This was a subject of extensive conversations after Drew told me what his idea was. He looked in S. MD, he looked in DC. I suggested Annapolis. S.MD was ruled out because once you got to the B&B there was really nothing else to do, especially with it being February. DC was ruled out quickly because of price, same for Annapolis. Then I started looking into the VA area, somewhere not too far, moderately priced... I checked out the Shenandoah Valley B&Bs and some had reasonable prices but the drive would have been 4 hours+, so the search continued.
Once I was in VA, I just started poking around on Google Maps.. What did the commoner do to explore the world without Google Maps? Seriously? I love it. Then I got a crazy idea... what about a B&B in Williamsburg? THEN we could also go into Colonial Williamsburg, something I'd never done and always wanted to do.. We just had to find a B&B in our price range.
Lucky for us, its off season for most B&B's... apparently some B&Bs dont do off season, which quickly eliminated them from the running. We found several contenders this time. YAY! At this point it was picking which amenities we wanted in the room for the price we wanted. We went with Magnolia Manor.
Sunday morning started our VA adventures. We skipped church and slept in, which was nice. We had decided to leave by noon since check in was at 4. We cleaned after getting out of bed, because I really hate coming home to a dirty house after being gone for a few days and thinking to myself, uggghh the floor needs to be vacuumed/swept, there's dishes to be done.. ughhh I just drove so farrrrr. I really am a whiner, or OCD..
After cleaning we packed all our stuff into one suitcase (awww, we shared a suitcase) and grabbed all our necessary equipment... laptops, cameras, suitcase, purse, heavy coats. The ride down was mostly easy till we got on 64 where all the retards were. People really need to learn that the right lane is for driving (slow or not) and the left lane is for passing. SERIOUSLY! We made it to Williamsburg around 2:45. We knew we were early, but we still had to find the place, so we did that first. After pulling into the wrong place first and checking the directions, we got back on track and found it. Despite being an hour early, I suggested we still try to see if we could drop our bags off in the room. We walked up the semi-icy stairs and rang the doorbell. We walked around on the snowy back porch. Nothing. Since we were early, I said ok lets do something else.
We found the Colonial Williamsburg visitors center where we got some information on buying tickets and meandered around the shops. I bought some Powder of Lavender, which I first learned of working at Fort Defiance. It smells so delightful! Later, I realized that wasn't the exact smell I was going for, but found the correct one in a shop the following day. Once we'd been through all the shops in the visitors center, we went back to the B&B since it was 3:40.
We rang the doorbell again and knocked, to no avail. So we waited in the car till 4. Drew patiently, me not so patiently. At 4:00:01, I told Drew if the B&B person didn't answer the door, we should call them. He disagreed with me, that we should just wait. Drew and I got out of the car and tried the doorbell and knocking again. Nothing. I handed Drew the phone and told him to call. He said no. So I had to do it myself. Of course, the B&B host answered and said, oh, I'll be right out. Lesson #1 (for B&B host): fix your doorbell so you know when your guests arrive. Duh.
Scott, the B&B host said he'd just looked outside less than 10 minutes ago and didn't see any cars of other guests (someone else had already checked in)... I wanted to call him on it, since I know we'd been sitting sitting there for long enough for someone to notice the NC tag on the car that wasn't in the parking lot when the other guests had arrived, but I let it go. Drew paid and Scott showed us around the living room/dining room area and then showed us to our room and showed us how to lock the room door, which was kinda cool. It was my first B&B, everything was pretty cool (that changed later...).
|Living room from back door entrance|
|Refreshment station. Yay hot chocolate!|
|Breakfast is served.|
|We were the only guests that morning so breakfast for 2!|
|Old cash register in the foyer|
|Heading to the dining room from the stairs|
|Our room was #3, fitting since this was my bday present! :)|
|King size canopy bed that was pretty comfortable and didn't include bed bugs!|
|Literal mini fridge (yay)|
|The "fireplace"... I was actually expecting a real fireplace, but this was a quirky, but acceptable work around.|
|2 person jacuzzi tub.|
|2 person shower. There were actually 2 shower heads and 2 at your waist heads (I don't know if those have a technical name). It was pretty awesome.|
|The sink and the culprit that left a bruise on my foot and pissed me off (the hand towel holder)..|
No worries, I'll get to this story.
After dinner, we decided it was too cold to walk around anymore, and everything was closed since it was after 6. We were headed back to the B&B and decided to keep driving and see what was down the road. It was like modern civilization! Many normal, not too overpriced, generic restaurants. It was like Williamsburg was also a modern day city... We drove down the main road till there were fewer and fewer buildings on the sides of the road and turned around and headed towards a shopping plaza which included a movie theater and a Barnes & Noble. It was too late for a movie so we hung out in B&N for a little while, then headed back to the B&B.
We learned only what one of the buttons on the jacuzzi tub did, the other 2 seemed to not do anything/work. We also learned that while quirky, the fireplace did an effective job of heating up the room. There was also free wireless, which was nice the next morning for our regular internet time. We woke up at 8:30 for breakfast which was at 8:45. Blueberry crepes were the first thing I laid eyes on.. I love crepes! Win! There was also eggs and this apple cinnamon bread thing and hash browns and bacon. Satisfactory breakfast was had. Then it was time to set out on Colonial Williamsburg adventures!
Our first stop was to get tickets. I also got tickets for the carriage ride, yay birthday present! My plan was to go on the guided tour after we got there, but the tour had already started, so we meandered instead. There was a music thing before lunch and a comedy thing around 2 that I had also wanted to see. We went into several shops, where I found my Powder of Violets. We also were stopping along the way to snap photos of whatever interested us and visit some of the historical spots (armory, print shop, etc). We hit up the music lady, late.. but she was playing the violin and the viola. We stayed for a while and then we left, deciding we were hungry and it was time for food.
I talked Drew into going to the very not-classy pizza place because I was craving some spaghetti, although he had wanted to do the "authentic" eating at the tavern on the grounds. Afterwards, we headed back towards the capital building. We decided to stay for the tour, which was interesting. Several people were very upset to learn that the building wasn't original. Nor is most of Colonial Williamsburg...
Apparently, most of Colonial Williamsburg was burned down. Later, in the early 1900s, someone thought it would be an awesome idea to rebuild what was there. It was interesting to learn that there wouldn't have actually been trees in the town area, they would have all been cut down to build houses and make fires. On the other hand, it was particularly interesting to learn that everything in Colonial Williamsburg is produced on the grounds. The cabinetmakers build the doors, the blacksmiths make the keys, the cooper makes the barrels, the cobbler makes the shoes... It was still very disappointing to learn that most of what we were seeing wasn't original.. Nor was I really too surprised. From working at Fort Defiance, I learned that old stuff doesn't last long unless it is preserved. And Fort Defiance was family owned until the 1960s, so everything stayed in the family, so there was a reason it was all still there. For a town like Williamsburg, which was, at one point, the capital of Virginia, original items would have been distributed as other items were brought in. Things were replaced, not fixed. I digress.
After we got out of the tour, I realized that we had missed our carriage ride (along with the comedy thing). I was crushed.. literally, like a giant had stepped on me and completed deflated my body. Drew could tell. I had resigned myself to being disappointed and we had decided to leave. As we were walking towards the parking garage, we noticed the carriage was at the meeting area. Drew said he was going to see if we could still go. I had already submitted myself to not being able to go, so I went into one of the shops and was looking around. I came back out after a few minutes of Drew not coming in to find me.
I saw him talking to the carriage driver and then he looked at me and waved me over. He explained that the driver had agreed as long as his passengers agreed to let us ride with them. They did. I was ecstatic. Drew saved the day. I gave him extra hugs and maybe some extra kisses to show my appreciation. I climbed in the carriage and there was an older couple already inside. They explained they come to Colonial Williamsburg on a fairly frequent basis and they like to see what things have changed. The driver took us around the site and then brought us back to the meeting area and asked us if we wanted to be let out there, or if we wanted to ride a little more.
We all agreed to ride a little more! (inside, squeals reverberated in my brain, so excited!) Since we were the driver's last ride of the day, he took us back to the stables where the horses and carriages are kept. It was a bit of a walk back to the car, but totally worth it. We got to see all the carriages they use for the rides and where the horses are stabled while they are working. We learned that the horses get to roam around a field when they weren't on duty, and something about how they had it so much better than Disney horses.
After that, Drew and I called it a day and headed back to the shopping area so we could see what stuffs there was to be had. After some shopping success, we decided we should start the adventure of finding dinner. We drove down he modern civilization part of Williamsburg, and couldn't decide on anything. Finally I decided on japanese. We used Suzy (my phone's gps) to get us there, which got us mostly lost before we finally arrived at the destination. We ordered hibachi instead of sushi, and then there was no shrimp sauce!!?! Me=crushed. How can you be an American Japanese restaurant and NOT have shrimp sauce (or yum yum sauce, whatever you call it)? I survived and we headed back to the B&B.
The next morning was more deliciousness for breakfast, but it was only Drew and I that morning. After breakfast was finished, we showered and brought our stuff to the car and headed back to Colonial Williamsburg. Since it was Valentine's Day, they were doing a special program about making chocolate in the palace kitchen. It was interesting, but the process was going to take all day, and we weren't staying all day for that. We got a tour of the palace then took some photos on the grounds. We checked out some of the stores that had been closed the day before, like the cooper and cobbler's shops. We were going to have our "authentic" lunch, but home schoolers had taken over the restaurant, so it was back to the fancy-smancy restaurants in the shopping area for lunch. After lunch we watch the acting company do a few skits at the Tavern, then decided to call it a day and start the drive back to MD.
I had a headache, so I let Drew drive. I put in my earplugs and covered my eyes and took a nap while he jammed to his ipod and got us home. Since Drew was leaving to go back to FL the next day, the evening consisted of doing laundry and eating leftovers.
Told you it was a long post! But now for some pictures!
|Flags outside the shops meant they were open.|
|Weapons in the armory|
|Stairs to the attic in the armory|
|Guns in the armory|
|The tour guide showing us how the guns of the time worked.|
|Courthouse through the armory window|
|The carriage we got to ride in.|
|The press goes each day beginning at nine in the morning til one o' clock in the afternoon. Alex Purdie.|
|Manning the printing press.|
|Women weren't usually musicians, why is why she is wearing men's clothing.|
|Need a wig?|
|The apothecary explaining to a boy how he'd pull out his bad teeth, then give him pain killers.|
|Privately owned beautiful house.|
|The chimney was pretty cool.|
|The blacksmith shop, manning the forge|
|Need some keys made? See your local blacksmith.|
|The capital building.. when the capital of VA was Williamsburg.|
|The king and queen at the time. George and Catherine, I think.|
|A map of the colonies. When the southern states actually reached the Pacific Ocean.|
|Time to take some notes for court.|
|Dyes at the cabinetmaker's shop|
|So much wood shavings.|
|If you look closely you will see that is says $2.75 for a water. WTF.|
|$2.75 for these beverages also... WTF?!|
|More carriages used to give rides.|
|More carriages used to give rides.|
|More carriages used to give rides. This one was being worked on.|
|More carriages used to give rides. This one just needed some wheels!|
|Our sweet ride.|
|Entry room of the palace.|
|Cooking cocoa beans to make chocolate.|
|Look at how strong I am.. I have guns.|
|Master suite of the governor's palace.|
|This was on the ceiling. They caught me trying to take a pic on the stairs and yelled at me, so I couldn't get a better photo.|
|No really, we have weapons. We will kill you.|
|Backside of the governor's palace.|
|The archway over the walkway.|
|Drew in the hedge maze. He was lost, but I found him.|
|Hedge maze from above.|
|Need a quiet place to contemplate things?|
|The governor's palace|
|Carriage not used for giving rides.|
|Wagon that would have been used during the pre-Revolutionary War period.|
|Carriage that was built for Queen Elizabeth's visit to Colonial Williamsburg several years ago.|
|I think someone needs to paint the fence.|
|The houses that were "empty" are used for employee housing or can even be rented out....|
|The cooper = the barrel maker.|
|The furniture maker's shop. Yes, those things are being built by hand.|
|I don't even have that many tools, but I'd still adopt this tool box to be my own.|
|Harpsichord in progress.|
|Molds for the cobbler.|
|Need a pair of shoes?|
|The worker took a break.|
|The grocer wasn't in.|
Told you, longest post ever. If you made it this far, you deserve a cupcake. On the other hand, this concludes Teh Bear Chronicles in MD. The 15th, was a lazy morning then around noon we headed up to DC to drop off Drew at DCA. I got ridiciously lost trying to get out of DC and ended up going through downtown, UGH! I finally made it home having seen all the national monuments and started getting ready to bring Phil home in a few days!