Virginia, beautiful and historical Virginia!
We missed this stop on our big travel year so we jumped at the opportunity to go when Darwin & Jane emailed wondering if we’d like to join them there.
Travel time: from Richardson, it’s a comfortable three day drive.
Accommodations: we stayed in Williamsburg, VA for a week in a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom timeshare rental property.
Side note about that: Darwin was in the military so he is eligible for an Armed Forces Vacation Club (afvclub.com). This program allows military personnel (whether active or inactive) to rent unused timeshare properties at a dramatically reduced cost. If you are or were in the military do your homework to see if this is of interest to you, however, be aware they may attempt to sell you on a timeshare agreement. They used to not do that with military but have recently changed that policy. Bottom line: we ignored it and just enjoyed our stay!
Places we visited: Bacon’s Castle, Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg, New Kent, and Jamestown
History: this area played a significant role in the birth of America. It also turns out the Bacon’s can trace their ancestry all the way back to this area! Darwin and Jane have a wealth of information about your heritage (Bacon’s!) so I encourage you to get with them to learn how you can benefit from what they’ve learned. Bacon’s still in school: great opportunity to share this in class! If you do, I’m pretty sure you’d see an “A” in your future!
First Stop: Our first adventure was to go see Bacon’s Castle. Oddly enough, this castle was never owned or occupied by a Bacon, but it was used in the Bacon Rebellion (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacon%27s_Rebellion). Built in 1665, it is the oldest surviving brick dwelling in the U.S. The castle is located in Surry, VA and to get there (and back) we had to take a ferry from Jamestown. There is no cost to take the ferry which I found to be interesting. You just drive on board and either wait in your car or you can walk around, as long as you are back in time to drive off!
It was a pleasant 20 minute trip each way.
Here are pictures of the castle with and without us in front of the building:
We also saw some dogwood trees, and for me, it was the first time to know what they were and hear the legend about the dogwood tree and the petals are in the shape of a cross.
Beautiful, right? Most of the dogwood trees we saw in Virginia have white petals, but on the castle property there was a tree with pink petals. I’ve included the link for the legend. (http://www.promiseofgod.com/dogwood/)
There are tours available to see the inside of the castle, however, because of timing we didn’t take one.
Our next stop was to Colonial Williamsburg and Danny and I bought a multi-day ticket because there is too much to see in one day. You don’t have to purchase a ticket to visit the city, but you can’t enter in some of the shops and hear the stories without a ticket. Some of the shops that are included with your ticket are: the blacksmith, the foundry, the shoe maker, the state house, furniture maker, silversmith, and many more.
A lot of you have seen some of the pictures for our trip here since I was tagged by Jane on Facebook with some of her great pictures. So, I’ll try not to post duplicates!
Some of our sight seeing was done without the Colorado Bacon’s about halfway into the vacation. Why? This unfortunate situation:
Here is the nasty lesson learned about a walking boot: it’s a lie! You really can’t walk in them easily and if the normal shoe on the other foot doesn’t have a heel/lift equal to the walking boot, you will walk lopsided. When that happens your back becomes very unhappy. Let’s just say that unfortunate situation allowed Jane to spend some quality time with her genealogy projects in the condo.
Before Jane was taken down by the shoe, we all made a trip to New Kent, VA to see St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and to visit a local winery.
St. Peter’s is also known as The First Church of the First – First Lady! It’s where Martha married George Washington in 1759.
Yep! Bacon ancestor’s attended and supported this church! How about that?
We had to do a little online research since no one was there to guide us but but we learned the Bacon’s were a part of the church from the beginning in 1680’s. (Http://www.stpetersnewkent.org)
It was a very proud moment for the Bacon brothers! Too bad the church was locked and we couldn’t get pictures of the inside. (Although Jane did get one picture with her super camera but she couldn’t get close enough to read any of the plaques.) It is a beautiful city and well worth the drive.
Our last visit was to Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestown. Jamestown Settlement is a reproduction of what historians believe the town and area would have looked like. Historic Jamestown is the actual site of where colonist disembarked and lived. There is a museum on this site that has many of the over 2 million artifacts they have unearthed and catalogued. Like Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown requires multiple days to see because there is so much history and information. To learn more about historic Jamestown, follow this link:
You will want to take a guided tour of Jamestown Settlement. Our guide and some pictures from the tour:
A reproduction of the Powhatan Indian homes. Pocahontas was the daughter of a Powhatan chief and part of the history of Jamestown. According to our guide our relationship between the colonists and the Powhatan’s was volatile and many believe was finally restored with the marriage of Pocohontas to John Smith.
Replica of one of the ships the colonists traveled on:
We did not take a guided tour of Historic Jamestown as we were on a tight time schedule but there are informational displays along the way that tell the story of the site.
An active dig below:
I can’t even imagine the difficulties and hardships the colonist encountered. The walk through historic Jamestown is beautiful and will take about an hour. The end of the trail takes you to the museum which you will want to go through as well. There are over two million catalogued artifacts (not all on display) and more are being discovered daily on the digs.
So glad we went and we encourage you to go and take your family!