Saturday, October 22, 2011

Carry me back to old Virginny

Oct. 18-Oct. 22, Stafford and Williamsburg, Virginia
Our plan from here is to go down the southern coast of the eastern shoreboard avoiding the big cities as much as possible.  Vic and I have both visited most of the major Washington D.C. memorials so we decided to bypass those on this trip.  I did want to visit my ex-in-laws who live in Woodbridge, Virginia just outside D.C. so we planned our “southern” itinerary starting just south of D.C. 
My ex-father-in-law
We had a lovely lunch with Frank and Mary (my former in-laws) and enjoyed hearing old and new stories about their lives and family. More nostalgia for me as I reminisced with them about my marriage to their son Paul and the early days with our boys, the cousins, etc.
We took a lovely drive from our campground in Stafford, Virginia out to Monticello (about 75 miles away). It was a perfect fall day to visit Jefferson’s estate with a high of about 70 and a gentle breeze.  The countryside with horse farms and rolling hills was a bucolic scene and Monticello exceeded our expectations.  We walked around the gardens and slave quarters while awaiting a tour of the house itself.  The views from the grand porch made it easy to understand why Jefferson rarely left his Monticello after completing his presidency.  The simplicity and elegance of the architecture made me want to build a home of our own design someday.
The lovely Monticello

Jefferson's garden
Vic with Thomas
Our next stop took us back to the Revolutionary and Civil War days: historic Williamsburg. We stayed in a KOA here also where we lucked out and received passes to Williamsburg from campers we met which saved us $70. Neither of us quite realized what awaited us there—a complete replica of the original village including actors and artisans who actually reproduce the silversmithing or candlemaking of the time.  We especially enjoyed eating in an old tavern with candlelight and menu items authentic to the times.

Sign for the pub we had went to for lunch
We contemplated going to Jamestown and Yorktown and maybe heading to Virginia Beach but the weather was chilly and wet. The high pressures were leading us south.  We decided to go to what Vic refers to as basketball heaven: the Raleigh and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

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