Friday, November 13, 2015

Colonial Williamsburg, VA

Good Afternoon!

I thought I would stop in today and talk about our trip last weekend to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia! For years we have been driving by the sign to head there and I have heard so many people talk about it and I have always wanted to go but the timing just never seemed to be right. Finally last weekend we decided to get up early on Sunday morning and drive the almost two hours to spend the day!

When I was a kid I visited Black Creek Pioneer Village for a school trip and I loved it, I pictured Colonial Williamsburg being exactly like that, and essentially it was. Obviously the history surrounding Colonial Williamsburg is different and relates directly to the Revolutionary War. I highly recommend visiting here, if not for the history than its beauty! I will take you through our day in this post but if you are looking to plan a visit you can do so HERE and if you are interested in reading about the history related you can do so HERE.

So as I mentioned we got up super early and headed down to Virginia, the drive was really nice as we are coming to the end of fall, the further south we drove the more leaves were still on the trees which was really nice. We arrived and headed into the massive visitors center to purchase tickets for our day. Colonial Williamsburg is open for you to walk around at any time, for free but in order to access the inside of any of the buildings or see any of the tours it is necessary to purchase tickets and I feel like it was totally worth it. I definitely think we will go back, we may not purchase the tickets a second time as we have seen everything but it really is a beautiful place to walk around and have lunch.

When you leave the visitors center you can walk the quarter of a mile (I believe) to the actual town or you can take a shuttle, if you take the shuttle you will miss this windmill which was brought here to be restored.  

Pretty neat right?

The AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL stables at the Governor's home.  

We did an actual tour of this home, it was about a half an hour long but totally worth it. 

The amount of weaponry in this home was quite substantial. 

Beautiful old wood stove. 

The gardens behind the Governor's home. They really keep things alive here, its not just old homes sitting with a plaque stating its significance. What we learned on our day touring around is that all the projects that are taking place in the buildings when you go in are actually projects for around town. The making of window shutters, food being grown to feed employees and so it, it was pretty amazing to know that we weren't just seeing a demonstration but a contribution. 

An orange tree!!!! You could actually buy this, and I wanted to! 

We did not take a carriage tour around this time but we talked a lot about it and decided that we definitely will the next time! 

The court house. 

The magazine and gun house. 

Inside the court house, there was quite a heated discussion going on in there about law practices and what worked/works and didn't so we didn't stay long. 

The blacksmith was one of our favorite stops. Everyone there is so knowledgeable about what they are working on and so willing to answer any questions that people may have. I really enjoyed the fact that all the information you received didn't just come from brochures but from people who told us in the more creative ways. 

The wig shop. Jason was really into this place for some odd reason. 

This was inside the "Joiners" house. A joiner is someone who does the finer details of carpentry. The gentlemen in there was super informative, he told us about projects that were happening around town and what he was working on. He showed us contracts that were signed by apprentices and explained that when a master carpenter took on an apprentice he was responsible for them, he fed them and put a roof over their head and so on. These apprentices were often 13 year old children. This was one of my favorite places we visited, I loved that many of the tools were hand crafted and he explained how they were used and taken care of and so on.  

The public gaol (jail)
We did a tour of this building as well which was incredibly interesting. 

An actual jail cell. People were not held here long term, it was a temporary holding until they were sentenced, often to death. 

The Capitol. 

This sign was for the Raleigh Tavern! The gentlemen on the sign is Sir Walter Raleigh. 

The brick maker. 

Entering the town. 


While there we had lunch at Chowning's Tavern, we had done some research before and decided to eat there prior to even arriving. It was about a 20 minute wait but totally worth it! The place is so quaint, they even have a little back yard bar area which we weren't aware of until after we ate there. The food was great, they had a little performance while we were eating which was fine (truth be told I don't care for that crap while I am eating as cranky as that sounds but it wasn't too annoying, HA!). If you are ever in town I would recommend this place as somewhere to eat. 

I also recommend the cookies at the bakery in town, I recommend the hot apple cider at Chowning's Tavern. When you purchase you tickets they will let you know about all the performances and reenactments happening in town that day. Unfortunately as much as we wanted to stay for the reenactment it was quite late in the day and already having a two hour drive back we didn't want to wait around with nothing to do and than drive all that way. Its fine though as we plan to go back and as I said its free to walk around town and see those things without buying a ticket. 

Sunday was such an amazing day, we thoroughly enjoyed the drive and the day around town was absolutely INCREDIBLE! I am definitely looking forward to going back in the spring and exploring all over again. I really love history so this place was totally up my alley and Jason really loved it too. 

I hope you have all had a great week and enjoy this weekend! We are looking to get some pretty chilly weather and don't have much planned. Jason is going to work tomorrow and help Dave with Christmas lights at their house and I don't have a whole lot planned! 

Tomorrow we are making our own pizzas for dinner which is one of my favorite dinner nights!! If you are stuck for a dinner idea grab the pre-made crusts at BJ's or your local grocery store and all the toppings, easy and fun for all ages!! 

Thank you as always for stopping by!! Have a great weekend!!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia

Good Morning,

As promised I came back to talk about our quick visit to the Arlington National Cemetery! As I mentioned in my previous blog about our visit to DC which you can view HERE I said that we decided to use Old Town Trolley tours as we do in most cities we visit. With this tour you can get off your trolley at the Lincoln Memorial and switch to a smaller trolley that will take you over to the Arlington National Cemetery which is only about 15 minutes at most away.

There is a separate trolley tour that will take you through the cemetery and I do believe you have to pay for that, we didn't want to spend all day there because we wanted to get back early so we chose not to do that this time around. We did however get off the trolley at the cemetery and do some wondering around. The place is absolutely HUGE and beautiful, you can see a variety of tributes, the changing of the guard and so on.

While walking around Jason and I talked about how beautiful this place was and such an amazing tribute to so many fallen soldiers. It was extremely saddening to see the mass amounts of gravestones and know that so many men and women have died while serving for this country. I do feel that this would be an absolutely AMAZING place to be buried though. Take a look at some of the pictures that I took while we were there.

As you can see this place is absolutely breathtaking in the fall, the leaves were absolutely gorgeous! 

No matter which angle you look at the headstones from the lines are absolutely PERFECT. 

This is the entrance into the cemetery. 

I believe you could spend hours and hours touring around the cemetery, but if you are on a time crunch I do believe it is worth seeing! Hop on the trolley and head over and just seen it, pay your respects and continue on. 

If you are interested in reading about the cemetery you can do so HERE. I highly recommend it, if you are at all interested in history I think you would love this place. 

Thank you so much for stopping by today, I always appreciate your time! I hope you are having a wonderful day!!   

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