Road Trip: Charlotte, NC

Day 8: Monday, April 22, 2024 - Williamsburg, VA, and travel home

Day's statistics:
Weather: low 70s
Steps: Steve 12,304; Linda 11,444
Travel: 269 miles

I don't usually comment on the bathroom unless there is something unusual / unique / problematic abouot it. And that's what the case is here. We had a handicap accessible room for some reason. Perpahs it was booked by mistake, or it was given to us as the last available non-smoking queen bed room. Regardless, the shower was a low step in type rather than a bathtub type. However, for some reason, there was no soap shelf / dish in ths shower - so the soap and shampoo had to be put on the floor. This just didn't seem right.

Breakfast was a hot buffet like the other Sleep Inn.

Today - this morning, at least - was going to be spent at Colonial Williamsburg park.
We had visited before on a roadtrip wwy back in 1999.
When we last visited, each day was a day in history - such as July 3, 1776. The actors around the park all talked as if the colonies were discussing declaring their independence from England, and at the end of the day, there was such a procolmation made. Now, over the course of a week, one gets to see all the various events around but at scheduled times. For example, on Monday starting at 10:00 and every fifteen minutes for two hours, there is a musket demonstration my the armory. On Tuesday at 4:00 is the fife and drum band.
While we enjoy history, we are not necessarily enamored with and we did not need to immerse ourselves in the environment for an extended period - not that there is anything wrong with that.
Near the exit at the visitor's center there is a glass-enclosed diarama of the park.

We exited the VC and headed to the park. It was a decent trek. Right at the beginning there is a symbol indicating the line of demarkation between modern history, and the past.

We walked past some of the recreated properties, such as Great Hopes Plantation Virginia Farm with a garden.

Further on we passed through a walkway under the parkway.

We finally arrived at the edge of the actual park.

And we took a selfie too.

We entered the park but found that were were at the opposite end than we originally thought we were - which was just fine.
We were by the Governor's Palace.

We met one of the reenactors and she told us a little about the palace.

Just inside the palace gate, on the right, there was a stable.

Next to the stable was a barn-like building with a circa 1800 Virginia road wagon.

And next to the wagon building was a fenced in area with a ewe a couple lambs.

One of the lambs would essentially run a couple laps around the cart in the enclosure, take a bite of grass, and repeat.

It was too cute watching the little fella - or gal - running around so much.

We turned an started to make our way to the gardens - inside the walls.

We grabbed a selfie near the tree tunnel.

Some of the spring flowers were already coming out of bloom, but there were plenty still in bloom.

After walking out into the gardens, we approached the rear of the palace.

I did a comparison like this for a couple of our photos from Paris during our Viking River Cruise in 2023. Here, the original Coat of Arms (with the colored / non-white background) was from 1999.
(Both coats have a gold lion on the left and a unicorn on the right - the split image masks that.)

We walked around to the right side (looking at the palace from behind) and came across the entrance to go insde (we didn't go inside).
We also came across the basement. I took a quick trip down there to see what was there. There was some gated rooms with supplies.

Across a small courtyard was a pair of buildings: one was a scullery (where "the dirty work of food prep is done"), and the other was a kitchen wherein a tour group that was being given a cooking demonstration (and no, I don't want to paint the door...).

One of the ladies took a fish outside to clean it.

We walked between the two buildings and came across a tiered garden.

We left the Governor's Palace gounds and made our way to the front of the Palace, which overlooks the Palace Green across the street.

We walked along the green to the far end.

We arrived at Bruton Parish Church at the interestion of the Palace Green and Duke of Gloucester Streets. We entered the grounds through a fence on the side, and while crossing along the back of the church we saw a number of old tombs and headstones.

Church "was closed for service". Not "for a service", but for "maintenance" as the HVAC system was being worked on.
We were able to talk the two workers standing on the front step on a break to let us just peek in and get a quick phot. There was a lot of dust in the air, and I couldn't see the altar from this vantage point. (And no, I don't want to paint this door either...)

We left the church grounds and headed toward the Magazine Yard, along Duke of Gloucester Street, which brought us to the far end of the Palace Green with the Palace in the background.

A family was taking a sightseeing ride.

We passed by the courthouse.

The Peyton Randolph House.

A little before 10:00 we arrived at the Magazine Yard. Adjacent to the MY was a market, with some women setting up.

It was time for the musket demonstration.

Here are three concatinated clips of the musketeer shooting his musket. The first is cold, the second had some loading discussion, and the third is beginning to end.

One comment the reenactor mentioned was that the musket is made up of three components: the lock (triggering mechanism), the stock (the portion that buts against the shoulder), and the barrel (where the shot comes out of). So the whole gun is the "lock, stock, and barrel."
One other tidbit he mentioned had to do with the amount of gunpowder he had to put in the "pan", if it wasn't the right amount and it tried to ignite, the gun wouldn't fire, there would just be a "flash in the pan".
There was another sightseeing group.

After the musket demo, we walked further down Duke of Gloucester Street toward the capital, and then randomly turned right down what was, we think, Botetourt Street.

There was a group of gardeners working on one particular property.

We returned to Duke of Gloucester Street and continued to head toward the capital. Here are some period buildings.

We finally arrived at the capital.

To the left, looking at the capital, was a small walled-in cemetary with graves of the Rowland / Jones family.

We turned [right] down Blair Street, then right onto Francis Street, heading toward a windmill.

We made our way to the intersection of South England Street and Francis Street, and sat at the bus stop.
We boarded and headed back to the VC.
Even thouggh were weren't at the park very long, it was time to head out.

We originally planned on returning to Blenheim Winery in Charlottesville, VA. After plugging it into the GPS, and then into our phone, we found that, even though it was just under two hours away, it would have added about two hours onto our trip home.
We would have stopped at Blenheim on the way to New River Gorge NP, but they happen to be closed on Tuesdays (and Wednesdays).
We decided that, since we were in Virginia, and there are quite a few wineries in VA, we would see if there was any near where we were. It turns out that about fifteen minutes away from where we were - we were already on the road - there was a winery. So we plugged that address into the GPS and continued on. There was another winery a little closer to where we were - but it was closed on Mondays.
A couple exits away, a short drive down a couple roads, and we were at "Saidé Creek Winery" in Lanexa, VA.

It was a really nice facility.

The grounds were well kept - we eventually found out that owner was also a landscaper.

We were the first patrons of the day, though a mother and daughter arrived about fifteen minutes after we did.
We met Pete who was our server - nice guy. We did a tasting and he also told us about the facility. We were told that the name is from a creek the owner used to play near that was behind his grandmother's house in Alabama. At one time, an employee actually found the location, took a picture of it, and commissioned this painting.

We enjoyed the tasting and purchased a couple bottles.
There were a couple different seating areas - including immediately off the back of the building that I didn't get a picture of due to the occupancy. There was seating on the lower level.

And a nice view.

We spent almost two hours at the windery. Alas, it was time to make our trek home.
Pete - who happened to be from Dix Hills on Long Island, not far from where Linda grew up - had mentioned that he actually travels to NY and even passes through DE on the way. I asked him what route he takes and he said 301 most of the way, including starting in VA. Hmm.
So rather than go back via i95 as we planned, we decided to also take 301. It was mostly a slower route, but there was less traffic and it was more relaxing.
The little bag of pretzels we each had at the tasting wasn't going to be enough to hold us for the four-plus hour drive home. So we stopped at a random Applebee's in Tappahannock, VA.
While I usually try to get photos of our meals, I neglected to here - but if you've ever been to a Bee's, you have an idea what we ate. Linda had the Southwest Chicken Bowl, and I had the bacon burger (the one that they are advertising on TV right for $9.99).
We were both draggin' our wagon, so we both got coffee - perhaps another reason we forgot about the pictures. The waitress said that it was going to be a few because she had to make a fresh pot. No problem. The coffee eventaully showed up and then we ordered. I poured two creamers into the cup and took a sip. I asked Linda "Does this taste like tea?" She tried her's and agreed. We eventually flagged down the waitress and she apologized and said that the tea and coffee look very similar, and she would have to make a fresh pot. Shortly thereafter we got fresh coffee - and it was coffee this time - and our entrees. We had a relaxing meal and even worked on the Spelling Bee for a bit when we were done and before we got our check. We paid and got back on the road.
At the VA - MD state line we crossed a bridge. It looked like one of those bridges that one drives up and then falls off the peak. Unfortunately, the optical illusion is lost on the picture.

And right on the other side of the bridge was this.

A bit more than two hours after the MD state line we crossed our last state line of our trip.

Just a few miles from the state line is the Lidl we usually shop at. We stopped in and picked up the perishables we needed - eggs, milk, lunch meat (though we usually make a turkey or ham and eat that for lunch, our schedule made doing that impractical), salad - and drove the twenty or so minutes to our final stop: home.


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