Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Colonial Virginia: Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown

From Alexandria we moved on to Williamsburg VA. But first we stopped at Wegman’s, a supermarket that is new to us but a favorite of our DC friends. We can see why. We didn't check out the whole store but it certainly has a great selection of veggies and wine. 

The rain that started in DC began to have an impact on our travels in Williamsburg. After checking into our hotel, we did a little tour around town checking out shops and restaurants. Seeing ominous clouds we headed back to the hotel a little earlier than we would have liked. 

We had struggled to identify the most central place to stay in Williamsburg. And we learned there simply isn't a clear answer. Hotels, shopping and restaurants are spread out in 3 areas: Colonial Williamsburg with Merchant Square (a mix of boutique shops and other stores you might see at in major shopping center), the College of William & Mary campus area, and New Town with housing and the usual mix of shopping centers and shopping strips. The things one might want to do are equally spread out. But it's easy to get around so no matter.

Thursday brought forecasts of more rain so we decided to drive to Virginia Beach to look around. We had lunch, took some photos of the stormy ocean, and did a little shopping before returning to Williamsburg. 

Lunch at Lynnhaven Fishhouse was the best part of the day, Pat had sautéed soft-shelled crabs and Bill had salmon. Lynnhaven is on the waterfront by a wharf. The view of rough surf and dark sky was impressive.  

Our most notable activity for the day was trying to get to the Chrysler Museum of Art (noted for it's glass collection), we needed a boat not a car!! Little did we know this would not be the only flooding facing us in the next week.  

Friday brought more rain and we identified rainy day activities: hair cuts and a movie. In between we found time to fill the car with gas and have pizza for lunch at Giuseppe’s. The movie: The Martian, in 3D. The best news was that hurricane Joaquin decided to head east.

Saturday we decided to brave the elements and go to Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Battlefield. In 1607 a group called the Virginia Company founded Jamestown, the first "permanent" English settlement in North America. We toured the site and visited the museum. Since 1994 they have been excavating the area and have uncovered many items helping to identify the chronology for the site.
Jamestown Settlement -- fence and "Tercentennial Monument" erected in 1907!
Our visit to Yorktown started at the Island Cafe. Pat had more soft-shelled crabs and Bill had flounder.

After lunch we went to the Yorktown Battlefield where we learned more about the strategies and details that resulted in the surrender of the Cornwallis's British forces in October 1781. On display, George Washington's tent. He probably slept there...

After a little shopping back in Williamsburg we headed back to the hotel having successfully dodged the two or three showers during the day.

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