July 4, 2009. Paddy's birthday today and what better place to celebrate than Williamsburg.
We arrived on July 3rd and elected to stay at the Williamsburg Lodge so we could walk to all the activities. Of course we took our famous "mirror shot" in our room. We placed a reservation at the dinner buffet and also purchased the package tour which allowed us to visit all the colonial buildings without additional fees. Since it was the 4th of July weekend, we also purchased a Palace Picnic ticket.
The lodge had a first class dinner buffet which we enjoyed on the evening of the 3rd. As expected there was also a gift shop next to the lobby.
One block from the hotel and we were inside Colonial Williamsburg. Another block and we were onthe Duke of Gloucester Street which is the very heart of all the activities. Period costumes, horse and buggy rides and statues of famous people put one in the Colonial era frame of mind.
There was a shop where one could rent costumes for kids and many did. There were lots of activities for kids.
We visited a working blacksmith shop and a working print shop.
The Capitol tour was most interesting. Our tour guide was a walking encyclopedia and he made the history of the period come alive and be very interesting.
Lunch time on the 3rd and we found the food at the King's Arms Tavern very good.
Lots of restaurants available and on the 4th we ate at the Trelis.
There was a mock trial at the court house. Visitors were chosen for the jury. There were also numerous "lantern" tours and ghost tours at night.
We stopped at the wigmaker shop and nearby we met colonial actors.
The jail was also the home of the jailer and his family. Housed inside were short time prisoners, long time prisoners and those who were sentenced to death.
With a comfortable cool evening we took an after dark walk.
On the 4th we took the Governor's Palace tour. The Governor had many wall mounted guns and swords, which at the time were ready for action. The wine cellar, bakery, kitchen and other out buildings and gardens were open for view. The tour guide told the story of how the Governor, his family and staff lived, it was most interesting.
Near the Palace was the Bruton Parish Church. We stopped for a short 10 minute worship service.
To satisfy the modern traveler, there is a Williamsburg Merchants Square.
At the Palace Gardens was a special presentation by "General Lafayette" and a Colonial Officer who explained their plans for the upcoming battle of Yorktown.The man playing General Lafayette was quite believable and most entertaining. He fielded questions from visitors and displayed a vast knowledge of history.
After the special presentation, both British and Colonial troops formed at different areas on the parade ground.
General Lafayette mounted his horse, rode into the parade ground area and reviewed the Colonial troops and gave a morale/victory speech for the upcoming Yorktown battle.
The Colonials then demonstrated rifle and cannon fire.
For 4th of July fireworks, we purchased a Palace Picnic ticket which provided for a box of food, a beverage, entertainment at the Palace and a special area to view the fireworks. While waiting to pick up the food box, we were entertained by a quartet, one of which was playing a Serpent horn which is a distant ancestor of the tuba.
The picnic food was delicious: Two pieces of chicken with excellent spices, robust roast beef sandwich, robust turkey sandwich, potato salad, cole slaw, potato chips, cup cake, pudding, assorted nuts, trail mix, chocolate chip cookie and a beverage. Wow, it was delicious. There were three areas for the picnic, one which had the quartet of string musicians, the second with a puppet show and the third with Colonial dance. Visitors were invited to join the Colonials in the dance.
The Williamsburg Fife and Drums entertained everyone prior to the fireworks.
At last, the fireworks, which was a wonderful way to conclude the days events.
What a great weekend. Happy birthday Paddy.