Tag Archives: wreaths

Colonial Williamsburg…. the blacksmiths, a test drive, an oak, some cows and yes, food.

 

Although I hated to end our day, the time was drawing near and my phone battery was gasping it’s last breath.

 

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Naturally the husband had to see the blacksmith’s shop with all it’s rusty tools.

 

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And we were both surprised to learn that women worked there as well back in the day.

 

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So after test driving a wheel barrow…

 

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A few more natural wreaths…

 

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Some private homes…

 

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More wreaths…

 

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And a massive Live Oak that is supposed to have been here when George Washington walked these streets….

 

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We said goodbye to the cows we saw on the way in….

 

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And went back to the car where we had to charge my cell phone long enough for Trip Advisor to point us to our first dinner in Williamsburg.

 

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I love that app.

 

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And I loved this restaurant.

 

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Come on…. they had blue jellyfish lights over the bar.

How could you not?

 

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Cocktails? Check.

 

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Their Orange Crush was made with fresh squeezed OJ and was fabulous.

 

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Hushpuppies and cornbread let us know we were in the south.

And may I just say? I had no idea how much I missed hushpuppies until I started eating them again.

Yeeha!

 

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Dinner was tough to choose.

 

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Husband started with mussels.

 

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And moved on to perfectly pan seared sea scallops with garlic smashed red potatoes and green beans.

Me?

 

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Me?

I was in the south, baby! Bring me those low country shrimp and cheesy grits.

Lord have mercy….. they were the best thing I’ve eaten in months.

 

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Husband had room for a New York Style berry cheesecake….

And then we called it a day.

Day 1.

You realize that, right?

It took me 8 posts to get through Day 1 of our two week vacation.

 

 

Oh, don’t be so dramatic.

It’ll be fun!

 

Colonial Williamsburg… Shield’s and Wetherburn’s Taverns

 

 

Now don’t get excited food people, these taverns were for touring not eating.

 

 

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Shield’s Tavern was closed, but had something the husband wanted to photograph.

 

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Men. I can’t explain them….

 

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But the gardens out back were lovely.

 

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And I enjoyed a stroll among the well tended shrubbery.

 

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I think Edward Scissorhands would approve.

 

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There were vegetable gardens…

 

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And wreaths…

 

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I even saw an old ball and chain gate closure.

 

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And then down the road, we found Wetherburn’s Tavern.

 

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Where we had a guide give us the history and a tour.

 

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Taverns back in the day were far different from what you might think. Rooms were rented for private parties, balls were held in the great rooms, owners lived behind the kitchen and the upstairs served as a hotel.

 

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Which rooms you rented depended on your social standing.

 

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Up to 12 men bunked in here.

I like cozy, but not that cozy.

 

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Middle class families might sleep 8 in this room.

 

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A private room? You had serious money.

 

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Business deals were struck and government policies were made in rooms like these.

 

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While the tavern keepers cranked out the meals in here….

 

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That’s one high tech rotisserie right there.

 

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Many taverns had their own smokehouses and livestock.

 

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Which prompted a 30 minute conversation from my husband about being raised on a dairy farm.

 

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An appropriate wreath was decorating their door as well.

 

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We may not have seen any beer…. but it was still a tavern.

Colonial Williamsburg…. the Apothecary Shop, the Capitol and the Gaol.

 

Still strolling Duke of Gloucester Street, we found the apothecary shop and it’s mistress in the middle of recounting some 18th century cures.

 

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Trust me when I say you should be glad you weren’t sick in the 18th century.

 

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Many towns and villages didn’t have doctors and these pseudo pharmacists were as close to modern medicine as many people could get.

 

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There were some interesting drawings….

 

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And a back room were the cures were administered. Though why that fellow in the corner needs a hat, I’m sure I don’t know…

Next up was the reconstructed Capitol building.

 

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The birthplace of American government if you will.

 

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The flag flying at the entrance meant it was open for tours…

 

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So we settled in to wait for the guide.

 

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With the husband admiring the rather odd gutterless drainage system.

 

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Which was really more of a moat.

 

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If you’re interested, the history of the Capitol is here.  I’ll spare you the retelling and just post a few interior shots.

 

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Local representatives met here, first to report to the crown….and then to form a new government.

 

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The speaker had a throne… make of that what you will.

 

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Here are the rooms our founding fathers formed the basis of the country we know today.

 

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One can only imagine how they’d react to our current state of affairs.

 

 

I’d say that’s pretty close.

 

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There was also a court where grievances and victims of crimes were given justice.

 

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To me, the nicest part of the tour was when our guide proudly told us that he had helped officiate over the swearing in of 250 new American citizens on that day…. a 300 year old tradition lovingly continued on site.

 

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Leaving the Capitol, we found the gaol, pronounced jail.

 

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Which didn’t look too bad at first.

 

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Until I realized that wasn’t the gaol.

 

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The history of the gaol is here.

 

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Many men and women were held here awaiting trial, and it doesn’t look like that would have been too comfortable.

 

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The cells reminded me of horse stables.

 

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And yes…

 

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That is what you think it is.

 

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Minus Mr. Whipple and his Charmin.

 

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(We’ll visit the Public Hospital… read, lunatic asylum... another day)

 

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The sound of that large door slamming shut?

Perfectly eerie.

The administration office was much nicer.

 

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And it’s natural wreaths, nicer still.

 

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All it needed was…

 

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The clip clop of the carriage horses hooves to remind me how we could have been traveling.

Bad husband.

Bad.

 

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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.)