Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tuesday, August 22nd, Jamestown and Pocahontas

The Bacon Vacation adventure continues. Yes, I did get to Historic Jamestowne, and we were there way longer than the average stay that was posted on the internet by visitors. We took almost twice as long. And then we went to the beach. It was next to impossible to get them out of the water after nearly three hours. It was another day packed with fun, adventure, and learning. And it sounds like the weather back in Lockport was nothing to write home about. I guess that makes this a win for us.

The original Jamestown and the Yorktown Battlefield were the places I really wanted to go to when we first started planning this trip. I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to get back to Jamestown, but we did. Boy, was it worth it. Jamestown Settlement, the place we went to on Monday, was pretty cool, but being at the actual site of John Smith, John Rolfe, and Pocahontas was priceless. The same ground across which they trod, we were leaving our own footprints, even if it was only a bent blade of grass.

The first thing that made the time at Jamestowne special was the free, guided tour that we took with one of the archaeologists from the site. Hayden was informative, fun, and engaging. We followed him around the town and the old fort. He took us to active archaeological digs, and explained how the layers of dirt could explain a life from long ago. Or from not that long ago. He also was able to physically show us the pieces of evidence of those lives.

The most intriguing part about the tour was when we visited where the first Protestant church in North America was located. They discovered four bodies there, and used forensic science in relation to the written record and other archaeological evidence to determine who the four bodies were. It is an extraordinary story. If you want to read all about it, check it out HERE.

We stood in the very spot where Pocahontas married John Rolfe about 1615. That’s 400 years ago. And she wasn’t very much older than my twins. That right there is a scary thought. I had IdaLena stand in the spot likely where Pocahontas stood during that ceremony, then took her photo. Someday, she’ll look back at that photo and say, “Why did I ever dress like that? I look like an idiot!”

Thinking about Jamestown in 1607 and standing in the very place those people stood, you can’t help but think of the hardships they had to endure. They were 104 men and boys, a world away from their homes. They were in a place that was entirely new to them. The plants were different. The animals were different. The climate was different. They lived in crude structures that barely kept the elements out at the time they first came ashore. And then there was the issue of the peoples they encountered here. All the luxuries of comfort and home were absent.

Could you imagine be alone in the world? You would have no family with you. The hut you live in provides little protection from the heat of Virginia, or it’s winter. The plants you are familiar with won’t grow well here, and you have to learn what native plants will help sustain you. The natives that you come upon can be helpful or an enemy, depending on the day. After over 100 days aboard a ship, your health is already not great and now you have to build a new community in your weakened state. And people today go crazy if their wi-fi drops for more than five minutes (guilty.)

After spending way more than the allotted two hours at Jamestowne, we made our way to Yorktown Beach for some time in the water and sun. This beach was suggested to us by some locals. It avoided the commercialism and overcrowded conditions at the popular Virginia Beach, only 60 miles away.

The beach is located right outside of the Yorktown Battlefield, and it is beautiful. There are a bunch of shops and restaurants along the roadway, and sections of beach along the York River. The girls and Wendy spent two and a half hours playing in the water. Meanwhile, I sat back and watched them, occasionally taking pictures. There was a tall ship tour that sailed up and down the river. It was cool to watch the sails unfurl as they set out for adventures on the river.

Yorktown will be the farthest we drive from the townhouse, and it is only 35 minutes away. It truly is a great place to stay. With a grocery store right around the corner, and shops and restaurants within walking distance in the complex, we can do almost anything we want from our home base. This was definitely a far better choice for us that staying in another vanilla hotel. I can’t believe we never looked at this option before now.

Wednesday, because of the chance of rain, has changed. Instead of going back to Yorktown, we are going to Colonial Williamsburg. I’m not sure how much the girls will enjoy it after spending the last two days doing the same thing, but we’ll give it a shot. There are so many other things we can do that it would be easy to pack them back into the truck and head out. There is just too much to do in five days. So, we have options.

Craig Bacon is reaching the halfway point of his vacation and he’s accomplished half of what he REALLY wants to do. As long as the weather holds out, we are golden.

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