Exploring Williamsburg…

Well, we completed day two in historic Virginia!

Today the student woke up and had a great breakfast in preparation for our walking tour of Williamsburg. During our tour, the student learned a lot about what the living conditions were like, how the local economy worked and how the government operated.

During the walking tour, we visited several of the local shops. We found out the silversmiths played an integral role in the economy in helping people to melt down their silver and creating new object like bowls, forks, bracelets and other things. We also found out how this process helped people to save money – by melting down your silver and creating other, larger objects, people held on to those objects, and consequently saved!

We also visited the local wig shop and found out how wigs were used as a status symbol in Virginia. We found out that there were different types of wigs for different occupations – judges, lawyers, businessmen and the like. It was really very interesting.

We also visited the pharmacy and found out how they were almost an exclusively import business. Which made it very difficult from them, as Virginia was in the midst of not importing anything from England, which made it very hard to get medicines and other supplies.

We also spoke with drummers and fifers who played the instruments on the battlefields. We came to discover that they were young children! They also explained to us that their playing on the battlefield was how the soldiers got their orders – one tune was for an attack, another was for a change in formation, another announced darkness and rest for the nite. I mean, children playing out the commands for all of their soldiers!

Our last major tour was the governor’s mansion. It is a beautiful place on wonderful grounds. When we first stepped into the mansion, we walked into a room filed with swords and rifles. It was a testament to the governor’s power. While touring the rest of the mansion, we saw the bedrooms, public and private meeting rooms and the grand ball room. The entire building was a testament to the governor’s power and wealth in Virginia. There was even a maze at the back of the grounds!

After a day of tours’ the students went into Williamsburg and got a chance to discover the town. They got a chance to eat a great lunch and do a little shopping, before we headed out on our way to Durham, NC.

While in Durham, we go a chance to visit Wheels Fun Park for a well earned respite full of food and fun. The students enjoyed climbing and playing on all the obstacles, but the highlight of the night was the roller skating! The students got a chance to roller skate, roller blade and have all kinds of fun and contests! I think a few teachers were even seen skating around the rink! It was a great time and a great way to get ready for our trip back homne to Atlanta on tomorrow.

We’ve all had a great time, and learned so much. Williamsburg has proven to be a place steeped in rich traditions and history. This was a spectacular trip.

Tomorrow, we start the ride home. We’re on our way!

A Day at Jamestown

We made it to Williamsburg!

Yesterday was a long day on the road, but the students had fun at the rest stop eating lunch and throwing around the football. We crossed the James River around 5:00 p.m. and arrived in Williamsburg just in time to get settled in our hotel rooms and out the door for dinner.

Students had a lovely seated meal with salad, pasta, and ice cream. After dinner we walked into Colonial Williamsburg for the ‘Cry Witch’ trial. Students learned about the case of a woman who was accused of being a witch in Prince Edwards County during the late 1600s, a few miles north of Williamsburg. Her trial and the testimonies of others were all reenacted by the Colonial Williamsburg theater group. The performance was informative and thrilling! Students even got to participate in the trial!

Wednesday morning we traveled to Jamestown. Students learned many things that the native tribes of the 1600s were doing, along with the lives and activities of their foreign intruders – the English. From stepping aboard the Susan Constant (which was one of the first boats to bring over settlers to the New World from England), carving out a canoe, and sitting in the church where the first settlers held their meetings – this was quite a day!

After we had lunch at the Jamestown Cafe we went bowling. Students had a great time and relaxed before we prepared for our late afternoon and evening activities.

We arrived at the visitor’s center around 4:00 p.m. to watch “The Making of a Patriot”. This is the longest running film in America about Williamsburg’s approach to the start of the Revolution.

When the movie ended we headed to the Duke of Gloucester Street for our dinner at The Shields Tavern. Musicians played colonial music for us while we ate! It was a real treat!

After dinner students attended Colonial dancing lessons and later …. a ghost tour about pirates!!! Many students danced and laughed in the Williamsburg capital building while learning the old English Country dances. Also, the screams over ghosts and pirates certainly kept us awake after this very long, but fun day!

We’ll post more tomorrow after we tour Williamsburg during the day time and allow the students to shop on the Duke of Gloucester Street. After lunch we will be heading to Durham, then on our way home to Atlanta on Friday.

Stay tuned!!!