Tuesday August 7th 2018
After breakfast this morning I transitioned into tourist mode and set out for Colonial Williamsburg. All of the directions to the Visitors Center were from Interstate 64. I decided to stay on surface roads to see more of the area. Boy did I see more of the area. The directional signs were very intermittent from the direction I was approaching the area. I made several wrong turns, but finally found the Colonial Williamsburg visitors center and parking lot. It is a modern facility set in the woods a third of a mile from the town area.
At the visitors center I converted the voucher I printed out from my online ticket purchase into a ticket badge good for seven days at Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. There is also an overview movie and a big gift shop in the visitors center. There are shuttle buses to the town area or you can walk along the third of a mile path. I chose the walk through the woods to the colonial town. It passed by an exhibit of the Great Hope Plantation with a colonial era windmill before arriving at the colonial town near the Governor’s Palace.
The Palace tour was very interesting. The building is a replica of the original building that burnt 1781 after the capital was moved to Richmond. It is configured today as it was in the time of the last royal governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore. He fled with his family in 1775 as revolutionary sentiments built in the colony. The main floor greeting areas of the residence are decorated with muskets and swords to project the power of the governor over the people doing business with him.
Throughout the colonial town the guides and staff are in period dress. They stay in character just enough to keep it interesting. If you ask a question about something they will tell you how “we” use it, but they don’t speak in a fake old English dialect. On the other hand they are part of the twenty first century. There were two people working in the Cooperage building barrels, buckets and such. I don’t think the woman artisan would have been a cooper in colonial times. I also saw one guide taking a visitors picture without pretending it was newfangled witchcraft.
It was very hot today. The temperature was in the mid 90s with high humidity. The buildings like the Governor’s Palace are air conditioned, but there is a lot of outdoor walking between buildings. I had my hat, sunscreen and water, but it was still uncomfortable. I spent about four hours wandering around about a quarter of the colonial town. I’ve studied the map a little to get the layout of the exhibits and will return tomorrow to see more. It is forecast to be even warmer tomorrow.