And so our adventure begins!
We all successfully made it to our flights (despite unusual traffic) and attempted to sleep on the five-hour flight to D.C. After deplaning, we were met by our tour guide and taken to...breakfast?!? Could it really be time to start our day already?! But indeed, it was. We ate a scrumptious meal and found ourselves back in the bus for our drive to Jamestown. This was the place of the first successful colony of the Virginia Company in the new world. Today, they have recreations of the ships, fort and even native communities all filled by men and women dressed to the times and full of fun facts about this historic town. We wandered the area, learning as we went, taking in the true-to-life replicas and even seeing a real blacksmith and musketeers in action! We really felt the way the early settlers did as the warm Virginia sun and humid air encompassed us, and we were all shocked to find out that over 50 people fit in the small lower level of the ship for months on end with little to no sunlight or fresh air. We were grateful that we merely spent a few minutes on that lower level before retreating to the sanctuary of modern air conditioning with a fabulous museum of artifacts.
Next, we followed the triangle of land shaped by the James and York river to Yorktown. We stopped at the very site where both the British and American second-in-commands made terms of surrender after an intense battle. This is when the revolutionary war actually came to an end. Then we had a chance to go to the Victory Center to see what a soldier's camp in the 1700's might look like and watch a beautiful film recounting what happened at this place, where you could literally see smoke and smell the coffee! We also had the opportunity to listen to some in-character historians who showed us how to cook in camp and demonstrated the long, complicated process of firing a musket. I can still sense the echo of "the shot heard round the world."
We ended our adventure in Williamsburg after dinner for a unique experience. There were live animals nibbling at open fields of grass, a living parish with faithful attendees entering for a candlelight service, and a beautiful sunset over colonial brick steeples and towers. We walked through the town to an auditorium where we listened to two storytellers share their culture through Scottish and Cherokee folklore. They were incredibly engaging and entertaining, dressed in traditional garb and speaking their native language at times. It felt as if we had been transported in time and were gathered to have stories before bed, awakening our imaginations to inspire wonderful dreams. That being said, it’s time to sleep- more next time!