Saturday, August 30, 2014
On our last day and a half in Williamsburg, we really tried to pack in all in and see everything!
We really liked the brickyard, where we got to help knead the mud with our feet.
Nikolai didn't want to get in at first (here he is holding up his legs while Jesse tries to get him in):
But he soon took to it with gusto:
I don't have any pictures of this, but two of our favorite events were tours around a plantation and around Williamsburg that talked about slavery in both the colonies and in Williamsburg. We both learned a lot of new information and found them both very eye-opening. If you ever find yourself in Williamsburg, don't miss these tours! We felt like they really completed the experience for us.
The capital building was another favorite:
And we were all mesmerized by the weaving shop (seriously, they make plants into clothes! It is magic!).
As usual, the boys had lots of fun in the gardens (side note: can you tell how sweaty Niko is here? He was SO sweaty the whole time! Poor lad!)
On the way back to the car at the end of a long day, Nikolai fell asleep in the stroller with his tri-corner hat:
You guys, this was definitely our favorite family trip yet (though, frankly, we just like being together so EVERY family trip is better than the last). If you ever get a chance (and are nerdy like us), definitely take some time and visit some of our country's past! It's awesome!
Friday, August 29, 2014
After our day at the beach, we headed back to Williamsburg.
We all loved the book binder:
The boys especially loved playing out back:
Niko, being his mother's son, obviously had to play in the creek.
One of my favorite shops was the blacksmith, where we saw and awesome lady blacksmith apprentice! She was awesome.
I think in this picture we were waiting outside the courthouse, but mostly I just love this picture of my boys.
In the courthouse, we participated in a mock trial, and I nudged/pushed Jesse to volunteer to be a magistrate (they didn't actually do much, but I liked seeing him up there).
At the end of the day, we saw the troops rally to prepare to go to battle at Yorktown. The fife and drum brigade came first, and boy, were they awesome!
Nikolai thought they were just the bee's knees :)
Finally, George Washington came out and told us all about the campaign.
Living history, you guys! It's the best!
Because we were going to be in Virginia for a whole week, we decided to take a day and head to the beach!
We haven't been to the beach since Niko was super small (after Megan's wedding) and Jesse had never been to the Atlantic ocean, so it was a fun day for all of us!
Nikolai got a huge kick out of seeing the biggest sand box ever, and, on top of that, getting to mix sand and water and rub the concoction in his hair and not even get in trouble! He also REALLY loved the waves:
We all had a lot of fun building in the sand (well, the grown-ups would build and the tots would tear it down, but you know).
Nikolai also really liked being buried in the sand:
Our greatest feat of the day was building a little tide pool. The tide and the boys kept knocking it down but we kept building it up, and I must say, I'm pretty proud of what we all accomplished!
We had such a lovely day!
Thursday, August 28, 2014
One of my fondest memories from childhood trips to Colonial Williamsburg was climbing in the stocks next to the courthouse (weird favorite memory, huh?).
Anyways, when I saw them again, I knew I had to force my entire family to get in them and be photographed :)
Jesse was first up in the seated stocks (note: these are not very comfortable).
Nikolai and Hyrum really wanted to join too, but their little legs were just too short, so they needed a little help:
We had a lot of fun trying to get the little boys in the standing-up-stocks:
And then, of course, I had to take a turn:
In the depths of winter after an orchestra rehearsal, my friend Michelle and I began dreaming of hot summer days...and thus, our trip to Colonial Williamsburg was born!
We talked about how much we had loved going there as kids, seeing history made real, and decided we should try and make it happen. The deal was sealed when we found out we could even stay with Michelle's amazing Aunt Janet, who lives in Williamsburg (without whom our trip would not have been possible!). That, and I found out that Jesse had been dreaming of going to Williamsburg ever since he saw it on Reading Rainbow as a kid, so we decided we had to find a way to get there!
We planned all summer (how many days should we stay? what will the little boys like to see?) and finally, last week, it was time to go!
It's a pretty long trip down (especially if you want to save $50 and skip the shorter toll route) but Nikolai was a trooper. He slept in the car, and loved getting to see his friend Hyrum when we stopped to stretch our legs!
After a stop overnight in Leesburg (to stay with Michelle's parents and break the drive up into 2 days) we finally arrived!
The first thing we did was head straight to the palace green, where we encountered a group of colonists upset that the governor had removed their gunpowder from the magazine. They discussed their options, frequently engaging the gathered crowd as they decided what to do. Before long, an impromptu militia showed up and wanted to storm the palace, but thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and a conflict was averted ;)
We saw lots of amazing craftswomen and men while we were there--the first of which was the barrel maker:
Nikolai liked riding the shuttle bus to and from the parking lot to the colonial attractions. I loved this little duck face he made:
A really awesome perk of traveling with friends was that when we wanted to go see something that wasn't kid friendly (in this case, touring the Governor's Palace, which was long and boring for toddlers), we just switched off watching the boys outside while others went in and did the tour. It was SO much easier than trying to keep our excitable 2 year old from touching antique furniture, and the boys really enjoyed running around in the gardens behind the palace.
Some photos from the gardens!
The gorgeous courtyard:
Wandering garden paths:
Nikolai practicing smiling on cue:
A picture of both of us, on the first try!
Nikolai was counting flowers:
More smiling on cue:
I would like this garden in my backyard, please:
The boys loved chasing each other in this maze:
Also, can I have this little hidden pathway please-and-thank-you?
Later, inside the governor's palace:
The entryway (so many swords and guns on the walls because power!):
There were tons of lovely bedrooms and things, but the things I wanted most were this gorgeous harpsichord (piano?) and that carpet (that carpet!!):
And you guys, this was just the first day and a half! There will be several more posts documenting the rest of our awesome stay coming in the next few days :D