Strolling Colonial Williamsburg…. The Liberty Lounge and peacocks.

 

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I’m not sure you could find a more charming place to spend the day than Colonial Williamsburg.

 

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History aside….

 

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It’s just a perfectly lovely town.

 

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Did you know the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality?

Learn why here.

 

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Live Oak trees dominate the landscape, spreading their limbs for decades on end….

 

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And I was seriously enjoying the all natural Christmas decorations.

 

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How clever is that?

And while I was wreath gazing….

 

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The husband spotted the entrance to a lounge reserved for veterans and their families.

 

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To be honest I dreaded going inside.  My husband has the gift of gab every day of the year, but when surrounded by other servicemen and women? I’ve spent half my married life waiting for him to conclude conversations.

 

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But there was free tea, coffee and hot cider…..

 

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And thankfully,  a veteran free room.

 

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Of course he spotted the challenge coin cases which started a 45 minute long convo with the staff of volunteers….. but he added a coin of his own, which admittedly was rather nice.

 

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An hour later? More decorations…

 

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More wreaths…

 

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Some cleverly trimmed shrubbery ….

 

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And the silversmith’s shop…

 

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We oohed and aahed and chatted with the man who ran it.

 

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Did you know the phrase “put your money to work” dates from colonial times before the advent of paper currency? You were normally paid in silver, and instead of having bags of the stuff laying around your home…. you took it to the local silversmith who melted it down and made you a fabulous coffee urn or tea set. Your money was “put to work” and you got to flaunt your wealth to visitors. A win, win situation.

 

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Many of his beautiful pieces were for sale in the shop next door…. but the husband wasn’t thrilled with the idea of me spending his hard earned silver to bring some home.

 

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So we strolled.

 

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And were amazed to learn some of these nice little homes were still privately owned.

Who in the world would want to live in the middle of a tourist attraction?

 

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But more importantly…

Where do I find a peacock for next year’s Christmas wreath?

 

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Colonial Williamsburg… Duke of Gloucester Street

 

Done with the Governor’s Palace, we headed to the main thoroughfare.

 

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Colonial Williamsburg is a town, like any other.

 

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If all the other towns were full of beautifully restored 18th century historic buildings that is.

 

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George Wythe was Thomas Jefferson’s mentor.

So, you know…. that kind of town.

 

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At the corner? The Bruton Parish Church, established in 1674…..

 

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Still an active Presbyterian presence…

 

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You can almost see George Washington walking amongst the stately old live oaks.

(Yes, he worshiped here.)

 

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Taking a left put us on Duke of Gloucester Street, the busiest section of town.

 

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Every house and business was decked out for Christmas….

 

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With the traditional natural fruit and greenery it’s become famous for.

Another carriage made it’s way by….

 

 

 

And as much as I wanted to take one…. the husband had no interest whatsoever.

 

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I mean, look at them…

They were just waiting for me to climb aboard.

 

 

But no. The husband had caught sight of this:

 

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And that was where we went next.

 

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Yay. More weapons…

 

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Okay, the collection was impressive as hell.

 

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And filled with various painful ways to kill people.

 

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And yes…

 

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The armory fellow was well versed and full of interesting facts.

 

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But… but…

 

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Horsies….

 

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Are cuter than cannons any ole day.

And you can’t ride a cannon.

(Or maybe you can… but you probably shouldn’t.)

 

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Next up was lunch at Chowning’s Tavern, where it’s wreath spoke volumes.

 

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A reconstructed public house Josiah Chowning operated in 1766…

 

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The menu of Brunswick Stew, Shepherd’s Pye and Welsh Rarebit reflected the fare of the day.

 

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I opted for the hot smoked turkey trencher which was marvelous…. while the husband continued his French Onion soup trend.

Rum cake?

 

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Don’t mind if I do.

Light, rummy and utterly fabulous.

 

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Hot tea and mixed berry crumble for the other half.

 

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Which to be honest, was so God awful sweet he could hardly eat it.

( Lunch photos just for you Martin.)

 

 

Colonial Williamsburg…the Governor’s Palace tour.

 

Finished with out outdoor stroll….

 

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We headed for the interior tour…

 

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Of the Colonial Seat of English rule in early Virginia.

 

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Our guide led us inside…

 

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Where we were immediately surrounded by a large numbers of weapons.

 

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Weapons.

 

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Everywhere.

I won’t bore you with the long history of the place, if you’re interested…. take a peek here.

I’ll just point out that it was home to the Royal Governor pre revolution, and numerous Virginia Governors like Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson post revolution.

 

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It was an impressive place.

 

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With an impressive wood stove.

 

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Amazing decorative detail….

 

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And some pretty brightly colored walls.

 

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There was even a separate room for men to powder their wigs.

Maybe that’s what’s wrong with politics today…

Not enough wigs.

 

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The beds were elaborate.

 

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But the only thing I thought of when I saw the red room…

 

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Complete with fancy dress crib to show off the progeny?

 

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Was this:

 

 

It’s in there Rosemary….

 

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Grab your knife.

(Sorry, but I saw that movie when I was 9 and it still creeps the hell out of me)

The final part of the tour was self guided.

 

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And led us around back…

 

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To the cellar.

 

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Which was basically a whole lotta barrels…

 

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And a whole lotta wine….

 

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So… that done, we emerged.

 

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And caught a charming scene.

 

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A horse drawn carriage.

 

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Adding a little something to the atmosphere of days gone by.

As well as making us watch where we walked… because, well. Horse diapers hadn’t been invented yet.

And yes… they do exist.

Pampers for Mr. Ed

 

 

Colonial Williamsburg – The Governor’s Palace, the Arbor, the Maze and cows….

 

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Historic area, here we come.

 

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As soon as we make it through the Colonial Parkway underpasses…..

 

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Which were quite something in and of themselves.

 

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A few more paths….

 

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And we’re there.

As you can see, there’s a lot to explore.

But first?

 

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Some cows.

 

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Who refused to smile for the camera no matter how hard I tried.

 

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Next up? The Governor’s Palace….

 

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An impressive place they don’t let you inside without a guide, so we killed some time strolling the grounds.

 

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Which were impressive as well.

 

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Of course all that strolling made some of us weary.

 

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No…

 

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It wasn’t me.

 

 

But how about that arbor?

 

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I’d love one of those in our backyard.

 

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Along with the full staff of gardeners required to trim, train and prune it as well.

 

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Still strolling, we found the maze.

 

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And promptly got lost in it.

 

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Thankfully 2 ten year olds were in there as well….

 

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And pointed us to the exit.

 

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If I’d known you could climb up here….

 

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And over look the whole thing?

 

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I would have sent the husband in alone and shouted directions.

 

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Maze completed, we headed back to the Palace for our tour.

 

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Day 3….. Colonial Williamsburg.

 

When you visit Williamsburg, Virginia? It’s all about American history. Everywhere you go, everywhere you look… and that was fine with me. I’m a bit of  a nerd when it comes to that subject and couldn’t wait to experience it all.

The pinnacle in this area is Colonial Williamsburg. 300 acres of historic sites and museums filled with people in period costumes waiting to tell you their stories…. from an 18th century point of view. Loyalist and patriots, tradesmen and legislators. Is it any wonder this was where I headed on our first full day of vacation?

 

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You enter through the massive visitors center.

 

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Where we learned that Williamsburg is the heart of the Historic Triangle which also includes Jamestown and Yorktown. Tickets can be purchased for all 3, or individually, but we lucked out when a volunteer spotted the husband’s USMC hat and told us it would actually be cheaper to buy a year long Veterans pass for unlimited access, which we did. We also got bright blue stars on our passes which entitled us to 10% off everything.

Sweet!

There’s a shuttle bus that runs every ten minutes taking you all around the site, but it was a beautiful day and we decided to walk.

 

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Back in time….

 

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The walkway was wonderful….

 

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And filled with facts….

 

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That put things in perspective.

 

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The farther back you went?

 

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The more you appreciated what you have now.

 

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Some facts were startling.

 

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Some, hard to imagine.

And then…

 

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We were there.

 

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The first thing we saw?

 

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A windmill…. and the split rail fences we would see numerous times on this trip.

 

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Then… a plantation.

 

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Which wasn’t anywhere near as grand as you’d think.

 

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In the 1700’s?

Things were pretty basic.

 

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First fact learned?

A farm grows multiple crops. A plantation? One.

Yes dear readers, for the next few weeks months? my posts will be filled with colonial factoids.

Try to control your excitement.

 

 

But wait, that’s not all we saw at the plantation.

 

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There were flocks of geese as well.

 

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I love me some goosers!

The resort condo, the coffee shop, free chicken coffee…. and as always, geese.

 

After touring the Manor House of the Historic Powhatan Resort in Williamsburg, I knew our condo would be a bit of a letdown, but as timeshare units go…. it was quite decent.

 

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We requested a top floor, since the husband despises people tap dancing above him at 2:00am.

 

                   Our previous upstairs neighbors

 

It was a 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit…

 

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And like many of the newly renovated suites we’ve had lately….  heavily yellow and beige-d.

 

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But the king size bed was extremely comfortable….

 

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There was a working fireplace…

 

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A full kitchen with hardwood floors and granite countertops….

 

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Large bathrooms…

 

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A full size dining table….

 

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And a place for evening cocktails.

 

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The buildings were well spaced and far enough apart to limit noise, which is a plus for light sleepers like me.

 

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Heck, this condo was almost 1,400 square feet…. which is about 300 more than our first home, so I wasn’t complaining.

 

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We unpacked, or rather I did. Husband just threw his suitcase on the bed and called it good. What is it with you men?

Then we decided to grab a quick bite at the on site coffee shop.

 

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It was next to the Manor House, and attractive in it’s own right.

 

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With a large outdoor seating area….

 

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And a view of the ever present geese.

 

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Unfortunately…

 

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It also had a big fat closed sign next to it’s front door.

 

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First the bad restaurant, then the shut up tight coffee shop. Clearly it wasn’t our day for eating out.

So we ended our first day in Williamsburg at the grocery store, stocking up for the 2 weeks ahead and wondering why no one was taking advantage of the free chicken coffee.

 

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Buy 2, get 3 free?

I don’t drink the stuff… but geesh.

How bad can it be to still be filling the shelves? The packaging alone should be worth the price of two.

 

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The resort, the Manor, a little bad food…. and geese.

 

There aren’t too many timeshare resorts that have a Manor House…

 

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But ours did.

 

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And for guests….

 

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The doors were wide open.

 

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So before even finding our condo, we explored.

 

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She was a charming old girl.

 

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And fully decked out for Christmas.

 

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Yes, there was even some funky chicken portraiture.

 

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Ya gotta love that.

 

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Traditional Williamsburg colors took center stage.

 

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And board games were set up on various tables.

 

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It really was quite lovely.

 

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And I certainly wouldn’t mind having a meal or two here.

 

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But we were burning daylight…

 

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So, needing liquid refreshment….

 

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We left the Manor House and were pleased to find a restaurant/bar on the property.

 

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Not all resorts have this, so it was a plus.

 

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The friendly bartender introduced the husband to a local beer, and we ordered some appetizers to test the menu.

 

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French Onion Soup for the other half…. which was absolutely horrendous. Croutons instead of French Bread, over salted broth and a glob of gelatinous cheese.

Blech.

 

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My margarita was made with cheap mix and even cheaper tequila…. and the cheesy crab dip? Tasteless, as well as crabless.  I couldn’t find a single piece.

Needless to say we passed on ordering dinner there. (Sorry Martin, that’s all the food pics you’ll get today.)

But ya know what?

The resort was beautiful.

They had a Manor House…..

 

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And geese.

 

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I forgave them their bad food.