Hi. My name is Tatana and I’m an introvert. It has been 2 weeks since we returned home from Williamsburg, VA. We vacationed during Phases Two and Three. Living in Northern Virginia, the area is more congested than the rest of the state and we were given an additional week to catch up with the remainder of the state.
Williamsburg is one of our favorite places in the Commonwealth. We visit many times during the year, going to Water Country USA, Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown for day trips, and we even have a timeshare that we vacation with annually. During the global pandemic our trip was different. There was no Busch Gardens or Water Country USA. At. All. The sign outside of Busch Gardens said “CLOSED” which is something I had never seen in my life. Outside the entrance of Water Country USA were cones diverting you from the entrance. While this was expected, it still stung a little to be in the out and not be able to be in. Yes, I said that. It stung that we couldn’t go into the parks and be normal. No go and get the caramel apples and cotton candy. No enjoying the end of the Busch Gardens’ Food and Wine Festival. I missed getting the Bangers and Colcannon, sage cheese or that mousse from Ireland. Those are my favorites!!! Nothing. Just memories of previous years. But it is possible to vacation in Williamsburg and have fun without going to Busch Gardens and live to tell the tale.
We stayed at the Historic Powhatan Resort, one of our favorite places. When we arrived in our suite, we cleaned everything. Yes, the staff cleaned, but we cleaned afterward because we wanted to be sure that we were comfortable. We used our own cleaning products and re-washed the dishes, linens, all of the surfaces, wiped the bathrooms down as well. We Lysol’d the soft surfaces like chairs and cushions. Anything that may have been touched by someone else was cleaned. Truthfully, we usually wash the dishes and check the linens for cleanliness when we arrive anyway, but this was over the top. The benefit was that it smelled like home. We were not trying to get sick.
While at Powhatan, we would usually be able to borrow games, books, movies, swim inside or outside and participate in the events that the resort puts on to help visitors enjoy their stay on the property. Not this time. Mini golf was B.Y.O., and there was minimal face-to-face contact with the resort staff. Thankfully we brought our own games, movies and our inflatable pool. We barbecued, played games and played outside; we really enjoyed the family time. The playgrounds were available; however, we did not use them because we were busy doing other things.
We visited Colonial Williamsburg, one of our favorite places. Masked interpreters explained that while we were outside, we did not have to cover ourselves against the plague, but if we go inside any of the buildings, we must use a face covering. We enjoyed listening to George Washington explain and take questions about his farewell address, go to sites that we don’t frequent often such as the brick yard, and, we visited the blacksmith, the kitchen and the courthouse. Hubby and kids nibbled on the chocolate and shopped with the grocer while I sat on the stoop and relaxed in the cool breeze that made it bearable to be outside. While we enjoyed our visit, it was so different. There was no one engaging us in a friendly game of trap ball. There wasn’t the fife and drums or the smell of the ginger cookies and our favorite sites (such as the stocks outside the courthouse, Tucker House, Mrs. Shield’s Tavern and The King’s Arms) were closed.
On this vacation, we spent considerable time at the Jamestown Settlement. We social distanced on the ships, as well as played a new card game but the name given escapes me, however, the interpreter said to look up Maw – which you can learn about here: https://www.parlettgames.uk/histocs/maw.html . This made me smile because we learned how to do something that we never learned before and can play at home. Once the kids were too hot, Matt and I dropped the kids off and we went back out for an after-hours event at the Jamestown Settlement from archaeologist and senior curator of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Bly Straube. It was great to be inside, socially distanced and learning more about the artifacts found in a well that was pretty much used as a trash can and how it was used 400 years ago. We were the only people there, which made it feel like we had a private showing – even though the event was open to the public. My favorite piece was the German stoneware that was found. It led us to our next adventure, Jamestown Fort which is where the artifacts she shared were found.
Jamestown Fort was interesting. The actual place where the settlers landed, where John Smith told those bamma’s that if they don’t work, they don’t eat, where Pocahontas was kidnapped, where enslaved Africans were sold for provision in the New World for their natural born lives. It was exciting, interesting and sad. We went on a tour of the island and enjoyed hearing from the second-generation Jamestown interpreter and archaeologist who started as an intern.
Next, we journeyed on the free trolley that travels around Yorktown and we visited the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. They had exhibits outside that were interactive that we enjoyed. I was able to take pictures of recipes. It was physically distanced and informative. Loved the guns. But we miss the cannon demo with “Molly Pitcher” in the amphitheater where the audience participates; but the plague. My favorite part was the exhibition of the “Forgotten Soldier” which invites visitors to shift their gaze to uncover the faces of the African Patriots who served with Washington, and also those who, with the promise of freedom, surrendered to him at Yorktown. I always get emotional when I enter places that show my ancestors who survived the middle passage, chattel slavery and still thriving. There is a mix of pride and pain. My ancestors are superheroes.
Lastly, our family went to Yorktown beach. My family enjoyed the water. I enjoyed a good book and the shade.
We ate to-go from Zoe’s Kitchen (we miss Zoe’s!) and Food for Thought, Menchie’s (my favorite! With sanitized hands, gloves, masks and toppings in containers), and had outdoor seating at Honey Butter’s Kitchen. It was great having most people in masks, sanitizer abounding and social distancing. I kind of wish all vacations could be like this.
No weirdo’s sitting next to you, just the ones that you brought.
Chief Education Officer of Todd Homeschool Academy, teacher, history lover, recovering news junkie and lover of politics and truth – which does not have to be an oxymoron. I love Jesus, vacationing with my family, baking, reading cool children’s books, playing violin, and watching crime shows.
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