Monday, September 20, 2010

Williamsburg Fun!

Last week we had a lovely time in Williamsburg for their annual Fall Homeschool Days.  Last year my parents & I took the girls and got a 2-day pass and it was nowhere NEAR long enough, so this year we opted for 5 days! And we STILL felt like it wasn't enough LOL. There is so much to see, and do! One thing that took alot of time this year was special tours at the museums. I'm not sure if they do them all the time or just for Homeschool Days but every day there were special themed tours for the kids at the museum (where they took you to see specific things within the museum) and then generally a craft of some sort at the end of the tour. The girls thoroughly enjoyed those and did quite a few of them. Thankfully the museum also happens to have a nice area set up for children to color (tables with colored pencils and both blank paper & pictures to color).  Little Bit was generally pretty happy to hang out there scribbling away while her sisters were off on the tours.

On Sunday we went to Busch Gardens, since we were close by, and our Sesame Place season passes also give us free admission to Busch Gardens.  Little Bit thought the 3-D glasses were great fun, though once the movie (Sesame Street theme, but very LOUD) started she curled up on my lap for protection. And I didn't try to get her to wear the glasses during the movie. Figured stuff flying at her might be abit much for a 17 mo old.

It was an overcast day, and rained in the late afternoon (at which point we gave up & left.  I was highly amused to see a family putting money into the "Family dryer" half-way through the park, as it continued to pour down rain. It's situated near some water rides with the idea being if you get wet on the rides but then want to be dry again you pay your $5 and it blows warm air on you and you dry off. HOWEVER, I'm not sure what the rationale was to use it in the pouring rain, they were going to be wet again as soon as they stepped back out of the dryer, but whatever . . . it gave me a giggle.

Little Bit had fun on the Dragon boat ride with Papa. She was grinning at me, but just as I snapped the picture she noticed Daddy and Mama standing on ahead a little ways and grinned at them instead, oh well . . .

We were able to use a friend's time share for the week and it was SO nice to have bedrooms (much easier to put kids to bed when there's a separate room!) and a kitchen. We even had 2 bathrooms, a luxury we don't even have at HOME, hee hee.  My parents came down with us and stayed through Tuesday, then headed home and left us on our own for the rest of the week. Rodney wondered, on Tuesday afternoon, as we sat in the shade while Papa was up in the Magazine (where they stored amunition, I think . . .) with the big girls and Mama was helping to entertain Little Bit, if we could find grandparents to rent for the rest of the week LOL. There were certainly plenty of grandparent-aged people around but we didn't find any takers on our rent idea.

I was interested to see how much more outgoing the girls have become in the past year. Last year they were still pretty shy about asking questions and such, this year they LOVED it!! At one point, L1 saw a woman in colonial dress nearby and commented, "Oh I need to think of a question to ask her, so we can talk to her!" no, this is NOT my child LOL.  And yes, she DID think of a question, and the 2 girls ended up talking with that particular lady for a good half hour or longer.

In general the employees seem to truly enjoy answering questions and interacting with the kids, and since most of the other people visiting Williamsburg, at least this time of year (other than other homeschoolers) do tend to be older people, they usually enjoy hearing kids ask questions too, so it works well. Of course, that is one reason that 5 days wasn't enough, we easily spent half hour to an hour at most of the places we stopped because the girls had so many questions.

Most days we took a lunch with us and found someplace to sit and eat. I had to snap a picture the day the girls sat down on the roots of this tree, Little Bit was there too, but got up before I could get the camera.

You can see A1's hat in this picture. Both girls got plenty of use out of their hats again this year, the weather was lovely, but quite sunny and warm if you were in the sun.

After making a point of having the girls listen to various historic stories in preparation for this trip, twice, I had people there correct me when I reminded the girls of some historic "fact" we'd heard, either on Felicity or on Your Story Hour. Oh well . . .

Little Bit spent her week playing with the gravel and broken shells (in colonial times, they didn't have a way to turn rocks into gravel, so, at least in Williamsburg, they used clam shells for their paths and such, since those would break up easily under the horse hooves and carriage and wagon wheels). She also greatly enjoyed seeing the horses go by with some frequency (there were several different carriages giving carriage rides (for rather steep (IMO) prices), so that kept the horses going by for her entertainment.

Of course, whenever she could get by with it, Little Bit ALSO enjoyed playing with Mommy or Daddy's phones. I LOVE this picture of her "talking" on the phone.  We'd stopped at the bake shop for a snack, and while we sat in the shade outside, she walked "laps" on the raised platform around the well, "talking" away on Daddy's phone.

Another favorite part of the week was Great Hope Plantation. Which is a part of Colonial Williamsburg set up like a typical (not rich people's) farm during that time period.  In addition to the buildings, garden, fields, and animals you could see whenever, they also generally had some hands-on stuff for the kids to do (again, I'm not sure if they do that all the time or just during homeschool days, but it sure was cool!!

The girls were stunned at how heavy the bucket of water was, when they were asked to carry it from the well to the garden. And that was with it only half-full and them working together to carry it! Obviously children were much stronger 200 years ago LOL!! (of course, practice will do that for you!).

Apparently, if I want the girls to consistently help me water OUR garden, I need to get rid of the garden hose and have them use gourd-dippers instead. they happily helped water newly set out cabbage plants for quite some time using this method LOL.

Another day when we were there (but I didn't think to take pictures), the girls made beeswax candles by dipping a wick in a big kettle of melted beeswax over an open fire. They had done that last year, but it was still fun to do it again.  A2 was hoping we'd be there sometime when they were doing laundry by hand (it was listed as one of the things they'd be doing) but it never happened while we were there. She was disappointed, but at least during our tour of the Randolph house, the tour guide gave a good explanation of how the laundry was done in that house, where there was a room just for that purpose and slaves essentially did laundry all day every day. So at least she got an idea of what was involved.

So, that was pretty much our week. Lots of history for all of us, but also lots of fun!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Wow, I didn't know they had home school days at Williamsburg. I'll have to put that on my calendar for next year.

I do have a weekend trip planned in October. I want my 3rd grader to see Jamestown. (Secretly I really want to go there too. Haven't been since I was a kid.)