Thursday, May 5, 2016

Road Trip Day 7: Williamsburg, Virginia

 On our last day of the road trip we checked out Williamsburg, Virginia. Our first stop was the Jamestown Settlement. It was terrific! This was one of our very top spots on our trip. It was really fun, but also super informative. The kids were entertained the whole time, but Josh and I were also really fascinated by all that we learned. 
 Checking out one of the homes in the Powhatan Village.
 Tate got to wander around and he loved it.
Acting like bears after seeing the bear skin on the wall. 
 Learning how to make clay pots. The girls were so into this. 
 Learning how to dry out animals skins and what they were used for. 
 This was a fun Powhatan game: throwing the dried corn cobs through the rings.
 This lady was awesome. She taught us so much about how the Powhatan Indians used different animal bones and cartilage as tools. They had figured out which specific bones of each animal made the best fishing hook, or sewing needle, and so on. So so cool. 

 Grinding corn. 
 Tate was a blur, just wandering all over.
Bryn became friends with these two fine young men. They were both so nice to explain things to us about Indian life and life at sea. Bryn thought they were celebrities. 
 A recreation of the ship. 

 We loved this guy, who was the expert at all the guns and weapons of the time. 

Bryn took furious notes with the information she was learning and she even got a few autographs. She was in heaven! It was like she was at Disneyland :)
This guy taught us how to make fire, which was cool. Bryn was very impressed. 

Tate, still wandering. 
Learning about what the settlers ate. Basically, they used whatever vegetables or beans they had and made lots of soup! They would make a big pot of soup at lunchtime and that was their big meal of the day. Then they would have the leftover soup as dinner than night and as breakfast the next morning. The girls thought it was so funny to have soup every meal!

 After Jamestown we grabbed lunch and then drove about 10-15 minutes to Colonial Williamsburg. We didn't buy tickets to any of the performances/activities because of our tight budget and because of time constraints, but it was fun just to wander around. There were lots of reenactments in the streets, which were fun to see. It was a really cool place. 

After Colonial Williamsburg we piled back into the car and made the 6 hour drive back to New Jersey. The kids did amazing in the car for such a long road trip. The girls drew for the majority of the time, while we listened to books on CD. Our favorites were a couple "Magic Tree House" chapter books and a collection of stories by Beatrix Potter. Tate read tons of board books, colored with crayons, played magnets on his little cookie sheet, and just kind of hung out. He did great! 
I'm so grateful we were able to take this fun road trip and experience lots of new places in the southeast. What a charming and beautiful region. 

Road Trip Day 6: More of Charleston, South Carolina

 On our second day in Charleston we planned to play at Folly Beach, but unfortunately it was a rainy day. Oh well! Instead, we lounged in our hotel (we don't have TV/netflix at home, so the girls really enjoyed watching some shows), swam at the pool, shopped at the outlet mall near our hotel, and then found a movie theater that had $3.00 movie tickets... unheard of in New Jersey! So we saw Zootopia and it was great.
 Also on Day 2 in Charleston, I was able to check out the Redux Contemporary Art Gallery in downtown Charleston. It was such a treat to visit Blakely Little, Teil Duncan, and Lulie Wallace's art studios, which are all at Redux. These three paintings are Blakely's, from a show currently on display.

 The highlight of Redux was talking with Lulie Wallace (one of my very favorite current artists) about her artwork and the challenge of balancing art and motherhood. Her cute little Edy was in the studio with her, just hanging out in her baby carrier. Lulie is an awesome role model at being a devoted mama, but also killing it in the art studio. I felt like I was meeting a celebrity :)
After Redux gallery, we hopped in the car and had a long stretch of driving from Charleston to Richmond, VA.

Road Trip Day 5: Charleston, South Carolina

Day 5 of our road trip was spent in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. We really wanted to see a plantation while in South Carolina, so our first stop was checking out the McLeod Plantation. (We had planned on visiting the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens - which looks awesome - but we ended up switching to the McLeod Plantation since it was closer to our hotel, cheaper, and smaller grounds for our kids to walk). It was neat to learn about plantation life, to tour the main house, salve quarters, cotton house, and the beautiful grounds. 

 Maybe it's because we're West Coast natives, but we just couldn't get enough of all the trees and the green!
Josh loved this huge old tree.

One of the slave houses. So tiny and simple.
 Their fireplace wasn't quite as grandiose as the ones in the main plantation house. 
 It was the perfect sunny, warm morning and the kids had such a nice time running around and playing on the grounds. There were hardly any other guests while we were there, so the kids didn't bother anyone. 
Tate spent so much time in his carseat and the stroller during our road trip, so he was so happy whenever he got the chance to get out and explore. The plantation grounds were perfect for that. 

 This is the plantation property that went down to the Ashley River. This plantation was on a part of Charleston called James Island. The Ashley River is what separates James Island from downtown Charleston. 
Bryn found a caterpillar and was smitten. 
 She also found this acorn/nut that had a heart mark. It was a good day for Bryn :)

I don't have many pictures with Josh or I since one of us is usually the one taking the pictures, but Bryn snapped this picture of us. 
 Lunch was at Boxcar Betty's and it was so, so good. One of our favorite meals of the road trip. Their chicken sandwiches were amazing. They have a yummy peach coleslaw served on top of the chicken and the buns were warm and homemade. Yum.
 Tate approved. 
What's this? A caterpillar crawling throughout the car!
Bryn had tried to be sneaky and keep the caterpillar in the backseat cupholder of the van. Of course he crawled out of the cupholder and wound up at the front of the car. She was scolded, but Josh and I did think it was kind of funny.
 In the afternoon we went to downtown Charleston to walk around. We started out at Battery and White Point Gardens, which was a fun park right on the coast with fun canons and monuments. 
All three kids loved climbing on the canons.
 Mya's favorite pose.
 My favorite pose. Ha ha!

 The architecture in Charleston was so charming. We walked and walked around the town and couldn't get enough of it. 

 The homes pictured above are called Rainbow Row. 

We LOVED Charleston. It was maybe our favorite place on our road trip! Such a charming city.