Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Monday, August 21st, The Vacation Awakens

We went to Jamestown on Monday. Well, we went to Jamestown Settlement rather than Historic Jamestown. I really want to get to the actual Jamestown settlement and the James Fort. When we left the big museum at Jamestown Settlement, I wanted to see where the actual site was. It was literally on the other side of the trees, just around the corner. We were so close. Now we must look at our schedule to see if we can somehow fit it in. Here’s keeping fingers crossed.

I’m not sure the girls will be nearly as interested as I am about the original settlement. I did have Wendy take my photo in front of the sign at the entrance, so there is proof that I made it to the site. The beautiful thing is that we rented a townhouse that is five miles from both Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg. Plus, we’re very close to Yorktown Battlefield. These are all the places I want to go to. Wendy and the girls want to go the beach, too. I couldn’t care less about the beach, but it could be fun to hang out on the water for an afternoon.
We happened to be at the Jamestown museum when the eclipse began. Down on the docks by the three tall ships, a lady standing nearby let the girls peek through her eclipse glasses to look at the phenomenon. Wendy and I also got a quick peek. The moon had taken a very small bite out of the sun when we first saw it. We then took a break for lunch, eating out in the parking lot at the truck. Sitting on the lawn by the vehicle, we could eat and watch the eclipse.
The overall effect of the eclipse was anti-climactic. Yes, the brightness of the sunlight was dimmed, but I thought it would be more so. When the clouds blocked the sun, you could see the crescent as the moon ate more and more of the sun’s surface. After we ate, we went back into the museum to check out the indoor exhibits. While Wendy was taking Corliss back to the dock to see if the museum was still doing a program on the eclipse, Wendy saw someone carrying a pair of eclipse glasses. She offered to buy them, but the gentlemen just gave them to her.
So, we went outside together and took turns viewing the last half of the eclipse. At our location in Virginia, the eclipse was not total, but it was obscured by almost 86%. That’s significantly more than what my neighbors experienced back in Lockport. IdaLena complained at the high point of the event that there was no noticeable difference. I told her to take notice of the light at 2:47, and compare it to 4:00 to see if there was a difference. I pointed that out 90 minutes later and there was an obvious difference.  I want to thank those people who so graciously gave us their glasses.
In the meantime, we did get to enjoy Jamestown Settlement. It was a lot like Plimouth Plantation when we went to Boston a couple years ago. The girls seemed to be a little more into it this year. It must be because they’re that much older. There’s a little more appreciation, and they can now correlate it to studies they learned in school. Visiting the place and seeing the buildings, ships, and guns adds reinforcement to what they heard in the classroom, and what they read on the page. Real people lived real lives, and we walked in the same places they did. John Smith and Pocahontas become more than just a faceless name.
This was our first full day on vacation. Sunday was our driving day, but we did make a stop in Gettysburg for a couple of hours. Monday was a busy day of walking and exploring. We cooked out on the back patio of the townhouse when we got back. We grilled some burgers and veggie dogs and then cooked up some fries. It was a good meal at “home” after a long day out. Then we walked over to a frozen yogurt place for some treats. Wendy made breakfast, too.
Renting the townhouse was the right way for us to go for this vacation. We have three floors of space. The girls have their own room on the third floor. Wendy and I have a room on the second floor at one end of the hall, while Wendy’s mom has her own room at the opposite end of the hall. On the main floor, there is a living room, a dining area, and a kitchen. There’s even a garage to park the truck in, if we so choose. So far, we’ve preferred parking directly in front of the house. Most people around here do.
We’re in a nice community near William & Mary College in Williamsburg. It’s quiet, and there are restaurants and shops all around us. We can walk most places for dinner and treats, and we are so close to all the sites we want to visit. I think Yorktown is the farthest away, and that is only half an hour or so. It is stunningly beautiful here. Now if we could only get the kids to listen just a little bit better. For some reason, this morning was “Pick on Your Sister Day.” They all got involved. Here’s to a calmer on Tuesday. We’re going to the beach. That should make them happy. Of course, on the way, we’re stopping to check out the original Jamestown settlement. I’m the driver. They’re at my mercy.
Craig Bacon is a Brown Sign Tourist. If it’s historic, he’s going to check it out. The car knows the deal. It doesn’t even wait for me to make the decision. It will know when to turn when we come upon one of those signs.