical interpreters describe and demonstrate daily life in the early 17th century. 
Dine at the Jamestown Settlement Cafe and shop in museum stores. A variety of admission tickets and vacation packages are available with Williamsburg area attractions.

This unique museum of 17th-century American history and culture is located adjacent to the entrance of the original site,
Historic Jamestowne, administered by the National Park Service and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia)."

It's an amazing place to visit, they really did a great job on all of it. So much so you forget the morbid and rather depraved beginnings of our first settlement. It was "lost" like the one on Roanoke Island... but in over 3 years only 55 men of 500 survived. Yikes. Anyway, it was a great visit and worth the money!

Entry way from parking lot lined with all the state flags

The Powhatan Village, really neat! Lots to see, touch, and experience! Boys were amazed! 

We were fascinated by all the furs, the baskets, the fishing implements, the canoes being made, and the hides being scraped and tanned.

There are three ships to tour, this one must be on a break off to the side

Replica of the Susan Constant

You got to climb all over these ships, really interesting! I can't figure out where they kept everyone and everything!

At the fort there were various buildings to check out, even armor to try on!


After we left the Jamestown Settlement, we drove just a little ways east to the actual island where historic Jamestown really was. Not much to see, but still interesting at the same time. Can't help but wonder the thoughts of these colonists as they arrived on this new land. Very sandy and you can see how they would of had a hard time growing anything! The river has change the island over time and technically the actual original settlement is mostly underwater now. There is a nice Visitor's Center (but the boys needed a walking break so we stayed in the car), we drove the little 5 mile loop around the island. We even saw a wild turkey cross the road!

Looking out over the James River
Then back into the car to check out Williamsburg, VA via the Colonial Parkway (speed limit never over 45 mph, but very scenic and no traffic!). What a neat downtown, we just drove through it looking for a good place for our afternoon snack so no pictures. We decided to try a funky little place called "Mad About Chocolate". It was delish!

Photo: Exploring Historic Williamsburg! Snack time...calories don't count on vacation! Great first day so far!
My apologies for the blurry IPhone pic, but it was too delish not to share! I had chocolate bread pudding, the boys had ice cream, Greg had some decadent 10 layered piece of cake, and we both had some yummy Root Beer!

Then we once again got back on the Colonial Parkway (glad we did, we went under I64 at one point and it was a parking lot) that took us by Yorktown... so we stopped at the Yorktown Battlefield (that was closing in 5 minutes! We at least got to check out some of the outside and drive around a bit)... the last battle of the Revolutionary War that ended with Cornwallis' surrender on October 19, 1781.  After that we head for our hotel to scout out a place for dinner, we all went to bed by 9pm (it was glorious!) and head to the beach the next day!

Photo: Luke in the field near the British Defenses at Yorktown Battlefield (your history lesson of the day... Cornwallis surrendered Oct 19, 1781)
Luke near the British Defenses on the Yorktown Battlefield
"Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights;
 it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."
 ~ Miriam Beard

1 comment:

Jeri Slater said...

So glad you had such a great beginning to your vacation! Love the history.