December 6, 2011

Another Day in Williamsburg

Tim and I headed back to Colonial Williamsburg today with the intention of touring the area around the Capitol building.  We took the tour of the Capitol and then of Charlton’s Coffeehouse, the newest building in Colonial Williamsburg.  The reconstruction of this building was just completed in 2009, and it is the first building to be reconstructed since the mid-1950s.  It’s a simple building, and favorite part of the tour was being served coffee, tea or chocolate at the end.

The Capitol

Charlton's Coffeehouse
After lunch at Shields Tavern, we walked down Duke of Gloucester Street, wandering in and out of many of the buildings.  We discussed medicine with the apothecary, watched the silversmith at work and learned about the process of printing and bindery.

Duke of Gloucester Street

Jewelry Anyone?

Bookbinding Is a 20-Step Process

Another Way to Tour the City
As we walked, I continued to admire the Christmas decorations.  Some were even more creative than the ones we saw yesterday.  We happened to find two that had won blue ribbons in the Christmas decorating contest.

After touring two of the historic houses, the Peyton Randolph House and the George Wythe House, Tim and I both commented about the quality of the tours.  Many of my friends know that I’m not the biggest fan of house tours.  I used to avoid them whenever possible, but I have mellowed in the last few years.  I particularly like tours conducted by National Park Service rangers. 

Peyton Randolph House

Peyton Randolph House Dining Room
Some of the tours we’ve taken the last two days are equal to, or even better, than many given by the National Park Service.  Tim and I both have been very impressed with the interpretation at Colonial Williamsburg.  I especially enjoy the tours where the interpreter is not strictly an eighteenth-century character, but provides a broader interpretation of the site.  The tours we’ve taken have been much more than a description of the objects in the rooms.  Instead, the guides offer a much broader “history lesson.”  They have managed to make history come alive, without lecturing to the audience.

I gained a much better understanding of the issues of the time, the key players and the city where it all took place than I ever had on previous visits.  I have to really complement Colonial Williamsburg and its interpreters for a job well done.

After returning to our campsite, we sat around a campfire with two lovely couples who are camping next to us.  One couple has been full timing in their RV for fourteen years and has visited over 300 units of the National Park Service.  They also collect passport stamps, and it was fun to compare notes and get pointers on places we should visit.


  1. WOW - What a great day you had! Loved the holiday wreath pictures. LV

  2. LV, Yes, we really did have a great day. I'm glad you enjoyed the holiday wreath photos. The decorations were just beautiful. Sarah