Saturday, May 7, 2016

Our Visit to Historic Williamsburg, Virginia

I mentioned briefly in a previous post that Katie and I have adopted 4 children. This brings our family total to 7 (including the two of us). The past 7 months have certainly been a stressful time, and we have jumped at the opportunity to leave for a week to spend time in Williamsburg, Virginia. This area includes Colonial Williamsburg, a key area on the British Colonies in the late 1700s, Jamestown, one of the first English settlements in the Americas, and Yorktown, a key battleground in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Travel and Learning

Travel is a critical way to learn and experience the world. Simply being in a place allows you to expand and develop and grow in ways that are often much deeper than through study along. I am particularly fond of these kinds of experiences wherein a location is designed to help the visitor learn about the history of an area. It has been a great experience!

The Westgate Resort

Westgate Resort in Williamsburg, VA. The exterior of the building is fashioned after the manner of the colonial style buildings in the area - red bricked and beautiful. Photo credit:
The bathroom at the lovely Westgate Resort. 

Colonial Williamsburg

We spent a lot of time at Colonial Williamsburg. This w as an incredible working village that houses dozens of original or rebuilt buildings from the late 1700s. This was an era in which the American Revolution was under way, and Colonial Williamsburg was one of the epicenters of change during that time. The likes of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Patrick Henry served and led the people here. It was pretty amazing to walk where these great leaders walked. Here are some photos...
Here is Katie in front of the Governor's Palace. An incredible building rebuilt in the mid 1930s. 

The main room as you enter the Governor's Palace.
An incredible wood-burning stove (apparently called a "warming machine" 250 years ago) in the Palace. 

The Palace kitchen separate from the main building. This lady was making chocolate. I loved the old-school fireplace.

An impressive piano forte in the entertaining room at the Governor's Palace.

The ballroom at the Governor's Palace. The guide (I think her name was Emily?) was excellent.
Yes, that is General George Washington himself rallying the troops as they prepare to face General Cornwallis in key battles of the Revolutionary War.

I thought this was funny.

Going Sailing

Katie and I sailed on a schooner - The Alliance - along the York River. This was a pretty cool experience (although it felt like my toes were going to freeze off the whole time). We booked the experience through

The captain of the ship - Alex (I think). An impressive man with tons of sailing experience.
Actually, someday I hope to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Probably from England to the Americas....

Just an interesting set of buildings in Jamestown...

Stuff I want to Build

At some point I plan to build an awesome rustic-style cabin. Here are some good ideas for it...

An interesting way to interlock the framing on homes in Jamestown.

Shingles for the homes and buildings in Jamestown. 

I got a little obsessed with the drainage features for some of the buildings. I am going to build something like this in our back yard in Columbus.

More drainage.

Even more.

Interesting fence structure at the Jamestown fort. No nails - everything is held together with pegs between boards.

A scene within the fort including a mini oven for baking. I have wanted to build one of these for a long time but always envisioned a giant horno like those used in the southwest. this seems much more feasible.
A closeup of the oven. 

I liked the simple design of this window. Just slide the wood cover to close the window...

A view of the joist system for holding the second floor of this building. Simple but effective.

These living structures of the Powhatan Indians were pretty impressive. Simple wood framing with weaved cat tails for protection from the elements.
The interior of the living structure. They would apparently burn a fire constantly and hang meat from the ceiling to smoke and preserve meat. A simple but beautiful structure.

Simple methods for joining the framework together.

Framing details.

Visiting Jamestown

One of the days we visited the Jamestown site.

The entrance to the Jamestown Fort. 

An impressive structure within the fort.

Details of the framing and window structure.
More buildings within the Jamestown Fort.

We boarded the replica of the Susan Constant, one of the three ships that sailed from England to the Jamestown settlement. The voyage took roughly 4 months with several stops along the way.

Me in front of the Susan Constant.

The lower level of the ship. This is a view of the rudder (not the best image).

One of the mini-cannons on the ship. A very impressive instrument, and tiny when compared to the cannons on larger ships.

It has been a refreshing, relaxing, much-needed experience. Katie and I have enjoyed our time together entirely kid-free (a rarity for us) and definitely needed the time to reconnect. We are excited to get home to see our beautiful children and slip back into life and continue moving forward in our goals and endeavors.

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