Colonial Williamsburg — Days 3 and 6 of our trip

Walking into Colonial Williamsburg -- I'm the one without the costume ;-)

Walking into Colonial Williamsburg -- I'm the one without the costume 😉

Eating lunch and saluting before we go in

Eating lunch and saluting before we go in

We got a late start the first morning because I needed to go grocery shopping so by the time we got to Colonial Williamsburg and I went to go get our tickets, it was almost time for lunch.  We’ve learned with this crowd that lunch served early is much better than lunch served late with all it’s whining so they chowed down while I got the tickets.  The benefit was also that we didn’t have to carry our food around all day.  Sitting on the bench near the entrance to buy tickets, my Beloved apparently got lots of requests for permission to take their pictures.   We had been told they would get extra attention and it was true not only here but throughout Colonial Williamsburg.  You can rent costumes at Colonial Williamsburg but it’s about $20 a day.  I bought these off the web at http://www.buycostumes.com.  Almost all of them were less than $20 and they were able to wear them almost every day and can still play dress up.  I found the link through a search on Ebay and just did the search again and found the DP’s costume selling on Ebay for twice what it sells for at http://www.buycostumes.com so hunt around.

Also, we went during the Homeschool Days in the fall and the tickets were about $11/person for a 5 day pass versus CW’s usual pass of around $30/2 days/person.  We knew we wouldn’t go every day but we started on Wednesday and had friends coming on Sunday that we thought we might like to join.  They also have Homeschool Days every spring.  Such a deal!  When you arrive, you go into the group sales and get your tickets there even though your “group” is just your family.  The other hint I will give you for saving money is to always ask if there is a homeschool discount.  At Monticello (down the road), we didn’t fit the criteria on the website but I still asked and the ticket lady replied “If you have some sort of proof.”  I pulled out all of our membership cards to THSC (sort of like HSLDA at the state level for those of you who don’t live in Texas) and she gave me one adult admission for free.  At Montpelier (also down the road) it was the same story, so always ask and have something with you to show you are a homeschooler.  They may say no but you might save money.  Now that I think about it, I don’t remember if I did this at Mount Vernon or if I did, what the result was.  I just remember that at the other places, we didn’t fit the criteria on the website and yet they were still gracious to us.

A model of Colonial Williamsburg at the Visitor's Center

A model of Colonial Williamsburg at the Visitor's Center

The boys ready for a day of living in history

The boys ready for a day of living in history

Here the boys are on the bus you ride from the visitor’s center to the edge of Colonial Williamsburg proper.  FM#2 was supposed to be Ben Franklin who never visited Colonial Williamsburg but we hope to visit Philadelphia and Boston in 2010 or so, so I am hoping that he’ll feel vindicated then.  We did go by the printing shop one day but it took some doing because they have reduced hours (aren’t open all day) and their hours did not always fit our schedule.  I would say that is one thing I did not do well in terms of our planning.  If we do it again, I am going to look around the Colonial Williamsburg site a bit more and figure out the places that have limited hours that we are interested in visiting and be a bit more proactive in planning our specific schedule.  Despite my lack of such specific planning, our kids, who have the attention spans of gnats, were perfectly happy flitting from this to that.

The Governor's Palace -- our first stop

The Governor's Palace -- our first stop

We walked off the bus, onto the grounds and the Governor’s Palace was the first major attraction.  I really enjoyed the parts I saw but didn’t see much because all of a sudden, I had a 4 year old who needed to go potty.  Fortunately, there are public bathrooms across the road but alas, it was too late to catch back up with our group, so FM#3 and I went into the gardens behind the palace and enjoyed them while waiting for the others.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the camera so there are no pictures of that expedition.  My Beloved, who did have the camera, thought the entry hall with all of the weapons was quite something.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough lighting to get a great picture but here is what did come out:

Imagine guns and swords covering almost every inch of wall space

Imagine guns and swords covering almost every inch of wall space

Too bad I didn't have a lock. ;-)

Too bad I didn't have a lock. 😉

Now for the other two.

Now for the other two.

Playing in these were a lot more fun, but even that got a bit old pretty fast,  than when you were really stuck in them.  I tried explaining this to the kids but they’re kids . . .

Benedict Arnold delivering the news that the British were now in control of the town.

Benedict Arnold delivering the news that the British were now in control of the town.

FM#2 was quite offended by the whole story of Benedict Arnold.  He just couldn’t understand how could switch over to the British side.  I kept trying to explain to him how we were all British before the Revolutionary War but he just wasn’t getting it.  As we wandered around Williamsburg, soaking up the history and experiencing the story of the Revolution, we came across this actor/interpreter in the role of Benedict Arnold.  FM#2 made his displeasure known and started calling Arnold a traitor and just yelling at him in general.  Arnold’s aide de camp started toward FM#2, threatening to throw him into jail and female actor/interpreter (playing the role of a CW resident in the crowd) stepped in and came to his defense saying “He’s only a boy, leave him alone.”  It really made us feel like a part of the show and made the whole experience quite memorable for our kids.

Burton Parish Church

Burton Parish Church

The church of Colonial Williamsburg where there are still worship services held today.  The rector of this church was apparently instrumental in convincing John Rockefeller to restore the old buildings and create Colonial Williamsburg as a living history museum.

The kids at the other end of Palace Green in front of the Governor's Palace.

The kids at the other end of Palace Green in front of the Governor's Palace.

This was taken early one morning before the crowds descended upon CW.  I had run back to one of the stores to get another gun (of course, I have boys) and my Beloved took the kids to the print shop while I was shopping.  He stopped on the way to snap this wonderful picture.  FM#2 is still ready for a fight as you can see from the expression on his face.

The print shop’s attached store had some great books — some which I hadn’t really seen anywhere else.  This is all to say I think we spent more there than anywhere else. 🙂  I’ll have to compile a list of all our purchases for those of you who are dying to know — you know who you are but today is not the day because I’m already getting pressure for this installment.

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4 Responses

  1. When I arrive at Colonial Williamsburg, I get the week’s line-up brochure first thing and scan that the night before we descend on the town. I get the tickets the night before too. That evening I settle with a pen and peruse the schedule. The first thing I circle is meeting the Founding Fathers. This time around it was the two we had not yet met, George Washington and Lafayette. I circled all of their events. Then I circled Revolutionary City. Then I circled any other events that looked prime for dialectic students. We had done all the trades and hands on in 2004 so those were at the bottom of the list this time (in 2008). When we had downtime, I let the kids choose whatever they wanted to do. On day one we toured the inside of the Palace, then walked allllll the way over to the Capitol and toured that then did Revolutioanry City. We ate under the trees at Raleigh Tavern and I let the kids choose our next stop. They wanted to do the maze at the Palace! So we walked allllll the way back to do that and the rest of the gardens. Then I suggested we just do the rest of the buildings on the Palace Green because it was hot and I was tired! LOL

    We always gasp when we hear that Benedict Arnold story! We did see a different Benedict Arnold. I think I know which one you saw. That is a great memory!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  2. Nice pictures. We are still hoping to have the entire family visit sometime while Sam and Havalah are still living there. With a brand new baby, we probably will not be visiting this trip, though.

  3. Oh, what wonderful pictures and stories! You had costumes, even, which must have made it all the more special. I will have to talk with you more about the homeschool discounts. I’d love to take our family there this summer. It’s always been a place I’ve wanted to visit.

  4. What great pics! We have many of the same ones. 🙂 I’m glad it was such an unforgettable trip for you all!

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