Monday, April 19, 2010

Vacation Highlights, Part 1

Sue guessed right--we went to Virginia Beach, VA!  Wed. was spent just relaxing around the room.  It was pretty cold out on the beach, so I only walked the boardwalk for a ways--never went out to the water.  On Thurs. we drove up to Historic Jamestown and Jamestown Settlement.  The difference between the two?  Historic Jamestown is the archaelogical site, where they are still digging up artifacts.  The project started in 1994 and they are still finding items.   It is also a National Park, which means we don't have to pay admission, because Jack qualified for an Access Pass.  He's over permanently disabled, so he and 3 adult friends can get in for free.  ( A note on the pass--the site states there must be documentation, but the worker who offered us the pass didn't require any, probably because Jack's disability was perfectly evident.  The same pass is available for handicapped children, which also admits their caregiver for free.) They have the electric scooters, saving me from pushing a wheelchair up and down and around.  It was so nice.

Statue of Pocahontas

View from inside the 4th church built on the premises.  Note those hard benches to sit on!

Memorium inside the church

Statue of John Smith

Some of the gravestones recovered from the area.  Gravestones were primarily for the wealthy.

Where some of the original settlers were buried.  Of the 104 men and boys who set foot here in 1607, only 34 survived the first winter.  Later settlers built buildings over the graves, and only when the excavations started did archaeologists realize it was a multi-level site.  In fact, the James River has eroded about 25 yards of the original coastline here.

After browsing through the archaerium, where photos weren't allowed, we drove the short distance to the Jamestowne Settlement, a re-creation of the settlement.  It's run by the Department of Education of VA, so Jack's pass wasn't valid there.  The day was gorgeous, sunny, and cool--perfect for sight-seeing. I can imagine in summertime it would be oppressively humid, particularly on the boats.

Recreated Indian village--one of the small huts.

Storage inside a larger hut

Sleeping area inside the hut.  Storage also hung from the supports.

The 3 ships that brought the 104 men and boys to James Fort (the original name).  The one in front was the largest of the 3.  After climbing in and on them, I can see why no women set forth on this trip!

The kitchen and cook's quarters.  There was barely enough room to turn around in there.  One of the volunteers told me the brick pit was layered with sand to keep the heat from burning out the bottom of the boat, and there was a grill on top to let the smoke out.  He would cook a pot of food at a time, usually soups or stews, and only one meal a day.  It would take approx. 2 1/2 pots to feed all the crew and passengers.  The rest of the meals would consist of hard tack, and pickled vegetables, such as carrots. Blecchh!

The route taken.  Instead of sailing straight across, they sailed the warmer southern route, and stopped at islands along the way to stock up on fruits and meats and trade with natives for supplies.  We were told the ships sailed with 105 passengers, but one man collapsed of apparent heat stroke while a bunch of them chased a wild boar on one of the tropical islands.

Just another tourist--I wanted to show how difficult it was for a person to stand up straight in the sleeping section of the largest boat.

It was a fascinating day.  Unfortunately, I am allergic to something in the marshlands there, as I got hit with a major allergy attack, and spent the last 3 nights sleeping upright in a chair so I could breathe.  Friday we had planned to drive back up to the Yorktown Civil War battleground site and Colonial Williamsburg, but all I could do was take Benadryl and nap.  It was much warmer and there were tons of folks on the beach, but I was too miserable to go out.

My world became a little brighter when DD arrived Fri. night.  We went to Rockfish for supper, then back to the room.  DD tried out the indoor pool, but says it wasn't as warm as she was expecting.  Virginia Beach is definitely a young folks' paradise on the weekends.  The place was rockin'.  I wish I'd had my wits about me more to take photos of all the rollerskaters and bike riders.  There were even 4-passenger bikes, where everyone got to pedal.  Pretty cool on the boardwalk there!

More tomorrow!


audreypawdrey said...

It looks like you had a lot of fun-except for the allergy part! We went to that area of the country back in 2003 around New Year's and it was cold. We didn't make it to Jamestown, but we did go to Virginia Beach, Shenandoah, Revolutionary War battlefields, and Williamsburg. It is such a great way to learn history. Jamestown looks really interesting!

Dana - Old Red Barn Co. said...

Looks like a wonderful trip! I have always wanted to go there . . . and now I really want to go! :)

julieQ said...

Isn't it so amazing that the majority of the original settlers did not live the winter? We are so blessed with all we have...I really enjoyed seeing your vacation!

SueR said...

I grew up in the southern part of the state, and we took lots of field trips to the historic parts of the state. Brings back memories of our trips. Sorry to hear you had a bad day, hang tough and enjoy what you can!

MightyMom said...