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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Quite a History Lesson

~Sunday, May 16, 2021~

Day 336

We’ve run into a few glitches with our November bookings, so things are taking a little longer than we thought they would. It’s been a learning process in terms of timing where we’ll be, to the weather. Since we are committed with the other months surrounding November, we’re discovering come November that we’ll be just too far north. We’re finding that ALL the campgrounds and most RV parks are closed after Labor Day in the northeastern states (totally makes sense), so we have had to change our route a bit, and our timing to get south as quickly as we can; not the leisurely pace we were hoping to take. So what this means is bigger chunks of driving time. Even though we’ve been before, we’re a little disappointed that we’re going to miss the Plymouth area and our visit with an old friend. But we will be back.

Today is a day for more history lessons but instead of bike riding, we decided to take the car. It was funny. We thought we had been inside The Jamestown Settlement on our last visit, but after about our 5 minutes of saying, “I don’t remember this, I don’t remember that”, we realized we had been thinking of Historical Jamestown (the actual settlement location). So I guess we’re in for something new! The last time we were here, we must have not had time to see the museum and only saw the front entrance area with its display of

50 state flags and beautiful fountain.

Near the site of the original colony, the Jamestown Settlement is an astonishing display of the world of 17th-century Virginia. It’s pretty amazing to be where the seeds of our nation were planted. We started with the outdoor exhibits which included the Powhatan Indian Village, and James Fort. The outdoor exhibits were fantastic with replicas of thatched-roof houses, storehouses, governor’s home, church and palisade. With only 100 colonists to first arrive here, James Fort was pretty small. Making the exhibits even more special were the costumed historical interpreters describing and demonstrating daily life in early 17th century Jamestown; demonstrations

like burning the inside of a log to make a canoe, or a resident growing tobacco to ensure economic survival. The final part of our outdoor tour was boarding 2 of the 3 replicated ships (the third ship wasn’t there) that sailed to Virginia in 1607 to establish America’s first permanent English colony.

Quite something to get a feel of what the living quarters must have been like on their 4-month long, arduous journey to plant new roots.

Inside, were amazing exhibits and galleries of Indian, European and African cultures that converged in the 1600’s. The museum is so enormous, and with the fact Jeff and I don’t read at the same pace, we didn’t stick together the entire time. Unfortunately, Jeff missed one of the highlights for me which was a film about Bacon’s Rebellion (the burning of Jamestown). With its multi-sensory special effects, it was quite captivating. Even after 3 hours in the museum, you’re exhausted with the amount of information that you are trying to digest. It’s like taking a semester’s worth of a history class and cramming it all into 1 day. Impossible. You could easily spend 2 to 3 days with the inside exhibits alone. They actually offer a 2 day pass but we didn’t want to commit to that, knowing how much more we wanted to see in the next 3 days, i.e. Historic Jamestown, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, and Colonial Williamsburg.

We thought we’d top off the day by grabbing a brewsky again at Billsburg. The weather being cool and completely overcast didn’t make for the same conditions as yesterday, but the beer was delicious all the same and we managed to get a few more places booked for November. Progress.

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