life in and around NYC is insane

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Williamsburg Day 2

So I slept like a princess in a canopied bed. 
We walked out of our room, down the stairs and out the front door.  Our next door neighbors are a flock of sheep!  One of them baa'd at me in a very rude manner.
Breakfast at the Williamsburg Lodge.  You can order from the menu or enjoy the buffet.  We opted for the buffet, which included pancakes, bacon, sausage, fried potatoes, an omelet station, grits and breakfast pastries.  We plan to go back.
Then we took the shuttle bus to the Visitor's Center.  We simply had to see the 1957 film, "Story of a Patriot", starring Jack Lord (long before he uttered the phrase"Book 'em, Danno").  I saw it in 1974 when I was here, but didn't remember it.  Beautifully put together but actually a bit boring, even for us history geeks.
Right behind the Visitor's Center is a plantation.  I learned today that "plantation" meant any farm where the cash crop was tobacco, corn or wheat.  Plantain owners were middle class, not just wealthy.
Next was the Governors Palace.  This was how the wealthy lived.  The tour is set on the day the Royal Governor has fled the city in the face of revolution.  The gardens are lovely.
We started walking down Duke of Gloucester Street.  Toured several restored homes, the Bruton Parish Church, the armory and the courthouse.
I should make mention.  . .today is the last day of the Governors Conference.  Governors from 23 states and their staff have been meeting here in Williamsburg.  Crazy busy and lots of security - especially by the Williamsburg Inn and the Lodge.
Should also mention we are staying in the Chiswell-Bucktrout House,  named for two prominent citizens.   Colonel Chiswell served in the House of Burgesses and co-owned Raleigh Tavern.   Margaret Thatcher stayed in one of the guest rooms in this house in 1983.
We continued our tour of shops and buildings along Duke of Gloucester St.  Eventually we wound up in the wigmaker's shop - she was totally in character.  Then on to the coffeehouse for fine conversation and a taste of chocolate.   In the 18th century chocolate was bitter and dark and, when served as a coffeehouse beverage, spiced.
Final tour of the day - the Capitol.  Both the legislature and the high court were housed here.  You really stood trial back then - there were no chairs for the accused.
Back to the room to freshen up, the back across the street to the King's Arms Tavern for dinner, where we were entertained by character actors and balladeers while we ate.  A most excellent meal, thanks, in part, to George's suggestions.  We shared an order of peanut soup.  Drew had the game pie and I had pork chops.  My chops were nicely broiled and served with mashed potatoes, braised red cabbage and a mixture of fresh vegetables.  We also had a relish tray -- yummy sweet corn relish, Virginia ham with pineapple and pickled watermelon rind (too much vinegar).  Their house ginger ale is amazing!  And Drew is blitzed from the rum drink he tried.
Trying to decide now whether to go see the Gambols at Chowning Tavern later or just call it a nighy.
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