william(sburg) maas {day 2}

{This is day two of our Williamsburg vacation.  For day one, click here.}

On our second day in Williamsburg, we had a better understanding of the layout of the city.  Even though I had been several times before, it had been at least 14 years.  I definitely had to learn the city all over again.  We knew what we wanted to see after getting a good idea of the city.

We had one idea of our day, but really went with the flow of things and ended up having a WONDERFUL day all around.

We started off with the Rare Breeds talk.  It was very interesting to learn a bit more about the animals that would have been found in the Colonial barnyard.


IMG_2095We then toured the Randolph house.  Thanks to my Aunt Janet’s amazing ancestry work, I know that I’m distantly related to the Randolph family.  As Peyton Randolph didn’t have any children, I’m not descended from him but it was still neat to learn a bit more about the Randolph family.


The Randolph House sparked a newfound love in Colonial wallpaper.  I really think the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation could have a tour of just Colonial wallpapers.  I’d pay good money for that.IMG_2116

This wallpaper was actually based on remnants from the actual historic site, pieced together from scraps and then replicated. I love the Chinoiserie style so so much.

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The day supposed to be somewhat abbreviated in the morning viewing the sights. Then have a relaxing afternoon, followed by a show in the evening.

We ended up just regrouping and spending the entire day in the city.  It was fun to keep marking the historic sites off our list as the day progressed.

We were able to put our names on the list for Josiah Chowning’s Tavern for a late lunch and spend some time exploring the city while we waited.


We had a nice lunch and Brandon was excited to try some of the beer brewed for the Tavern.  As with most of the taverns, the food was loosely inspired by the Colonial era.  Sadly, it isn’t complete and authentic recreations.  I do think this is because Colonial Williamsburg is a tourist destination and they know that the authentic recreations wouldn’t be as palatable to the average visitor.  We love organ meats and what some might consider weird foods, so I think we’d love an opportunity to try some of the foods that the average Colonist would have eaten.  That being said, all the food we had was good.  Brandon had the Welsh rarebit with Virginia ham and I had the beef trencher.  Basically my sandwich was a flatbread sandwich with smoked brisket.  It was a very good sandwich but didn’t scream “Colonial!” by any means.  Brandon’s was definitely more authentic, and was really delicious!

IMG_2176True to the full-emersion of Colonial Williamsburg, the restaurant featured entertainment from two different interpreters while we were eating.  William loved them.

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We also visited the Joiner, the Secretary’s Office (the oldest public record building in the Western Hemisphere!), the Cooper, and the Silversmith.  Wm loved the Joiner and could have watched them chisel away at the table they were building for hours.

We also got a chance to grab the tail-end of a “A Public Audience with a Founder” to hear an interpreter as Patrick Henry.  Wm got to meet him afterward and loved it!


We also toured Charlton’s Coffee House.  It’s a recreation of an actual building on the site of the historic coffee house.  It was only recently rebuilt.  We all three loved it.  Brandon and I loved the stories of Colonial dealings that happened within its walls.

And of course I was more focused on the walls.  More gorgeous wallpaper.

IMG_2185We ALL loved the samples of the Heritage Hot Chocolate that they sampled at the end of the tour.  It’s a “drinking chocolate” type hot chocolate and is thick and spicy.  So so good.

The heritage chocolate is really neat. It was created by the Mars company to replicate the hot chocolate drunk by the colonists.  And if any of my American Girl loving friends remember (where my Felicity girls at?), the colonists drank hot chocolate as an alternative to tea when that tea tax business went down.  You know, history and stuff.


The biggest game changer of our second day was the fact that I downloaded the Colonial Williamsburg app.  It was a great tool to open up and get an idea of where we were in the city and to get easy walking directions to and from each site.  It had info about the openings and closings and also had descriptions of the events and locations.

If it hadn’t been for the app, we’d have spent time walking to events that weren’t happening on that day.  It made it a lot easier for us to fill in the time between our afternoon exploring and the evening activities we had purchased tickets for.

We stuck around for the Lighting of the Taverns.  It was a fun march down Duke of Gloucester Street with the fife and drum.  Each tavern was highlighted with a short speech about its history and then with a grand musket salute, the cressets were set ablaze.  It was everything a three year old boy (and his parents, for that matter) would love!


We even fell into line behind the fife and drum and marched along the route. It was really fun!

We killed about an hour by walking down to the Merchant’s Square area before our evening activity.  Merchant’s Square is a modern touristy area with lots of gift shops and such.  It was a good place to fill some time.  We made a stop at the William and Mary Bookstore.  Wm and Mary was once my dream school.  My dear husband got me a mug from the bookstore as a little keepsake.

At 7:30 we saw Harlequin’s Holiday.  It was an entertaining pantomime show inspired by the pantomimes of the 18th century.


It was a really full, but really fun day!


We had a late lunch at Chownings Tavern (shown above).

For dinner we grabbed fast food and ate at the hotel since we had eaten such a late and filling lunch.


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