Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Historic Yorktown and Jamestown

In addition to family fun at our hotel, we enjoyed a full day of learning at Jamestown and Yorktown. Although cold and windy, we made the most of it by reminding ourselves it was at least sunny and dry.  (Again, why, oh why, did we go north for spring break?)
My boys have done a lot of reading about early America this year. They've also watched several documentaries and spend much of their free time in the backyard woods making forts, shooting guns, and fighting the Redcoats. And, surprisingly, Annalyse has picked up quite a bit of information alongside the boys and she can hold her own with name-dropping for various generals and battle sites.
So, for them, visiting Jamestown and Yorktown were interesting and exciting. After spending a couple of days at Williamsburg last spring, they were anxious to see more of American's early history. Cannons, rifles, and ships? Count them in.
See every flag billowing perfectly? It was, I repeat, windy. And cold.
We learned about various roles of the settlers and explorers, how to cook over the fire, how to care for the sick and wounded, and how to load and shoot artillery.
I would have DIED as an early-American woman. If not dead from weakness for the task of everyday life, then dead because my fellow settlers would have shot me to silence my whimpering and whining.
My kids, meanwhile, think life "waaaaay back then" has a certain appeal to it because "even the boys had guns and could make fires and didn't have to go to school." And let's not forget the chamber pots - they those would be a great idea even today because then " I don't have to walk all the way down the hall in the dark when I'm tired and cold." Pitiful little souls I have.
I didn't last long exploring the ships... way too crowded for me. With only a handful of visitors on the ship, I still felt claustrophobic and could not imagine life on board a ship for several months, loaded full of people, with no conveniences or comforts.
In fact, it probably would have been the journey on the ship that did me in and I would have actually never experienced settlement life because I wouldn't have made it across the ocean.

And let's not excuse my handsome (but not always so tough) husband. Mr. JW Marriott wouldn't have done well in life then either. Besides, the doors were too low and the beds too short for a 6'5" frame.

I'm serious when I say that time and time again throughout the day, Grady and I would look at each other and marvel over the difficult hardships people endured. (Cue: Proud to be an American.)

That's a wrap on our short spring getaway. Three days of family fun that, conveniently, counted as completed school days for my kids. (Win!)

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