June 2nd, Day 5
With yesterday being Wednesday, it's now that conflicting part of vacation (for me, at least) when you realize that your glorious time is more than halfway over. I greatly dislike passing that midpoint where "Vacation is just beginning!" turns to "Vacation is coming to an end..." I know it's ridiculous to even think that way since we still have a good 3 days left, but I can't help it sometimes. Luckily, Jason is good at getting me to forget my silly reasons to be sad. He's good for me. Anyway, this morning we woke up early since the resort we're staying at scheduled us for some kind of informational meeting that was supposed to include a participation reward of a free breakfast and a $100 gift card if we attended their little dealio. We figured, "Why not?" as long as it didn't cut into our time too much. We thought it was a little odd to be asked to attend since we are only staying as guests of Jason's parents and didn't have anything to do with the business end of it all. Jason tried to explain this to the lady who set it up a few days ago, but she had said that it didn't matter. Who were we to argue? So, bright and early this morning, we arrived at the specified resort unit to get our free breakfast voucher and find out how long the informational meeting was supposed to last. Turns out, we weren't eligible to attend the meeting since we were only guests and not the actual owners. So, the $100 gift card was a no-go, but they still gave us the free breakfast voucher for a restaurant down the street since it was their mistake. It freed up our morning, so no complaints from us.
While we were working out the confusion, another family came in (they also were there for the breakfast, meeting, etc.) with 2 little kids. The son was about 2 or 3, I think (though I'm pretty horrible at telling how old people are...), and he was riding up on the dad's shoulders. Well, there was a part of the ceiling that was a good foot or so lower than the rest of the ceiling, kind of as a divider between the 2 parts of the room. Well, the dad chose to dismount the little fellow while he was standing directly underneath this lowered part of the ceiling. I won't go into details, but there was most definitely a solid head thump involved in the dismount. The father immediately realized what happened. The little boy didn't cry or anything. As soon as his feet touched the ground, he stumbled forward and caught himself with his hands. I thought he was a bit dazed, and I was torn between being concerned for him and wanting to laugh. The dad couldn't believe what he'd just done and kept asking the boy over and over if he was okay. Will (as the boy's name turned out to be) finally recovered his balance, jumped up and was like, "Yeah!!" He was just completely unfazed. It was hilarious. He didn't care that he had to wobble around in a circle for a few seconds, and he certainly didn't seem to be concerned that his dad was so concerned. He probably would have gladly done it again. Kids are so funny. And resilient (at least, some are).
Anyway, with our morning wide open with no planned events, we decided to finally take advantage of our Colonial Williamsburg passes. It worked out nicely since today was most definitely not as hot as earlier in the week. Plus, Jason's foot has been slowly recovering, and he felt like he was finally up to the extensive walking that we knew this adventure would necessitate. I suppose there's no way to describe Colonial Williamsburg other than... it is a trip back to the 18th century. There was a cool bridge crossing from the Visitor Center to the "entrance" of Colonial Williamsburg that, at regular intervals along the bridge, had plaques in the ground indicating that you were stepping back into the 18th century. Each plaque stated something of significance from a particular time period. It was like a walk back in time and helped to get you in the mood for the setting that you were about to experience. If you cross the bridge on the way back, the reverse would happen - the plaques would tell of significant historical discoveries that would eventually lead to the 21st century. It was neat.
I really enjoyed Colonial Williamsburg. I've never been a serious history buff or anything, but it was still a really cool place to visit. The atmosphere would have been pretty spot-on if it weren't for the numerous school groups that were visiting while we were there. The large, rowdy groups of 12 year olds with their cell phones definitely detracted from the colonial feel. We managed to stay out of their way for the most part though, which was nice. We got to see inside all kinds of buildings, including a period magazine/armory and the shops of a blacksmith, wheel wright, gunmaker, and shoemaker, just to name a few. One neat thing was that all of these workmen were actually doing the tasks that someone of their trade would have done back in the 18th century. The wheel wright was actually in the process of deconstructing a large, broken wagon wheel to reuse in a new wagon that he'd just finished painting. The shoemaker was actually finishing up a pair of leather shoes. It was neat that not only could they answer any historical question, but they were also thoroughly skilled in their trade. The shoemaker was especially funny. He talked to everyone as if they were a potential customer and stayed in character (as an 18th century shoemaker) the entire time. One woman asked him if he recycled shoes (or something to do with recycling). Basically, she was asking as a 21st century woman about how things were done in the 18th century. The shoemaker, however, was in an 18th century character who believed he was still the 18th century, and he would feign ignorance about certain words that probably weren't used back in the 1700's. It was really funny hearing the woman try to describe what recycling or velcro was to him. He performed his part admirably, and it was really entertaining.
We also went inside the courthouse, where a very libertarian "judge" explained how government and such differed between now and then. Unlike the shoemaker, he acknowledged that it was the 21st century, but his style of presenting historical facts was still done in a very interesting and entertaining manner. He presented some interesting ideas that seemed ideal in some ways, but I think they were too realistically impractical to apply in today's world.
We looked around a quaint general shop. I, of course, made Jason try on a tricorne and it befit him splendidly. Unfortunately, the period head covering for females was a terribly awkward-looking bonnet, so I passed on the fashion show opportunity. We both liked the wax letter seals that were available. The store had ones of each alphabet and the V was especially majestic (as is appropriate). I wish we still used wax seals... I think I would write many more letters if I got to use such a majestic seal. There really is no 21st century equivalent. Sure, there are some sticker-type seals for special occasion letters, but they don't hold the same level of awesomeness that a good old-fashioned wax seal does. Plus, we all know people email and text more often these days. So what can take the place of a wax seal in these cases? And no, an emoticon does NOT count.
Just as a quick side note: There were horse and buggy rides available. They would take you on a circuit around Colonial Williamsburg, helping to add to the general atmosphere and your overall experience. We got to get up close with the horses while they were waiting for their next customers. They were perfectly gorgeous horses and the 5 minutes I got to pet and talk to the horses easily became one of my favorite times of the whole day. It saddened me a bit, though, how uncomfortable their bits looked and how restricting their blinders were. I realize the purpose of it all... but I can't help but feel sorry for them. That's all.
Alright, so this is getting really lengthy, so I think that's all I'll say about Colonial Williamsburg. It was a cool place, and we only covered a fraction of what was available. I can only imagine that it would be a full vacation in itself to a true colonial history buff.
After going back to the plantation for lunch and a brief break from the heat, we decide to go visit the Yorktown river front. While it wasn't an ocean beach or anything, it was still pretty and peaceful. We didn't really try out the water other than sticking our feet in for a few minutes, but that was all we wanted to do anyway. I think we spent an hour or so there just laying on our awesome beach towels and reading. It was nice. We finished off our day with a round of putt putt golf at a pirate-y themed course. I was keeping on par with Jason until the 10th hole... it all went downhill score-wise from there. Coincidentally, that was also when my left contact lens started acting up, so I think I'll blame it on that.
Anyway, it was a fun day. I sure do love vacation.