Friday, August 15, 2008

Whirlwind Tour

Hello out there. Thanks for stopping by.

So, I was just sitting around, knitting up a market bag that might be a Christmas present or I might just keep for myself because it’s so darn cute, when Al said something strange.

“My paper’s due next week then I’ll have my final. Can’t believe time has gone so quickly here.”

What did he mean “time has gone,” we still have lots of time left. Then I realized, Holy Crap we only have a few weeks left! Where did the time go? Why am I sitting here knitting when there are things still to see?!? It seems like just last week I was saying that we should be sure to start doing the touristy things before it gets too late. And it’s almost too late! We both knew we better get off our duffs.

You don’t have to twist Al’s arm to do anything, you just have to do the deciding, the planning, the plotting and the preparing. I think I should start freelancing as a tour planner. Here are some of the things we’ve done.

We took a cruise on the American Rover.

This 135-foot tall sails ship goes for daily cruises 3 times a day, plus special charters. They stay in the calm waters of Hampton Bay, which is a good thing if not a little dull. Most of the sights you see are the shipyards for navy boats being worked on. Did you know that when a ship is in for repairs, they pull a smaller boat up next to it that serves as housing (like a dormitory) for the sailors. That stinks—no escaping the boat.

Anyway, the Rover is comfortable and it’s fun to watch them unfurl those huge sails. The Captain announces that if anyone wants to help, they can. Help? I’m cruising baby, I’m not working. But it did make us think about taking sailing lessons. Well, it made Allen think about it. I thought about how much work it was and how the older I get the more of a weenie I become. Al did look up getting lessons at the base, but changed his mind when he saw how much it costs.

The Rover holds 149 people, but luckily, there weren’t that many people aboard on the day we went. It’s beautiful and breezy on the deck, with lots of chairs under a canopy or benches along the side. And if you get a little too hot, you can go down stairs to sit in pretty comfy seating in the air conditioning.

There’s a bar that they open for the sunset cruise and special charters, but this day a smaller snack bar was open. Being on a sail boat in the harbor, we of course got a tropical drink that oh-my-goodness was it good but went straight to my head. You know, you really shouldn’t chug something with a lot of schnapps, brandy and whatever else, even if it is mixed with fruit juices.

We also made it up to Colonial Williamsburg.

Originally, my plan was to leave Cosette in this great kennel I found and we were going to take our time seeing everything and spending the night. It didn’t quite work out that way, but we got up there and Cosette did fine in the condo by herself, so it’s all good. The only hitch in our gitalong was the traffic. What should have taken 45 minutes took over an hour and a half, going and coming home. I don’t know how the people who live here get used to this traffic. There aren’t enough Zen breathing exercises in the world to keep me calm. I told Al that if the traffic on the bridge was already backed up 7 miles when we head out, I’m just going to cry.

Al: Then we’ll just head to the bar and start drinking.
Me: OK. We’ll ask the bartender to pretend that the bar goes back to colonial times and that Thomas Jefferson once drank ale there.

Anyway, Colonial Williamsburg is a recreated Colonial town. The people are in historic costumes and as you tour the different buildings, there are people telling you how things were done in past.

A shuttle bus takes you to a drop-off spot and you walk into the town, like walking through a mirror, taking you to another time. Well, you hundreds of other people. Luckily, again, it wasn’t that crowded and it was gorgeous day. Virginia is having unseasonably cooler weather right now, so it was sunny and in the low 80s.

Every building offers something different, but not all the buildings were open. Unfortunately, the weaver was closed, but there were plenty of other cool places.

Such as the Bookbinder and Press

The Silversmith

The Millner

The Brickyard

The Cabinet Maker

By late afternoon we were exhausted, too exhausted to stop at the farm. And we didn’t watch any of the shows or reenactments but I’m sure they were great. We just had a finite time there and didn’t want to spend 2 hours of it standing in the sun watching a show.

I was also too tired to stop at the yarn shop on the way out of town. Now that’s tired! I don’t know, I just may have to make a trip over there during the week some day.

Al’s seminar group went to the MacArthur Memorial in downtown Norfolk.

I passed joining in on this field trip because I was beginning to feel a little weird being this hanger-on. Besides, it’s by the mall (MacArthur Mall), and you know I’ll be going to the mall while I’m here, so I can see it later. Al said it was really interesting and the museum had a lot of amazing things. MacArthur and his second wife are buried there, so it’s more than just a statue in the park.

So, I think that catches you up a little. I still owe you pictures of Yorktown, so I’ll try to get to that.

I'll leave you with a picture of Cosette. Always leave your posts on a happy note.


Dianne said...

I was just talking to a friend about how any given day seems to go on forever but the weeks are flying by! I can't believe it's Mid-August!

I love the Book Binders - I could spend all day touching paper and smelling books LOL - such a party girl

Cosette is Queen of the Beach :)

Kell said...

Dianne--I took that picture of all the paper in the cabinet so that I could look back on it and drool. That was a cool place.

Jay said...

Did anyone on the ship talk like a pirate?

Williamsburg is super cool.

Kimmie said...

Hey Kell,
I have always wanted to go to Colonial Williamsburg, one of these days I hope to get there. Thanks for sharing the photos. LOL at you...slugging down a tropical drink. ;-) I would have been on the floor. Cosette looks so pretty on the beach. :-)


Karen said...

I have been to Colonial Williamsburg a few times. It is an easy long weekend trip that my family did a few times. I would like to go back as an adult. Great photos

Patsy said...

great post, I will have to add Colonial Williamsburg to our places to see. great photos also.

Clay Perry said...

looks like you've had a wonderful time..

Chelle Y. said...

I love visiting places like that. History is so interesting to me, but especially how they lived back then.