Tuesday, June 10, 2008

American Legacy

Miss TG never misses a beat! When she was a tiny tot, we'd have to smuggle food past her - she'd even spot you chewing a mile off.

On Monday she was returning from her weekly hyperbaric oxygen therapy session in Belfast with Dad when suddenly a huge cheer went up from the back seat. She'd spied the golden arches and must've remembered all the McFlurry's she'd eaten on holiday. At home we tend to keep her dairy free but when you're on the road doing fluid balance, you do what it takes. There was nothing else for it but for Al do a u-turn on the middle of the dual carriageway and drive on through.

This super duper funny kid obviously has her priorities sorted.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Colonial Williamsburg

Set in 301 acres, Colonial Williamsburg is the country's largest live, interactive history museum. There are 88 original buildings and more than 500 meticulously reconstructed ones which include colonial homes, government buildings, trade shops and taverns where Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and others conceived the ideals of liberty and independence.

I could ramble for a long time about this place but have to finish up here. Our weeds are 7 ft high in the polytunnel so I'm going out shortly now that hubby is home from work to make a start. If I'm brave I'll post a photo of the jungle on my very neglected homestead blog. *Note - we are not home steaders but aspire to one day be as self sufficient as possible. It may inspire me to get out every evening for an after shot.
Sometimes my own stupidity knows no bounds! When we were on the road I'd planned to use this blog as a journal, however most of any computer time was spent resizing photographs. It was only when I was almost done the other night that I saw the 'multiple file uploader' tab on the pix resizer feature that I've been using for over a year now! You live and learn!

Ferry to Scotland

After a drive around Jamestown Island we took the free ferry to Scotland! I noted a lot of familiar sounding names on my map ... Kilmarnock and Irvinestown among them. The ferry leaves from the Settlement near the Riverside Exhibits.

Once across we took a short drive and came across an old plantation, before heading back over. Our evening temperature reading in the car was 83 degrees. Overall, our weather was fantastic. The previous evening we'd driven over to Virginia beach, taking the tunnel under the sea. I had planned spending Gracie's birthday at the beach as she really enjoys the water, however it wasn't really our kind of place. We ended up doing Yorktown and our drive this evening instead, then headed to cracker barrel for tea, stopping at Walmart on the way home to pick up cake.

Smiths Fort Plantation house

I plan to do a short project this month on slavery. Check out our home school blog to see how we get on!


On October 19, 1871, the decisive military campaign of the American Revolution culminated with the British surrender to combined American and French forces under the command of George Washington. The Siege of Yorktown effectively ended the six year struggle for American Independence and set the stage for a new government and nation.

The Yorktown Victory Center is located near the battlefield and has re-created a Continental Army encampment, complete with sleeping quarters, supply tents and cooking fires. The boys really enjoyed themselves and got to try on military uniform. All the staff here were fantastic and made is such fun!

In the gallery exhibits, we learned a little about the Declaration of Independence and the Revolution and the development of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

After the encampment, a short walk lead us to the 1780's Farm which provided a glimpse at home life after the Revolution on a typical Tidewater Virginia farm. We saw tobacco being grown and I really enjoyed walking through the re-created buildings.

photo album

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The historic triangle

Jamestown Settlement

Prior to flying back we had four nights in Newport News Virginia, which allowed us to explore the peninsula. This place is amazing! If you want to see living history, come here.

Jamestown is part of the 'historic triange' (along with Yorktown and Williamsburg)
Thirteen years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts, a group of 104 English men and boys made a four and a half month voyage to the banks of the James River to form this settlement. It had been their intention to make a profit from the resources of the New World for the Virginia Company's shareholders in London, however once they confronted the harsh realities of their new home, the focus shifted to survival.

The first place we visited was the Powhatan Indian village. Had it not been for these people and their willingness to pass on survival skills, the first settlers would most certainly have died.

From the Indian village, a short walk let us to a reconstruction of James Fort which was fun!

Our last stop was the riverfront discovery area where the kids got to walk through replicas of the three English ships that brought the settlers to the new world.

Now that we'd seen the start of Colonial America (1607) the following day we'd witness the end (1781) in Yorktown, a 30 minute drive to the other coast on the peninsula.