Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What I Learned While Visiting Colonial Williamsburg.

Last weekend I was blessed to the gills to fly down to Williamsburg, VA with my mom and spend a wonderful weekend with our former Pastor and his wife Linda, whom we love to pieces.  On Saturday, my friend Carrie, who is their daughter in law, drove up to join us.  The whole thing was lovely and full of love and talking and some wine and history.

After spending many hours at the Colonial Williamsburg site and museums, as well as the surrounding Williamsburg area, I have learned several things.

1. Colonial Williamsburg is AMAZING.

 Here's the church George Washington attended.  He had his own little cubicle. 
(That is not the technical, historical term for it.)

The Governor's Palace

2.  Williamsburg has a very different point of view than Plymouth Plantation, where my people are from.  (Really.  My ancestor Francis Kendall helped to found Woburn, MA in the 1640's.) Williamsburg people have no love lost for their Northern counterparts.

3.  Patrick Henry was apparently a real loudmouth.

4.  John D. Rockefeller paid for the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg starting in the late 1920's.  He and his wife lived in The Bassett House for several weeks out of the year when it was being restored and loved being there.

5. If you'd like to have your heart ripped out of your chest, go see the Colonial Williamsburg museum exhibit about the London Foundling Hospital. The exhibit has the records from the late 1700s when women were not able to care for their babies and would hand them over to nurses.  A scrap of fabric, ribbon, metal token or paper would be filed with the information about the baby and was used as a marker should that parent ever return to retrieve the child.  The notes and tokens were absolutely gut wrenching.  System-wide, only 2% of the children were ever reclaimed.  These scraps of fabric also make up an astounding collection of lower-class textiles in England: there are over 5000 and not one is a repeat of another.  See how this exhibit touches me as a mom, history buff and fabric fanatic??

6.  Mrs. John D Rockefeller was a cooky, wonderful soul with a great sense of humor and a great eye for art collecting.
 Pictures of Bassett House

7.  You can rent period costumes at Williamsburg.  Sign me up.

8.  In March in Virginia, you can walk around without a jacket on.  This was a novel experience for me.  And if other Virginians find out that you are from NY, they apologize that the weather isn't warmer.

9.  If you are a dad staying home for three full days with three kids, you do pretty well until the afternoon of the third day, and then you hit the wall and text your wife asking when, exactly, is she planning on coming home.

10.  If you are on a tour of the Bassett House, and you stumble into quite possibly the most beautiful 1940's era butlers pantry you have ever seen, and you have a well-documented THING for butlers pantries, and if you ask the tour guide if there is any possibility that you could take a bite of said butlers pantry, just a small one, so you could chew it and taste it and swallow it and have it become part of you, the tour guide will look at you strangely and answer, "Ummm.... no. No you may not."

11.  The best financial decision Dan Libutti ever made was to have his family settle in an area many, many miles away from a Janie and Jack outlet store.  I went to my first one in Williamsburg and quite literally hyperventilated when I entered its doors.

12.  If the same Dan Libutti could find a job in or near to Williamsburg, I would move there lickety-split.


Anonymous said...

You did a great job of capturing the magic of Williamsburg....and you BROUGHT some special magic here too! Come again! Love, LW

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful time we had!! Thank you, LW and PW for being such fabulous hosts! And thank you, Carrie, for adding to the fun! It was just what we needed! I am so glad we got to go! Thanks, too, to SIL for holding down the fort! Love, Mom