Tag Archives: williamsburg

The last supper….. in Williamsburg.

 

This is for the food (and drink) people.

An entire post devoted to our final meal in Virginia. (That’s 2 in 3 days so no more complaining!)

 

 

(On a side note, it was Bogart day last Sunday and the husband and I did nothing but eat, drink and watch the classics.

The Maltese Falcon. Key Largo. The Caine Mutiny. African Queen. And my all time favorite movie … Casablanca. I cry at the nightclub scene when they drown out the Germans by singing La Marseillaise… every damn time! Good stuff.)

But back to food.

After spending 8 hours in an antique store that day I was in dire need of a cocktail.

Or eight.

 

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And when I saw a sign for Eddie Romanelli’s?

I may have squealed.

I didn’t think this was a chain, but there was one in Wilmington, North Carolina we used to make a pilgrimage to every other month when we lived down south. Their Crabmeat Cannelloni in Carolina Shrimp Sauce?

To die for.

 

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We sat at a high top in the bar area because of it’s… ya know.

Proximity to the cocktails.

 

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Prickly pear margarita?

Come to mama….

 

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Sadly the crabmeat wasn’t on the menu, but the fresh baked bread with herbed olive oil was wonderful.

 

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As was the Caesar salad.

 

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And the sparkling Tuscan lemonade. Fresh, crisp and quite delightful.

 

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Husband had a juicy charbroiled steak with garlic sauteed spinach…

 

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While I indulged my inner Italian with some pasta…. drenched in garlic Parmesan cream and loaded with grilled chicken, mushrooms and peas.

Were there more cocktails?

 

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Maybe….

And damn that waitress for not clearing them as fast as I could drink them.

 

 

 

I’m going to blame the cocktail consumption for this last picture I took on the way back to the resort….

 

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Because I have no idea what it is…

Or what it was supposed to be….

But trust me, it was fabulous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 15… Small bathrooms and antique store Hell, where River reexamines how much she really loves her husband.

 

I woke up on our last full day of vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia  (Yes, we’re finally there!)  cursing our second resort’s small bathrooms.

 

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I mean… come on.

For a girl with big hair this is a very small space to make the magic happen.

And the shower?

 

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One teeny tiny shelf!

I had to put the rest of my things on the floor.

 

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We started the day at the husband’s favorite breakfast spot where he was now greeted with ”The guy who wants two plates of chipped beef on toast is here”.

 

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And seeing that we’d had 2 full weeks of doing everything I wanted to do, I thought it prudent to throw the husband a bone and let him pick our last day’s activities.

 

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As expected, that bit me in the ass.

 

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He chose the Williamsburg Antique Mall… and let me tell you, that’s a whole lotta mall.

I have never in my life seen so much  useless crap  stuff  in one place. It went on forever, aisle after aisle after aisle. The husband was in heaven.

 

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Oh, there were some interesting things.

 

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And some seriously hideous things.

 

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It was hard, but I managed to pass on this quartz rooster head.

 

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And the Christmas tree in a shoe.

 

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But damn, at the one hour mark we’d only managed to cover a little corner of the place.

 

 

The building was so huge it had push button call stations for help because it was too damned long a walk back to the front to find a sales clerk.

 

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Two hours in there was a drunken Santa….

 

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And some of the money the husband used during the Vietnam War.

 

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Three hours in there was a pair of wolves on skis…

 

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The ice cube trays I cursed with every breath as a child….

 

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And some questionable artwork complete with psychedelic chickens.

 

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Four hours in there were Civil War era hats and a saleslady who gave me a piece of paper to write down the aisle number, the booth number, the case number and a description of each article we had questions about because no one ever remembers what was where. If you look in the upper left hand corner of the picture you’ll see my hand clutching it.

And no, I wasn’t going to give it to the husband …. I’m not stupid.

The husband?

Happier than the proverbial pig in shit.

 

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Rusty tools….

Rusty tools everywhere!

 

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I passed on more vintage chickens.

 

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And wondered who this wide eyed Santa was going to poke with that…. that….

Whatever the heck that was.

At the four and a half hour mark I had to use the rest room.

 

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Where I did indeed flush my hopes and dreams of ever leaving this place down the toilet.

 

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There was definitely something for everyone.

 

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Even if some of the price tags made you gasp.

Five hours in I told the husband I was too hungry to continue and we needed to go get some lunch.

 

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Yeah.

My worst nightmare came true….

They had a cafe.

 

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Where we had tiny overpriced sandwiches and frozen solid fruit to fortify us for more hours of antique shopping.

 

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It was at this point I knew we’d never leave.

I was doomed.

 

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Too late for that warning…. the husband has had it for years.

 

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He was bound and determined to see every last item in this store or die trying.

And by this time I was happily planning his demise.

 

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Yikes.

Paging Morticia Addams….

 

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And holy crap.

Who in their right mind wants that hanging on their wall?

 

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Six hours in I found a bug collection….

 

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Some chicken humor…

 

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And part of the line to check out.

These people took a number…. and have probably been waiting since June 13, 1976.

 

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But the husband was still going strong.

 

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And if I told you how many rusty old pesticide sprayers we have in the barn already? You’d fear for my safety.

 

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Here’s proof positive there’s a magazine for everything.

 

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And a painting that contains fish bones.

You’re welcome.

 

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SEVEN HOURS  in and we weren’t even 2/3’s of the way through.

 

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I knew he wasn’t going to leave without buying something, but by then I’d reached my limit of  utterly useless crap  antique shopping.

I was on board with the old phone. It could have been fun in the barn…. when he builds that bar he keeps talking about.

You know, the bar he can’t build because he has too much utterly useless crap  stuff in the way.

 

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Eight hours in?

I was silently screaming FFS….just pick something and let’s go!

Or maybe I said it out loud, I can’t remember.

 

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So there it is, the result of 8 hours of antique mall shopping.

A giant glass water bottle to add to the other 20 or so giant glass water bottles he currently has collecting cobwebs.

 

 

I love him.

I do.

And as long as I keep telling myself that I’ll be fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portraits continued…. funky hair, warts and finally, food.

 

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Crossing back over to the DeWitt side of the museum, things got a bit more formal.

 

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And a trifle bizarre.

 

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I think a little 18th Century photoshopping was in order here.

 

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Okay then.

 

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I saw the portrait of the gentleman on the left and thought, “What’s with the hair?”

 

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And apparently I wasn’t the only one who asked.

 

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It was an extensive gallery.

 

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And according to George…. will be even more extensive soon.

 

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Another sad statement of the times.

 

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This couple struck me as a little odd.

 

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Is it me or does the wife’s right arm look a wee bit…. off? As in, did the creepy husband chop it off and line it back up for the portrait?

We’ll never know.

At the far end of the gallery there was a video that was oddly mesmerizing.

 

 

And then on the way out there was a chair, which I forgot to photograph.

But George didn’t like it.

 

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Chairs that were no good for sitting.

Excellent.

 

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Through with the museum, we realized we’d not only skipped lunch but were now ready for dinner.

When I asked the husband what he was in the mood for, he said anything… so I picked a well reviewed barbecue restaurant in Williamsburg.

 

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And the husband didn’t like it from the minute we stepped through the door.

Why?

 

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Who knows.

They brought us yummy cornbread to munch while we looked at the menu.

 

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Which he also didn’t like.

Pulled pork sundae? Come on… what’s wrong with that!

I managed to talk him into staying for appetizers.

 

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So he had a chili he didn’t like either.

 

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I went with some spicy steamed shrimp.

 

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And while the rest of the customers were enjoying large platters of succulent looking food, he told me to pick another place because all they had on the menu was barbecue.

Gee. Who woulda thunk it?

People always think I’m the picky one, but when it comes to eating out my husband will drive you to drink.

Which in my case isn’t necessarily a negative…. but still.

 

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The second restaurant that night was Italian.

Everyone raved about Sal’s, so I figured, why not?

 

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He couldn’t complain about the menu being small.

 

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It went on for multiple pages.

 

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The garlic knots were perfect.

(Okay, I ate 4. Don’t judge.)

 

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The salads were fresh and tasty.

 

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My veal Marsala was tender, perfectly cooked and filled with wine soaked mushrooms.

 

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He certainly couldn’t complain his chicken parmigiana was a small portion.

Good God, it was huge.

But you know what? He didn’t like this place either.

And heck, I’m the one who should have been complaining….there were no cocktails!

 

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A study in portraiture, some funky hairdos and a watermelon on wheels.

 

The portrait gallery was large…. and filled with strange and marvelous things.

 

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Can’t say I’d enjoy having her as a Mother in Law.

 

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They are smiling?

 

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Perhaps the weight of that elaborate hair is pulling their lips down.

 

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Oh my.

They say all babies are cute, but I beg to differ.

 

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This is a girl.

 

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And this is a boy.

No, I haven’t had too many margaritas.

It was explained to me that folk art paintings of little girls have cats… and folk art paintings of little boys have dogs. The hoop is also a boy’s toy, never played with by girls.

 

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Yes, another boy.

Could have fooled me.

There were a few sad paintings, like this one….

 

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Since all the family members in black are dead.

But there’s a chicken, so it’s not all bad.

 

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And while these two portraits aren’t the most skillful, they had the saddest story of all.

 

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Jonathan Bartlett was a black man who chose to portray himself as white…. in a heartbreaking statement of life in his time.

 

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Lightening the mood, there was George again….

 

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And whatever this was –

 

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I can’t even do a Name That Crap because I have no idea…

 

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Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.

 

This was what I’d come to see.

 

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And with a nod to Abe, we entered.

 

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By definition:

The DeWitt continued…. George Washington, creepy dolls, weavings, and more Name That (not) Crap.

 

Aside from all the decorative items, the Dewitt had some pieces of historic interest as well.

 

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Here’s the father of our country casually leaning on a cannon. And if you look closely, you’ll see this…

 

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Yes, they even have George Washington’s jewelry…. which had been lost for nearly two centuries. It was rediscovered in 1990, when the daughter-in-law of a Virginia Beach woman descended from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall found it in her dead mother-in-law’s jewelry box.

Just think… it could have been put in a yard sale. Or donated to Goodwill.

Damn. Another missed opportunity.

 

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Continuing past the silver, there were vast collections of porcelain and pottery.

 

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Complete with creepy ass vintage dolls.

 

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If you invite this little chicka to a tea party?

She’s going to nibble your fingers like biscuits.

 

 

By the amount of tankers on display, there was some serious beer drinking going on in the 18th century.

 

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Have I mentioned this place went on forever?

 

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It was fabulous.

 

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There was a section dedicated to indigenous art as well.

 

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And these were quite special.

 

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Even the husband was intrigued.

 

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Each piece had a story.

 

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But I’ll just give you one example.

 

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Two years?

 

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Damn. That’s dedication.

 

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George showed up again, though in iron this time.

 

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“Dumb” stoves?

I’ve cursed a few in my lifetime, but never knew they were actually a thing.

After George,  I knew I’d lost the husband.

 

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Because this is his idea of heaven.

They weren’t rusted, but these are just the sort thing he likes to fill our barn with.

( And if his were in good shape and displayed artfully like this? I wouldn’t half mind.)

 

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And because you know I can’t pass up an opportunity, let’s play Name That (not) Crap again.

 

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What is it …. #1?

 

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What is it… #2?

 

 

 

 

 

Colonial Williamsburg museums…. Folk Art tree, vintage weapons, furniture and an 18th Century catwalk.

 

There are two distinct collections in what used to be the lunatic asylum building… The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

It’s a bit fluid when you enter…

 

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And since it was the Christmas season I wasn’t surprised to see one of these.

Please note there’s a chicken instead of an angel on the top. I’m not sure what that means, other than there might be a secret cult of barnyard fowl practicing nearby. Which lead me to Google image search ‘religious chicken’ and then I was off….

 

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Yes….

 

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I’m easily distracted… but you have to admit,

 

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This architect had a sense of humor.

And now back to your regularly scheduled program:

 

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The story behind it was interesting.

 

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Me like.

 

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Though I doubt I’ll be making my own or buying the book.

 

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And opposite the festive tree?

 

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Implements of death….

 

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Because nothing says holiday cheer like various ways to kill each another.

 

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But even I have to admit they were beautiful specimens.

 

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And if you look closely, you can see the scowling face on the bottom of the grip.

I read the DeWitt has the largest collection of southern furniture in the world…

 

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And I believe it.

 

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There were rows and rows of unique examples.

 

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There were also some fabulous fashions of the day.

 

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And yes…

 

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Shoes!

 

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And if that wasn’t wonderful enough… there was 300 year old fabric.

 

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And a vintage runway.

 

 

 

Those little harlots.

Did you see how much ankle she was showing?

Shameless!

Colonial Williamsburg…. where River visits the insane asylum and is lucky to get out alive.

 

On my list of must see places was the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. She was an early collector of the form and I’d heard tell the place was filled to the brim with treasures.

 

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What I didn’t know was the building’s original use.

 

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Half museum, half insane asylum.

Color me intrigued.

 

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Well, that doesn’t look at all comfortable.

 

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But at least there’s a cushion.

*gulp*

 

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This certainly gives new meaning to the term “time out”.

 

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While revolting….

 

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I have to say the peek into early treatment of mental illness was fascinating.

 

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Yikes.

 

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Seems like there was a whole lot of restraint … and not much actual treatment.

 

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It was about this time the husband told me he read about men committing their misbehaving wives for little more than disagreeing with their authority.

 

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Uh oh.

 

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Early shock therapy looked rather primitive.

 

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Am I the only one who’s reading “restored” as irreparably brain damaged?

 

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One can only imagine the horrors those poor people suffered at the hands of their supposed healers.

 

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Though they did have some pretty snazzy syringes.

On a lighter note, the husband was tickled to see one of these on display.

 

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He bought a whole box of these slides at a yard sale years ago. They’re pretty valuable as a few of them show pre Civil War life with slaves… but he’s never found the actual lantern for sale.

 

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If you ever see one? Let me know….

It would make a great birthday gift and rise above his usual level of rusty crap.

Day 13….. Colonial Williamsburg, the Rockefellers and Bassett Hall

 

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The day started with biscuits and gravy for me and two plates of chipped beef on toast for the husband. The waitress thought he was kidding when he asked for a second helping… but no, he was serious.

 

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Technically no, that’s made with hamburger.

But I digress…

Since the weather was beautiful that day we headed back over to Colonial Williamsburg to finish exploring.

 

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First up, Bassett Hall. Home to John D. Rockefeller Jr and his wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. I was completely unaware that the Rockefellers were the ones responsible for the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg and the idea of opening it to the public.

For a wonderful history of how and why, watch this:

 

 

 

Seeing the interior of the house meant taking the tour…

 

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And this distinguished gentleman was our guide. He was a font of knowledge as well as legally blind.

 

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It was a lovely home.

 

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Comfortable….

 

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And not nearly as grand as their other residences.

 

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They relaxed here.

 

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Didn’t entertain socially.

 

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And enjoyed time with family.

 

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In their eyes it was a country home.

 

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And hey….. there was a chicken over the mantle, so maybe it was.

 

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I’m sure Abby didn’t spend much time in here….

 

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But I liked the funky sinks….

 

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And the high tech for the time fridge.

 

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Next to the kitchen was the servants quarters…

 

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Which didn’t look too bad either.

 

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Done with the tour….

 

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We began to roam the grounds….

 

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But not before my husband managed to start a political discussion with our guide. I imagine they’re instructed not to engage…. and he remained as neutral as Switzerland. Very diplomatic.

 

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The gardens were a bit bare since it was December.

 

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But the shrubbery was impressive.

 

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And who wouldn’t love a private tea house in their backyard?

 

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How sweet is that!

 

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We happily strolled around….

 

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Enjoying the beautiful day…

 

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And felt like Rockefellers.

Minus the large sums of cash and thinking hey…

 

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That garage would make a pretty nice house in itself.

 

 

 

Day 11….love notes, breakfast, a liquor store and last minute Christmas shopping in Colonial Williamsburg.

 

The eleventh day of our vacation started at our timeshare resort condo…

 

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Where I found this:

 

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A note from the grandchild of our hearts.

Sorry… but there’s no way better way to start the day than that.

 

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Although biscuits and gravy with home fries comes close.

We had a full day of Christmas gift shopping ahead of us and needed hearty sustenance. And in the south?

 

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That includes the options of scrapple, fried catfish, grits or bologna and eggs.

The husband’s utterly favorite breakfast is chipped beef on toast and he rarely finds it in Maine… so when we stumbled on the Southern Pancake and Waffle House in Williamsburg?

 

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He wanted to go every morning…. which we pretty much did from then on.

 

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But hey, there were chickens in every window so how could we lose?

Our first stop that day was a liquor store in anticipation of our upcoming Christmas Day in North Carolina.

For future reference…. the first way to tell you’re in a liquor store in the south?

 

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There’s a still.

 

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Still searching for that silly wine filter, I thought we could try Merchant’s Square…. which is the shopping section of Colonial Williamsburg I couldn’t get the husband to check out the previous week.

 

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As with all areas there, it was lovely.

 

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Filled with interesting high end shops… like this interior design place.

 

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Giant double diamond ring light fixture anyone…?

 

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We happily strolled aroiund, ducking in and out of the stores with all the other desperate  Holy crap it’s Christmas Eve and I don’t have a gift!   shoppers.

Naturally I had to buy a souvenir tee shirt –

 

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Truer words were ne’er spoke.

 

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And towards late afternoon when my stomach started grumbling?

This happened.

 

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Someone saw the husband’s Marine Corps hat, said Semper Fi, and they were off….

 

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On a 38 minute long conversation about who was stationed where, when and with whom.

Yes. I timed it….

 

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While he talked?

 

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I walked.

 

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Agreed wholeheartedly with a sign.

 

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And explored a little more…

 

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Of the colonial town.

 

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And hey, if you’re going to dress up in period costume and stand on the sidewalk?

 

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Don’t give me the stink eye when I take your picture.

Turning back around hoping the other half had finished talking…

 

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I saw snow.

 

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Granted it wasn’t very much, but it surprised me to see any at all.

 

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The ice skating rink surprised me as well.

 

 

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In Maine we wait for ponds to freeze over.

 

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In Virginia they just build one… and how they keep it frozen in 60 degree temperatures is a mystery to me.