Colonial Williamsburg Day 2

So the Farmer and Miss Mercy got up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (just kidding, we slept in a little bit, we were on vacation) and then used our new electric kettle and our new stainless steel French Press to make our favorite coffee (Seattle’s Best #5 in case you are wondering) before we ventured forth to sample the “Continental Breakfast”. The coffee was fantastic and a welcome start to the morning (we’ll probably never travel without taking our own coffee again thanks Jack Spirko)! Then your traveling Duo went and had “breakfast”.

First, I always wonder what “Continent” the Continental breakfast is from. Based on the strange things that hotels provide now I’m pretty sure it’s not North America. Sadly, I think that Miss Mercy and the Farmer are going to have to start figuring out how to make breakfast on the road ourselves. Hotel fare that is “free with your room” is worth about what you pay for it. Anyway, we muddled through eating “breakfast” while having a discussion about if any of the food was actually food. The outcome of the food conversation was inconclusive so we left for Colonial Williamsburg.

Since we had purchased our tickets the day before we were able to bypass the very long lines waiting to purchase tickets and go right through the visitors center and make our way into the Colonial Williamsburg Living Museum. There are two ways into the history museum, one is to go to the bus stop at the back of the visitor center and take the bus to one of the various stops around the town. The second way is to take the Time Walk Back.

Going backwards from 21st Century to the 18th

The Time Walk has you cross a bridge as you enter the Museum site. Embedded in the bridge are bronze plaques that describe events in reverse order that takes you from the 21st Century back to the 18th Century. The events are things like “TV hasn’t been invented”, “You can only travel 70 miles per day maximum” and finally “You are a subject of His Majesty the King”. A sobering thought to a Midwestern Mad Farmer, but highly effective in changing mindset as you enter the area. In case you are wondering, if you are exiting the site from the other direction the plaques guide you back to the 21st Century.

As you follow the path the first thing you come upon is a recreation of a typical plantation of the times. The entire Museum experience is different than you might think, at least different than the Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy thought it might be. The web site describes Colonial Williamsburg as a “Living History Museum” basically stating that the community has been re-created and functions like it did back in the 18th Century. It’s true that people do dress in period costumes and that there are a lot of craftspeople that practice doing things in the technology of the time. But at a lot of the tours it’s people dressed costume saying “Welcome to the Palace”, “Welcome to the Palace”, “Please stand over there”, “Welcome to the Palace”, “I’ll be killing myself from boredom right after the tour”, “Welcome to the Palace”. Okay, not everything is as dramatic as that but we’re kind of used to Cos-Players and Frontier Folk at Silver Dollar City, who live to be in the worlds they are portraying.

Do not take that to mean that we didn’t enjoy ourselves, we did, just somethings didn’t quite make it backwards to the time. We had an excellent brown ale at Chowning’s Pub, but the “Turkey Trencher” we ordered was basically a turkey sandwich on flat bread. Pretty sure that Trenchers were slabs of bread the food was served on and used to sop up gravy and such at the end of the meal, so it was good, but not exactly authentic. They had an outdoor grill area where you could get burgers and hot dogs off a gas grill. Not exactly 18th Century. But the experience was very enlightening and we did learn a lot and there are a lot of things to see.

Next up: Axe Throwing and 18th Century Gardens

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