50 States, Day 202 Williamsburg 8.1 miles
"I don't know what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."
Colonial Williamsburg is the Disneyland of history. But instead of the Pirates of the Caribbean, Williamsburg features Benedict Arnold, on horseback, telling us colonial folk to stop the silliness and give ourselves to the Crown. Being an angry crowd, we got to yell, "We want freedom!" and things like that. What could be better than yelling at Redcoats?
Patrick Henry waxed eloquently about our state as we fight the Revolutionary War. His passion for independence runs a dead heat with his self- aggrandizing. Very entertaining. People mix with us modern people in period dress and act accordingly. However, during a park bench break we spoke candidly with a Revolutionary fellow about such subjects as the economy, real estate, and living in Las Vegas.
The town is pretty authentic, save the paved roadway and women wearing hoopskirts asking us to please silence our cell phones. Amazing they still have to tell us!
We wandered into the armory and the uh...armorist...enlightened us about the challenges of making and providing adequate muskets for the Revolutionaries. And you NEVER put gunpowder in a barrel with metal staves. Too much chance of a spark. Now I have to remember that...
In a tavern we listened to a couple justify why they weren't really Loyalists. And back outside a black preacher, a white one and a soldier discussed how the new country would-or hopefully should-work. We missed conversations with President Jefferson and Washington. And a hundred other interesting opportunities. But we just keep moving.
The place could take a week to tour, with buildings housing a silversmith, bakery, tailor, bindery, apothecary, and even a working brickyard.
The day just got better and better as Lafayette (America's favorite Frenchman) rode into town and informed us we are so close to a victory, and we hooped and yelled. Yes! Next the Redcoats marched through town with their fife and drum corps and surrendered, complete with a ten gun salute and cannon firing. Man, those cannons are volatile. Darkness set in but we wandered through town and finally found the Museum. We finished off the day with art, clothing, furniture and-what else-quilts. QG was in heaven.
You may have noticed we only rode 8.1 miles. However, the Visitor Center was 1.3 miles from our motel room and we got lost heading back, winding here and there and getting more and more irritated until we would have bit one another's head off, were it not for our wearing helmets.
Finally we rolled in and fired up the heater. While the ride home was quite cool, the day, with a fifty degree temp, was tolerable as the sun shone and we spent half the time indoors and half outside yelling epitaphs at those oppressive Brits. Pretty easy to do when you know they're actors!
And now, All American Quilter Girl!
It was a very educational day. My teacher parents would be rejoicing over all the history we learned today. Did you know that slavery was an issue as early as the revolution? That the colonists were only allowed to trade with England and they were making a killing on our goods? Then the taxes were put on top of that! Did you know that every one of the thirteen colonies printed their own money and counterfeiting was rampant during the revolution? Patrick Henry carried the vote for revolution with his "give me liberty or give me death" in Virginia, the measure passed by five votes. The whole experience was great though and, if you go, plan on more than one day as we didn't see nearly everything.
We had a nice breakfast at the restaurant next to the motel. It was fine and kept us from the spendy food at Williamsburg. Dinner was leftovers from last night, thanks to the microwave.
Tomorrow, Jamestown or Yorktown. See you then!