I started my day off at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center. The information desk attendant helped me decide that with my very limited amount of time I may just want to wander the free parts of the park rather than pay to enjoy the museums and reenactments. I wandered for well over two miles up and down the streets enjoying the various forms of horse drawn transportation and the costumed staff that populated the area.
I enjoyed a brief look into the Bruton Parish Church, as they were preparing for services at 11 am when I arrived. The attendant answered my question about why people were buried so close to the church. She told me that it was hallowed ground and that the closer they were to the building the more prestige they had. Cemeteries on the other hand are not on hallowed ground and can be used for any type of burial. She also told me that the six feet under rule came from Old England where they experienced a very wet season and a lot of flooding that brought bodies to the surface of the earth-ewwww!
I went into the shopping area and tasted some cheese and bread at The Cheese Shop. I wandered a few other stores, but did not purchase anything.
Back down the Duke of Gloucester Street where I meandered through the colonial garden and nursery and the Mary Dickinson Store. I was famished (no breakfast) so I stopped at Chownings Tavern for Lunch. I ordered a draft root beer (they were out). I ordered a St George's Porter (they were out). I ordered another brew (they were out). I give up bring me water and a bowl of Brunswick Stew. It came out with a good size serving of cake like cornbread. Dare I ask-well let's give it a try. Do they have any honey or jam (of course not). I enjoyed my hearty stew and buttered up the cornbread which was very light and sweet. They food was good, but the service could use attention. By all means, do not forget that this is not a real restaurant. You're in an amusement park.
There were numerous individuals around the free areas of the park that were dressed in period costume. These two men were posing for photographs as they waited for their staging in the reenactment part of the park called "Revolutionary City". They have different acts every day. You can get a guide that tells you about the week in the visitor center, even if you are not paying for entrance.
The foot bridge from the visitor center into the park has plates that take you back in time (current events like suffrage, television, computers, etc.) as you walk into the park and bring you back to the present time as you leave the park. Here's Your Sign:
I was excited to drive the remaining portion of the Colonial Parkway, but found that it was closed down near Jamestown. Ended up driving most of that anyway, because I missed my turn and didn't realize where I was until I came to a very large body of water.
Jamestown has a wonderful theatre and video presentation that is done in the round. Very informative! I wandered through the exhibits and realized that it was absolutely pouring rain outside-so much for walking down to the ruins. The ranger talk took place in the classroom area and I enjoyed the information that she offered. It was mainly focused on the environment then and now and was intriguing.
The rain had let up enough to make a mad dash for the car. When I got there, I realized the ferry across the river would be leaving in about 15 minutes. Zoom! I made it! I was the last vehicle loaded and we were underway almost immediately. The rain started back up as we crossed the passage and the standing water on the other side was deep and everywhere.
I had thought that I would go into Smithfield for their world renown ham, but I am exhausted, wet, and not wanting to be any wetter. So I headed west for Colonial Heights. I found the Hopewell Visitor Center on the way there and got some great driving instructions and information for tomorrow's trek.
I checked into the Hampton in Colonial Heights, VA and enjoyed a beautiful room. I went over to Panera Bread for my standard Chicken Cobb Salad and Turkey Artichoke Sandwich. They seemed a bit skimpy to me, but the flavor was good enough.
ROUTE: Colonial Parkway South & North> VA 199 West> VA 31 South> VA 10 West> VA 36 South> Route 144 West to I 95 Exit 53
Lodging: Hampton Inn Colonial Heights, VA
Chownings Tavern (***Food **Serivce)
Panera Bread (***Food ***Service)
$$$: $21 Meals $72 Hotel = $93