"...about to have the time of our life."
December 19, 1997



Bill:

On Friday we finally made it to Williamsburg. I had a wake-up call set for 6 a.m., but promptly went back to sleep. We didn't get up till 9 a.m., and were on the road at 10.

Logan:

Good morning! We have just waken up and are getting dressed. We are in the car looking for Rev. We are in a big hurry because we have a big day planned and we got a late start. For breakfast I am having hot chocolate, a banana, and doughnuts. We are in the car on the way to Williamsburg.

Logan:

Remember when I visited George Washington's place where he grew up? Well I have some more facts that you might be interested in.

Logan:

We are here in Williamsburg about to have the time of our life. Williamsburg is very big and has a lot of things in it that are very interesting.

Channing:

We are now in Williamsburg. There is a big screen theater that talked about early Americans. They showed the wars and the way they cut people's heads off.

Logan:

We are in the theater in Colonial Williamsburg. We are boarding the shuttle bus to go to see how people live in the 18th century. We are at our first stop. We get off. But there is 5 stops in all. I am about to take the tour of the governor's palace.

Bill

We began our tour at the governor's mansion. I've never seen so many weapons in one place in my life. I assume that the mansion also functioned as the town arsenal. The entire entry hall and stairway was paneled in guns and swords.

Bill:

After the mansion proper, we visited the kitchen, a separate building across a yard from the mansion. Two cooks were at work, preparing colonial style food using the old fireplace. The oven was simply a recess in the bricks, so placed as to be warmed by the hot fire. One cook demonstrated how he measured oven temperature by shoving his arm inside for a minute, and judging the feel.

Logan:

The tour is over (it was kind of boring but there is still a bunch of interesting things to see). We are going to see the blacksmith, weaver, cooker, and much much more.

Bill:

The kids were fascinated by the process and asked a lot of good questions. One thing that interested me was a geared contraption bolted to the wall over the fireplace. Turns out it's a machine called a "spit jack" that is used to turn meat roasting on a spit. There's a weight attached to a rope, which runs over a pulley that's geared so that it ultimately will keep the spit turning.

Rev:

We also went to the kitchen and we saw them cook. I saw them cook a pie. They cooked with a fireplace.

Logan:

We saw the kitchen with real people cooking. Since they did not have timers, and stoves, and microwaves back then (they live like people did 200 years ago) to test if the food was ready or if the coal was hot enough they would stick their arm in.



Bill:

After the mansion the kids ran over to where a young black man was explaining slavery and the work of house slaves. We left before he began the tour of the house where we would have seen the actual work in progress.

Logan:

We saw a man who pretended to be a slave. He was giving a tour, but we did not take the tour because my mom and dad were not listening to him talking. They were at the other side of the road and he would not let us go without our parents.

Rev:

Then we went to Williamsburg. When I was at Williamsburg, I saw a person pretending he was a slave. He started to talk about how slaves lived.

Logan:

We visited the Court and they put on a play for us.

Bill:

After buying some colonial writing supplies and three tin whistles, we moved on to the court building. Three trials were conducted while we were there.

First was a suit brought by a widow against a carrier for damage to a cargo of tobacco. Two hogsheads of leaf had accidentally been dumped in the water, and she claimed a total loss to the extent of over 20 pounds. The carrier protested that the damage was not so bad, and that he had been prevented from viewing the tobacco to assess actual loss. The court then appointed three citizens to view the damaged tobacco and to report back at the next court session in one month.

The second case was brought by a woman who complained that bad food was sold in the marketplace, and that she suffered food poising from it. Case dismissed due to lack of specificity of the complaint: no particular person was accused.

The third case involved the surveyor. He had failed in his duty to keep a road in good repair. However, he got off because the citizens whose duty was to provide labor had refused, leaving him with no means to perform the work.


Bill:

After court, the kids tried out the stocks.



Bill:

We then visited the silversmith. All three kids got to "apprentice" by helping file a flat surface on a silver ingot.

Rev:

Then we went to the silversmith. I got to file a bar of silver. It was fun. Then I bought a flute.


Logan:

Then we visited the weaver. He showed us how to get the seed out of cotton, and how they wove, since they did not have machines back then.



Rev:

Then we went to a blacksmith. He was bending hot metal. I also saw the barrel maker.





Bill:

It was starting to get late, and we hurried to get to Bruton Parish Church. It has been in continuous use since the early 18th century. Among the pews were ones labeled for General Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Tyler.

After the church we saw the saddle maker's shop.


Bill:

Our last stop was the home of Peyton Randolph. The back yard was full of craftsmen: carpenters, coopers, etc. One small building going up offered a view of exquisitely made joints, including dovetails, designed to help the building hold together without numerous fasteners.

Bill:

After leaving Williamsburg, we had dinner at a Chinese buffet near the College of William and Mary.

Logan:

We are leaving Colonial Williamsburg. We had a lot of fun. The restaurant we are going to is all college people (except for us). Tomorrow we are going to go to the top of the Washington Monument.

Bill:

On the way back to the motel, we detoured through downtown Washington. I managed to get slightly familiar with the roads. The night views of the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial (across the water) and the Lincoln Memorial were all quite impressive.

Channing:

We went in through the city and saw tons of things.

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