Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Williamsburg, Continued . . .

Much as the girls enjoy Busch Gardens, the best part of a trip to Williamsburg is Colonial Williamsburg! I don't think I'll ever get tired of going there. And it's so fun to see the girls continue to enjoy it every time we go.  Little Bit is just starting to get into such things, and one day would've been plenty for her, LOL, but she did like learning about the old fashioned games. At the end of the week, I let her choose something in the gift shops and she chose the game that they're learning in this picture, called "Shut the Box".

The big girls could have spent forever there, in fact, I lost count of how many times they asked if we could move there (the private residences sprinkled through the colonial city fascinate them, every year they ask if we can live in one LOL).  Some of their fun . . . 

Learning about colonial dances. They were so funny, paired with 2 older couples, they were thoroughly disgusted with how confused the other couples were. And my favorite part, one part of the dance has the 3 "men" in the set holding hands and "skipping" around behind the 3 "women".  Lexie was the "man" in their couple, and afterwards she was so annoyed that the 2 men "didn't even know how to skip!" 
 A couple weeks before we went to Williamsburg, Ashlyn found a small basket making kit that I'd gotten at some point and we hadn't ever used. She followed the directions and made a great first attempt at making a basket, and it whetted her appetite for more, so she was excited to see the basket makers at Williamsburg. Unfortunately, they didn't seem too interested in answering questions, which she found frustrating. She did still pick up a few tips just by looking a their baskets and listening to them describe what they do.

Every day that we were there we went to the Plantation, to see what demonstrations and hands-on activities they had that day.

One day we saw them hitch up the oxen and plow the field. Another day we saw how they turn a cut down tree into a beam to use in a house. The carpenter was awesome at answering their questions and showing them how everything worked :) The girls had fun making cornhusk dolls and finally, the last day, they were dipping candles.  I was helping Little Bit with hers, so didn't get any pictures of that, but as always that was a favorite activity!

Last time we were in Williamsburg, one of their favorite stops was the Bindery, so they were excited to go back. We didn't see the same person as before, but the man at the bindery this year was pretty good too. And he ended up showing them different things then they'd seen last year.

This year was the first year that the Brickmakers have been working when we've been there. That was really interesting. They gave people the option to stomp around in the clay to help mix it up, but Ashlyn didn't want to because she had a small cut on her foot, and Lexie didn't want to do it by herself (and Little Bit had stayed at the timeshare with Daddy that day).

Another shop they really enjoyed last time was the cabinet maker. When we were there last time there was a harpsichord there but you couldn't touch it, though they did let one teenage girl who was very interested in it all, play it briefly.  This year, the harpsichord was still there, but with a sign saying to play it gently, so Ashlyn got to play the harpsichord! And again this year the cabinet maker was just as great about answering the girls' gazillions of questions as before.

A favorite every year is the coffee shop. The tour is always interesting, and slightly different every time, and the best part is the drinking chocolate (or coffee or tea) they give everyone at the end of the tour.  YUM!!! This isn't your average hot chocolate! It's thick and rich and spicy and . . . YUMMY!!! And the fact that my girls love it as much as I do is evidence that they are definitely mine LOL :)

The girls wore the costumes they made all week long (the advantage of staying in a timeshare is the washer and dryer that makes that possible LOL). They got tons of "oh how cute!" comments from other visitors, and several people asked to take their pictures, or just took pictures LOL. But what they were most excited about was that the employees' comments were usually something about how authentic their costumes were. They were SOO proud of that :) The one part of the costume that wasn't "perfect" was their hats. They both got hats the first year we went to Williamsburg (when they were 6), but the ribbon to tie Ashlyn's on had come off, so she didn't have a hat to wear. When we started shopping for hats, she really wanted the flatter hats that the milliner told them, a couple years ago, were more accurate for the time period. But the "trimmed" hats were out of our price range. Then we found one shop that sold plain, no ribbons, hats for a much more reasonable price. She bought a plain hat, and we stopped at a fabric store that evening and got ribbon (we chose navy to coordinate with their skirts), needle and threat, and Ashlyn trimmed her own hat!!

 She did a great job, and the next day, when we went back to that shop because Lexie had decided to get a new hat too, one of the customers in the shop commented that she liked Ashlyn's hat best (the shopkeeper was standing right there so we didn't tell them that Ashlyn had trimmed it herself LOL).  That evening Lexie used the rest of the navy ribbon to trim her own hat :)

One thing that I enjoyed, though I'm not sure the girls picked up on it, was that some of the tours had changed. Both the Randolph house and the Governor's palace tours were different from last time we were there, which made it more interesting for me :)

While we were on the palace grounds after the tour, I snapped the above picture of the girls, and then had them sit on a bench for a picture :)

 One afternoon, near "closing time" we stopped by the courthouse. A man was "lecturing" (for lack of a better word) about various "court things" in colonial times. The girls were interested and then when he was done, he asked for questions and they kept him busy asking questions until everyone else had left and it was past closing time. Not only did he patiently answer their questions, and if he didn't enjoy it, he did a good job of pretending he did, but then when he needed to leave, he let them lock the court house doors.  They were pretty fascinated with those big old fashioned keys :)

I must not have taken any pictures the last day, after Lexie had her new hat too.

It was an awesome week!

We finished up our week with another day at Busch Gardens. All 3  girls rode the carousel together :)

On our way home, we stopped in Fredericksburg and the girls earned their Junior Ranger there, then we headed on home :)

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