The Great East Coast Adventure, Day Eleven.

COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG, VA – First thing this morning, at Michelle’s insistence, the Family rushed to get to the ferry across the James River again. And lo, they got on that ferry just when Michelle wanted to get on the ferry.

“Trust me,” Greg whispered, “That is a very good thing.”

Immediately upon arrival, the Family went to story time for Ethan.

“You should note,” remarked Greg, “That we walked ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE TOWN for that because Michelle had all of us get off the bus at the wrong stop.”

“He LOVES story time back home,” Michelle noted, ignoring the barb, “so I knew he would like this!”

Little did she know that the woman telling the story was about the slowest, most mundane storyteller ever, and that there would be a horse in close proximity.

To his credit, however, Ethan sat through the longer-than-necessary story rather patiently before asking to go pet the horse.


He wants her to finish the damn story so he can go pet the horse Colonial Williamsburg horse

The awesome behavior was not long for the keeping, however, because immediately after leaving that area the kids found some colonial toys. Ethan, in particular, delighted in finding alternate uses for the toys.

What Ethan does with bowling pins. So embarrassing

“I’m so proud,” Michelle remarked.

Moving along, the family visited the Magazine (with original guns), and then stopped so the kids could play stickball on the green.

Williamsburg Magazine - originals Colonial stickball

Turns out, they wouldn’t have been stickball stars in colonial times, but that’s okay.

At that point, the Family split up. Laurel had a little appointment with the Scherenschnitte class. “It was a bust, it was SO EASY, it wasn’t at all what I’d hoped,” she lamented.

“You should note,” remarked Greg, “that we walked ALL THE WAY ACROSS TOWN AGAIN for that.”

Meanwhile, Michelle and Ethan journeyed over to the public gaol.

At the Williamsburg gaol

“Who knew he would love that so much?” Michelle asked. “We heard a fascinating talk about Blackbeard’s men as prisoners there, about how  the jailer earned his money, etc., and then we got to visit the building itself where Ethan tried really hard to embarrass me by pretending he was using the cell toilets.”

Posing atop the Williamsburg gaol toilets. Sigh I promise he was just 'betending'

So what did Michelle do?

“What would any parent do? I locked him in the cell,” she replied.

Afterward, Michelle and Ethan went to pick up Greg and the very disappointed Laurel.

“Yeah, Ethan and I took the shuttle,” whispered Michelle. “We don’t walk all the way across town when shuttles are available. Duh.”

And then they spent $37+ on some sandwiches.

“UGH, I don’t even want to talk about it,” said Michelle.

The day took an interesting turn when they visited the Public Hospital (ahem, Asylum).

“It was so disturbing, so sad, I can’t even imagine,” Michelle noted, “but it was also very interesting…reminded me of home. And paying $37 for sandwiches.”

Restraining chair from the Williamsburg Public Hospital
(ahem, asylum) Restraint box, Williamsburg Public Hospital (ahem, asylum)

Simple and sad

After the hospital, the Family needed cheering, so they went   over to the courthouse where they heard lots of stories about colonial life, then got the obligatory photo of the kids in the pillory.

“Hm, yeah, that did cheer me up. Maybe we should have left them,” Michelle joked.

“Wait, who said I was joking?” she added.

Kids in the pillory with Michelle photobombing in the background

It was almost time for dinner, but not before visiting the Capitol Building, where George Washington and Thomas Jefferson spent time, where felony court proceedings took place.

Capitol Bldg, WilliamsburgHigh court, capitol bldg, Williamsburg

Before long, it was time for dinner.

“It was easier than we imagined to spend an entire day in Williamsburg,” Michelle noted. “We didn’t see nearly everything we could have seen, and we had fun touring taverns and learning so much about colonial life that you can’t find in the textbooks. But we were hungry, so we went to the Kings Arm’s Tavern and had a DECENT MEAL in a FUN ATMOSPHERE.”

The evening wasn’t over yet, for the shows had yet to begin.The Family had tickets to separate shows. After deciding Ethan would behave better for Michelle, they split.

“Oh wow,” Michelle gushed, “The vaudeville show was SO FUNNY. Seriously. And Ethan was laughing so hard he was drawing attention to us and people were remarking on it after the show…which of course embarrassed him so he gave them a sour look whenever they spoke to him. Still, it was great, and then we left and Ethan was saying, ‘Mom, wow, is this what it looks like when it’s dark outside?’ because he doesn’t see the dark that much in the summer, and he was laughing about the horse manure in the road and saying things like, ‘I’m gonna eat those road apples!!’ and we just had a great time.”

That great time was cut short when they returned to the Visitor Center to meet up with Laurel and Greg.

“I asked Greg how his show was and it was just okay,” lamented Michelle. “That sucked. I didn’t want to tell him how fun our show was. I really wish I’d known, then I’d have bought tickets for everyone to go to the vaudeville thing. On the other hand, he thought he was getting the better end of the deal by sticking me with Ethan…who is four, and was tired. So maybe he got what he deserved.”

“Why are you giving me so much hell today?” asked Greg.

“Remember that little jab at the beginning of this post about me having everyone get off at the wrong stop?” responded Michelle.

So what is the final verdict on Colonial Williamsburg?

“Oh, I’d like to go again,” said Michelle.

“Yeah, me too,” seconded Greg, “but we’d probably attend different programs more appealing to us if we didn’t have the kids with us.”

“And we’d probably make use of the shuttles,” added Michelle.

Then they had to rush to make the 9:30 p.m. ferry. Did they make it?

“It was close,” Greg said, “but yes, we made it. And that’s a very good thing because not one of us would have wanted to wait another hour for the next one. So we made it on, and then the guy in the beater in front of us couldn’t start his truck to get off the ferry.”

“Poor guy,” Michelle observed. “Look, I’ve driven a few beaters around, so I know he had to be hating life. There he was, Saturday night, stuck on a ferry and he can’t start his truck so he’s holding us up…how embarrassing. So we waited for everyone else to leave so we could back up and leave the ferry ourselves. Sure hope he got that rig started.”

So, exhausted, our Family returned to camp and promptly drifted off to sleep.

“Well, yeah, THEY promptly drifted,” said Greg.

And that, friends, was Day Eleven.