Unfortunately for Steph, Mother’s day was a moving day for us. But, these are getting less eventful and stressful so I think it turned out ok. Back on Ocracoke the kids were finding shells with natural holes in them and they got the idea to make her some jewelry for Mother’s day. Every time Steph would go run an errand or something they’d work on their projects. In addition to the shell jewelry Dacen was doing some origami flowers and Brielle and Caden were making cards. So when Sunday rolled around the kids were able to shower her with gifts. But first, Caden wanted to serve her coffee in bed!
Our campground is only 10 minutes from the southern tip of Shenendoah National Park. From the highway you can turn left and go south along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway or turn right and drive the famous Skyline Drive through Shenendoah. The mountains here are nothing like our Colorado mountains but they are no less beautiful. There has been a lot of rain so everything is very green and today the sun was out, which felt really good.
We visited Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. I knew the bare minimum on TJ before going to Monticello but I feel I know him much better after the visit. We started our time at Monticello by watching a short video and near the beginning was a quote by Jefferson that really stood out to me…
The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.
Wow…TJ and I think alike! Our family has always made it a point to spend mornings together before school, we walk the elementary kids to and from school, and we eat dinner together even with busy soccer, robotics and dance schedules. We make it a point to go to church together and we try to have some leisure time together on the weekends when time allows. I love love love this time together. But like Jefferson I felt like these moments were relatively few or, maybe more appropriately, that they were going by too fast.
From the Outer Banks we headed to Newport News Virginia. Why? Well, there is a campground (I think it is city owned) that had pretty good priced camping (electric and water) and it was only a short drive to Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown which were high on our list of places to visit. So after dropping off the mini fridge at the scrap yard we continued north over/under the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and showed up at an amazingly wooded park just on the edge of Newport News proper. We had called a week or so in advance to make reservations but they said there was no need….and they were right, we had our pick of many awesome sites. We chose site 96 as it was well positioned between the playground and the bath house. A bunch of cub scouts and their families were camping in a nearby group site so our kids had fun playing with the wad of kids over at the playground before dinner.
As told by Brielle, typed by Steph, and Steph adds explanation or additional info inside the parentheses.
We went to Jamestown in Virginia. Jamestown is a place that you can meet up with a Chicken Lady. She is a normal lady dressed up as a slave. (She was actually acting as an indentured servant. They are people that couldn’t pay their way over here to the new colony, so they work off their travel debt for a master here in Virginia.) She was the poultrice for her master. She was holding a chicken. The chicken wanders around when she sets him down. You might want to go on one of her tours. At the end we got to pet the chicken. We saw him eat a caterpillar and a queen ant.
The chicken lady told us they (the first settlers) had no clear water. She talked about it (the James River) was deep enough they didn’t have to park their boat in the middle of the river.
We learned about Pocahontas. She was a real Indian, she was really real!!! I thought she was just made up, but she wasn’t. She was an Indian princess (she was the daughter of the King of the Powhatan Indians.) She saved an English’s life two times. Before she got married she got captured by the English. She got married to an englishman when she was only 19. The guy that she got married to was John Rolfe. When she got married she had a son named Thomas. She died when she was only 22. She got buried in England.
I found a green caterpillar. It’s name was Apple because it was green as an apple with a bit of yellow. I didn’t want to leave it, but I had to because it wanted to go on a leaf because it needed food. Caden convinced me to do that.
I saw a church that was really cool. We saw the graves. The church was solid brick. (The current one was built in 1907) The first one was made out of wood.* Inside the church they had stories about people. John Rolfe, Pocahontas (and other important English settlers**.)
At the end I got a wood recorder that was only $1.90!
* (They rebuilt it with brick or stone. The current one was rebuilt on top of the place where the original one was built. They have glass panels along the floor where you can see the original foundation.)
** (For 12 years the colonists in Jamestown wrote the British government asking if they could have their own council. After 12 years of requests England said yes. The first colonial government (the House of Burgesses) met in this church. Many of those early leaders are commemorated on plaques in this church. )
Good day. I’m gonna start off by telling you to try to read the rest of this thing in a British accent. I’ll be doing my best to write this in Olde Englisheyness.
Williamsburg, Jamestowne, and Yorktowne be three good strong townes abustling with the men visitin’ the tavern and the blacksmith ahammerin’. There be lots a trade shoppes on the main street but there be some others farther toward yonder river. I liked the blacksmith and I was right ready to start me apprenticeship. There also be the weaver, candlemaker, bucketmaker, silversmith, tinsmith, dressmaker, basketweaver, cabinetmaker, shoemaker, wheelmaker, swordmaker, barrelmaker, and some I’ve surely forgotten. My favorite parte of Williamsburge was the court trial. I got to act as apprentice to master John something or other. The problem be that Mr. Camm of Camm’s tavern knowinly served me up some liquor right quick. There also be an outdoors marketplace that be much alike a gift shoppe. Now at Yorktowne there was a lot of weapons demonstrations. Union and confederate infantry, musket charge, confederate artillery, and union cavalry. I got to pet one of the horses and it liked me its rider told me. At Jamestowne a lady with a chicken called the chicken lady talked to us about some of the people who came to Virginia. I liked her, she was funny and ye could pet the chicken which just wandered around scratching the dirt eating ants and other bugs. We got patches from Yorktowne and Jamestowne and Fort Monroe gave us laser cut wooden badges. AWESOME. (Alright, did I do good Olde Englisheyness?)
Good day to you all,
I am really excited to tell you that I am searching for a trade to begin work with. I have so many options. I can be a cooper, tinner, blacksmith, silversmith, shoemaker, weaver, cabinet maker, tailor, caster, candle maker, printer, gunsmith, woodworker, butcher, or baker.
We value experiences and relationships more than we do stuff. But stuff still has a way of keeping you tied down. So part of the idea of this adventure, at least in my mind, was to force ourselves away from our stuff and replace it with those things we value more. When you live in tight quarters there is not much room for physical stuff. Even if we had the space, we are filling our days with exploring the outdoors, nature, history and science that we don’t have time to futz with physical stuff. Yet somehow we still have too much stuff and so something’s got to go.