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Waking from the Living Dead in Williamsburg

Somewhere between this week and last week, life started to spring back into my influenza ravaged body and my misery was reduced to mild discomfort.  Having a break from DC in the slightly more humid but just as cold conditions of Williamsburg, VA seems to be aiding in the recovery. With aspirations of seeing more than the four walls of our hotel, I crept outside last weekend while Brandy continued to battle the crud.

Williamsburg, Va is most notably known for its colonial historic district where reenactors work in shops, give carriage rides, deliver addresses, and carry out daily life as if it where hundreds of years ago. It’s all very fun. One moment you may witness a gardening demonstration and the next a primitive form a baseball being played in the street.

Colonial Baseball

If you’re lucky, you might even get to see troops drilling or hear rumblings of colonial independence. It’s a wonderful atmosphere that all ages seem to enjoy, but please check your cynicism at ye ole threshold.

Governor's Palace

Yes that is a soda fountain in the refreshment shack, and yes those are asphalt streets. No they wouldn’t have electric lights, indoor plumbing, or fire hydrants. Everyone sees that, but for the unimaginative dream killers that love a good dose a realism with their fantasy, feel free to point out with a smirk what the colonist would never have and how it doesn’t seem very colonial to you.

Girl at Colonial Williamsburg

I’m glad those smaller bits of the modern world are there. To me it makes the whole place easily approachable. It’s not so stuffy that things must be historically exact in every single instance, and it’s not so modern that the experience is ruined. Williamsburg is a place to play ‘pretend’ again. It’s a wonderful balance between historical conservation, immersion, and tourist comfort. Even the locals take full advantage of the historical area and it’s wide pedestrian paths for walking, biking, or jogging.

If you haven’t been, it’s well worth trip and only a 2.5 to 3 hour ride from DC. Give it a shot on a slow weekend. If you’ve been, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are. Too Touristy? Too Stuffy? Just Right? Leave a comment.

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