Friday, July 18, 2014

Dreamers, Idealists, Rebels and Loyalists

What a whirlwind the past two days have been! We arrived in Williamsburg on Wednesday and took the night off so we could rest up for our big adventure. The five hour trip from Charlotte included a series of videos called Learn Our History that gave the kids a good overview of the Colonies, Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution.

We were ready to start bright and early on Thursday. In reality, getting four kids up and out meant we arrived at 12:30 to the Visitor's Center acting like wild animals. It was the first time in 8 days that I thought perhaps this might have been a bad idea. The woman behind the counter promised it would get better and that today would be fun. We headed to the costume rental -  as Adair has been counting the days till she could re-live Colonial life -  to find out we were too late. It was closed for the day. Nothing like a tween pout at the bus stop to kick us off.

We jumped on the bus (and I praised God that you could roll a stroller on) and spent the next 45 mins riding around Colonial Williamsburg as I misunderstood the name of our stop. We finally realized we were to get off at Capitol. We entered Colonial Williamsburg to be front row for the reading of the Declaration of Independence. It was wonderful.

Two blocks in we discovered Mary Dickenson's dress shop and pretty much three days of my budget went to clothes for the kids. It was magical as their attitudes changed as soon as they were children of the 1700's. We strolled the streets and took a carriage ride soaking in the smells, flavors, and sights of Williamsburg. I have to admit that it felt a little like the first day at Disney World when you are having fun but really don't know where you are going and how to enjoy the place effectively.

This is where all four children could have spent the morning. Thankfully everyone turned around by the afternoon!

Our only family photo so far this trip. Where is Bradley? Our day ended with all four kids being recruited for the March to Yorktown.

We had one Loyalists in the family. The rest were Rebels waiting to take on the British at Yorkstown!
Today was our favorite day. We spent the majority of it in Jamestown. We learned about the Powhatan Indians, life in the Fort, and step foot on a re-created ship that sailed to Virginia in 1607 to establish the first permanent English colony. 

Everyone enjoyed removing the animal hair to dry the hide.

Bradley was ready to protect us in James Fort. He has been searching for a militia uniform rather than the Colonial wear of boys. A true rebel and idealist at heart!

Adair was a pro at carrying the water. She also thinks going to William and Mary could be pretty darn cool since she could hang in the Triangle. I see a summer job in her future ;)

We can't even imagine living on a ship this size for 144 days. It really makes 32 days in a minivan seem like a luxury! Best part of Jamestown is when Robert sniffed out the nachos and declared that Jamestown had the best nachos in the world!! I have to admit they were delicious!

The day ended in Yorkstown. Everyone loved the Continental Army Encampment and the demonstration of the artillery firing and medical practices. Historic Yorkstown is adorable. I have visions of renting a house here one summer.

The highlight of the day was learning about Celestial Navigation and how to steer with the stars, take a noon sighting, and an actual example of how algebra can apply to everyday life (well at least in the 17th century).

Lesson Learned: My four children include a dreamer, idealist, rebel and loyalist. Today will be one of the best memories I have from their childhood.

A Big Shout Out: I do have to give them a shout out for putting up with my intense history course. They have only read books about what we are seeing, played Colonial games and instruments - we now own a jaw harp, and immersed themselves in history. No one is asking for electronics or begging for TV. (Until nighttime when I turn them on so I can enjoy a glass of vino!).

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