Friday, December 31, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

Rolling hills and blue skies in see skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

3 Boys and a Dog

What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails,
And puppy dog tails.
That's what little boys are made of.


Monday, November 29, 2010


One of the old historical buildings at Greenfield, which was at one time William Preston's plantation. Botetourt County.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

General Robert E Lee's Headquarters


A short walk to this spot, nothing there but a bench and a marker. The marker reads:
"On this spot were established the headquarters of the army of Northern Virginia, Gen. Robert E. Lee, C.S.A., commanding, from April 8th to April 11th, 1865."


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

It was hard to see the sky on this foggy morning but the boys played some good football! To see skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY!


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Appomattox Confederate Cemetery

Appomattox Confederate Cemetery is located in park on Rt.24

This little cemetery contains the graves of 19 soldiers (18 Confederates and 1 Union) who were killed in the last days of fighting at Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House. On May 18, 1866 a Ladies Association was formed to insure proper internment for soldiers who had not had proper burials. The land for this little cemetery was donated by Mr. John Sear, and the land clearing began. Most of the wood for the coffins was donated and men from the town of Appomattox constructed them and dug the graves.

The Ladies Association later developed into the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The Appomattox United Daughters of the Confederacy was chartered on August 22, 1895 with 22 members and was the 11th chapter in the nation. The Appomattox United Daughters of the Confederacy has owned and maintain this cemetery since that time. In April (usually on Sunday closest to April 9) of every year a Memorial Service is held at this cemetery to honor these soldiers and all soldiers who have fought for their country and the causes they believe in. The public is always invited!

Listed by grave number - 18 Confederates and 1 Union Soldier

# 1 Captain Miles C. Macon, Dayette Artillery, Virginia

# 2 Sergeant C.F. Demome, Donaldsonville Artillery, Louisiana

# 3 Private A.R. Hicks, Co. D, 26th Virginia Regiment

# 4 Private J.E. Hutchens, Co. A, 5th Alabama Battalion

# 5 Private J.W. Douglas, found near Conner's old house, under a mulberry tree.

# 6 Private J.W. Ashby, 2nd Virginia Cavalry

# 7 Private F.M. Winn, Battery E. 9, Georgia Regiment

# 8 Private J.A. Hogan, Co. E, 26th Georgia Regiment

# 9 Name unknown, found in the woods back of Mrs. E.S. Robertson's.

# 10 Name unknown, found under a large cherry tree, 50 yards from Conner's old house on Oakville Road.

# 11 Name unknown, found near Samuel H. Coleman's.

# 12 Name Unknown, found in Pryor Wright's field.

# 13 Name unknown, found under a large cherry tree, 50 yards from Conner's old house on Oakville Road.

# 14 Name unknown, found in Mr. Jack Sears' field and near Pryor Wright's field.

# 15 Name unknown, from South Carolina, found near Captain Hix's ice pond.

# 16 Name unknown, found near Appomattox Depot near the cabin.

# 17 Name unknown, found near the Appomattox Depot on Main Road.

# 18 Name unknown, found in the woods on Liberty Road near the ford to Willis Inges.

# 19 Union Soldier, Name unknown.

For more information Appomattox Chapter Daughters of the Confederacy

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Richmond - Lynchburg Stage Road

April 8, 1865

"The Battle of Appomattox Station commenced shortly after 4 pm and lasted until dusk with varying intensity, although more fighting continued in the direction of Appomattox Court House until probably 9 pm. The success of Custer’s troopers on the evening of April 8, dispersing and capturing Walker’s artillery and securing the Richmond-Lynchburg Stage Road were vital—the Federals now held the high ground west of Appomattox Court House, squarely across Lee’s line of march. With Lee’s line of retreat blocked, his only options on April 9, 1865, was to attack or surrender. Lee elected to attack. He held a Council of War the night of April 8, and it was determined that an assault would be made to open the road, believing that only Federal cavalry blocked the way. However, during the night parts of three Federal Corps had made a forced march and were close at hand to support the Federal cavalry in the morning."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fincastle Run

Last month Braden and Dalton ran with their school team in the Fincastle Run. They trained very hard after school for the race and finished in 49 and 50th place with the time of 37.27 for both. What an awesome accomplishment! Here they are starting out (both in green shirts). The starting point of the race wasn't easy as it's all uphill and Fincastle is a very hilly town! For more info on the Fincastle Run CLICK HERE!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Apple Orchard Falls

This was a great little hike (about 2 miles) to this point of the 200 foot falls. At this point, there is a nice deck with some benches for resting and viewing the falls. I heard that you can get all the way to the top of the falls but it gets slick and steep. This is where we stopped. The falls are located in Buchanan.

Friday, November 12, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

Wow, I can't believe I haven't blogged in over a month! Life has just gotten so busy lately that I haven't had much extra time! This skywatch entry is from our hike last Sunday to Apple Orchard Falls in Buchanan. Not much left of the fall colors on the trees but I loved the way those few red leaves looked against that awesome blue sky!

To see skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Theme Day - Graffiti

First of the month means "Theme Day" in the City Daily Photo community. I haven't participated in the last few months, keep forgetting as the first of the month always seems to sneak up on me. This month's theme is "graffiti" and thankfully you don't see it much in the area I live in so I was unprepared, BUT one thing that came to mind when I saw this month's theme was a day in early spring this year when Ashlyn had a friend over and they got out a bucket of sidewalk chalk and decorated the driveway. They did a good job. I loved the way my driveway looked. This is the closest I have in my photos of graffiti.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall in Catawba Valley

Monday afternoon I had to take Braden and Dalton out to Catawba Valley to watch some football videos of their previous games. It had been raining all day and this is one of my favorite scenes on a rainy day, the way the clouds hang on the mountains :)

(taken from the parking lot of Catawba Valley Baptist Church)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Black Walnut Tree - Poplar Forest

This Black Walnut Tree is one of nine remaining trees that pre-date construction of Poplar Forest and were selected by Thomas Jefferson.

To read more about Poplar Forest, see yesterday's post :)

Love this tree!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest

Thomas Jefferson and his wife Martha inherited the Bedford County plantation known as Poplar Forest from her father in 1773. The property’s name, which predates Jefferson’s ownership, reflects the forest that once grew here. Several stately poplars in front of the home welcome visitors today.

The 4,819-acre plantation provided Jefferson with significant income and the perfect setting where he could pursue his passion for reading, writing, studying and gardening after retiring from public life.

In the early years of his ownership, Jefferson managed Poplar Forest from afar as he practiced law and served in a series of government office both at the state and national levels. He and his family, however, did spend two months here in 1781 when they left Monticello to elude British capture. During this visit, Jefferson compiled much of the material for his only book – Notes on the State of Virginia – while he was probably staying at the overseer’s house.

In 1806, Jefferson traveled from Washington to supervise the laying of the foundation for the octagonal house we see today. When his presidency ended in 1809, Jefferson visited the retreat three to four times a year, staying from two weeks to two months at a time. His visits often coincided with the seasonal responsibilities of the working plantation. He also oversaw the ornamentation of the house and grounds, and the planting of his vegetable garden. Family members, usually grandchildren, often joined Jefferson.

Jefferson made his last trip to Poplar Forest in 1823 when he settled his grandson, Francis Eppes, on the property. Ill health prevented further visits. In 1828, two years after Jefferson’s death at age 83, Eppes sold Poplar Forest to a neighbor.

The design of Poplar Forest is highly idealistic in concept with only a few concessions to practicality – it was so perfectly suited to Jefferson alone that subsequent owners found it difficult to inhabit and altered it to suit their needs. In 1845 a fire led the family then living at Poplar Forest to convert Jefferson’s villa into a practical farmhouse. The property was privately owned until December 1983 when a nonprofit corporation began the rescue of the landmark for future generations. Visitors today see the house as preservation, reconstruction and restoration are in progress.

For more information on Poplar Forest, visit Poplar Forest

Friday, September 24, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

Reflection of Independence Hall and blue skies in Philadelphia. To see skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY

Thursday, September 23, 2010

George Washington's Headquarters - Valley Forge

Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge, also known as Isaac Potts House, was in the Isaac Potts House, located at the confluence of Valley Creek with the Schuylkill River, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. General George Washington made his headquarters here during the encampment at Valley Forge of the Continental Army, during the winter and spring of 1777-1778. The restored building is part of the Valley Forge National Historical Park and is open to the public.

This small house is believed to have been constructed in 1773 for Isaac Potts, operator of the family grist mill. Although some sources place the construction date as early as 1759. In 1777-8 the property was owned by Isaac but rented to his aunt, the widow Deborah Hewes, who sublet it to Washington. The General's wife Martha lived here with him during the later months of the encampment and the administrative business of the army was transacted on the first floor.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Betsy Ross House

The Betsy Ross house was built in 1740 and is the house where Betsy sewed our first American Flag.

In the mornings, Betsy comes out of the house to raise the flag. My boys were fortunate to be picked to help Betsy on the morning of our visit. You can see the photo HERE

To read more about Betsy Ross, the house, and the flag, visit Betsy Ross House

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Liberty Bell

Tradition tells of a chime that changed the world on July 8, 1776, with the Liberty Bell ringing out from the tower of Independence Hall summoning the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon.

For more info about the bell, click HERE

Monday, September 20, 2010

Independence Hall-Philadelphia

Built between 1732 and 1753, is where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

The McLean House

On April 9, 1865 after four years of Civil War, approximately 630,000 deaths and over 1 million casualties, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, at the home of Wilmer and Virginia McLean in the rural town of Appomattox Court House, Virginia. General Lee arrived at the Mclean home shortly after 1:00 p.m. followed a half hour later by General Grant. The meeting lasted approximately an hour and a half. The terms agreed to by General Lee and Grant and accepted by the Federal Government would become the model used for all the other surrenders which shortly followed. The surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia allowed the Federal Government to redistribute forces and bring increased pressure to bear in other parts of the south resulting in the surrender of the remaining field armies of the Confederacy over the next few months.

Friday, September 10, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

Blue skies at Johnson's Farm, Peaks of Otter. To see skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Heirloom Apples

After the walk to Johnson's Farm, a crunchy, sweet heirloom apple hits the spot. There are several heirloom apple and pear trees for you to try!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

American Porch Culture

I was reading recently about the differences between American homes and English homes and it was the front porch, or lack thereof on English architecture. The front porch was essential in early American homes, before air conditioning.

The story said that front porch culture isn't what it once was, with homes having air conditioning and other distractions to draw us inside the house. I'm happy that here in the south, the front porch is still alive and well!

Anyone want to join me for an ice cold glass of lemonade and swap stories on the porch for a while?

(this great old porch can be found at the Johnson Farm, Peaks of Otter)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Johnson's Farm

Johnson's Farm, accessible by taking a small hike from the Peaks of Otter Visitor's Center. The Johnson family built this farm back in 1854 and descendents of the Johnsons lived on the farm till the 1940's. The farm has been restored as it appeared in the 1930's.

Friday, August 20, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

A cotton candy sky at the Salem see skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vintage 7up

Taken on Lee Highway, Troutville, VA

Remember when there was just 7up, before Sprite existed?

Friday, June 25, 2010

SkyWatch Friday from Colonial Williamsburg

Bruton Parish Church

Among the men of the Revolution who attended Bruton Parish Church were Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, George Wythe, Patrick Henry, and George Mason. But the building's history, and that of its churchyard, goes back further in time.

Dating from 1715, the present structure is the third in a series of Anglican houses of worship that began in 1660. The first, which may or may not have been at or near the 18th-century site, was built, probably of wood, in the Old Fields at Middle Plantation, Williamsburg's name until the 66-year-old community was incorporated in 1699.

Formed from Middletown and Marston Parishes in 1674, Bruton Parish was about 10 miles square. It is named for Bruton, Somersetshire, in England, the home of then-Governor William Berkeley and Virginia secretary Thomas Ludwell. As late as 1724, the parish contained only 110 families.

In 1677, the vestry ordered that a church be built of brick on land donated by John Page November 14 of that year. Page also donated £200. The contract was let in June 1681 and the building, which stood a few steps northwest of the 1715 church, was complete by November 29, 1683. Its buried foundations remain. The first rector, the Reverend Rowland Jones, dedicated the structure on January 6, 1684.

The church stood near the center of Williamsburg's original survey map drawn 15 years later. Its location suggested the church's importance to the colonial community's life, but the building was already in disrepair. On November 21, 1710, the vestry declared its condition ruinous and proposed construction of a third church. The vestry submitted a plan for one large enough to meet only the needs of parish residents and invited the colony's government to finance an enlargement to accommodate its officers and others who came to the capital when the General Assembly sat.

The house approved a £200 grant December 5, 1710, to be financed from the taxes on liquor and slaves.

The Reverend James Blair, president of the College of William and Mary and Virginia's highest-ranking clergyman, approved construction on March 1, 1711. The same day, Governor Alexander Spotswood provided an architectural drawing of a cruciform design 75 feet long and 28 feet wide "in the clear," with two wings 22 feet wide and 19 feet long. Spotswood offered to underwrite 22 feet of the length and provide some or all of the bricks if the vestry would finance 53 feet and the assembly paid for the wings. His proposition was accepted. The contract was let to carpenter James Morris on November 17, 1711, the wings to be raised by John Tyler, builder of the Magazine.

Work began in 1712 with an October 15, 1714, deadline. The December 2, 1715, entry in the vestry book says, "at length new Church is finished, or nearly so." The second church was demolished the same year.

Governor Spotswood was provided with a canopied chair on a platform inside the rail opposite the raised pulpit with its overhanging sounding board. Parishioners sat in boxed pews, their walls providing privacy and protection from drafts. In the early years the sexes sat apart. A vestry book entry for January 9, 1716, says:

"Ordered that the Men sitt on the North side of the church, and the women on the left."

A succession of galleries was built for particular groups beneath the soaring ceiling. For example, on July 10, 1718, William and Mary students were assigned a gallery that still stands. Exterior stairs were added for access to some of these railed, overhanging rows of benches. In 1744, the building was enlarged, and in 1752 the vestry voted to make the east end as long as the west, extending the chancel 25 feet to the east. The assembly paid for the work, and it was completed in 1755.

The north, east, and south gables are pierced by rosette windows, the north and south walls by tall arched and sashed windows. All were provided for ventilation as well as light.

In 1758, the church received a chalice, paten, and alms basin from the old church at Jamestown.

Among the Williamsburg notables buried beneath the marble flagstones inside the church was Governor Francis Fauquier, one of the best loved of the colonial governors, who died in 1768.

The same year an English organ was installed. Gaolkeeper Peter Pelham was hired to play it for £25 a year, a position he held until about 1802. Pelham brought to church with him a prisoner from the Gaol, whose job it was to pump the instrument. The organ remained in service until 1835. The present organ, the church's fourth, was presented by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1954.

In 1761, merchant James Tarpley presented the church with a bell. Bids for a steeple or belfry to house the bell were let on January 1, 1769. The vestry awarded a £410 contract for a brick tower surmounted by a wooden octagon and for miscellaneous repairs to Benjamin Powell that September 14. The addition can be seen from outside the church, as the steeple bricks have a darker color than the salmon-hued bricks of the rest of the church. Tarpley's bell is still in use.

In 1781, the church served as a storehouse or hospital, perhaps both, during the Battle of Yorktown. In 1799, a visitor noted that the church again was "much out of repair." The exterior stairs were removed in 1834, and in 1838, the vestry agreed to major remodeling. Begun in 1839 and finished the next year, the renovations made a coal bin of the lower tower, walled off the west end for a Sunday school, relocated the pulpit against that wall, and opened a door in the east end. A town clock was installed in the steeple June 1, 1840.

For a week after the May 5, 1862, Battle of Williamsburg, the church served as a Union hospital for Northern and Confederate soldiers.

The vestry ordered extensive repairs and modifications in 1886 and 1896. By turns, the original pews were sawed shorter, then removed. Many of the marble floor slabs were removed in 1840 or in 1886, and a wooden floor was substituted. Some slabs were recovered when another restoration began in 1901 under the Reverend W. T. Roberts, but new ones had to be ordered for that restoration.

The Reverend Dr. W. A. R. Goodwin became rector in 1903 and took over the restoration. He raised funds to restore the church to close to its original form and obtained the services of New York architect J. Stewart Barney. Dedicated in 1907, the work cost $27,000.

Goodwin undertook another restoration in 1937 when the walls of the church were found to be in danger of collapse. Dr. Goodwin's health failed the next year, and Colonial Williamsburg helped the parish complete the restoration project.

Bruton Parish Church is owned by, and still serves, the three-centuries-old parish.

To see skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg-Drum & Fife Parade

Fifers and drummers were an important part of the 18th-century military. Through rhythms and tunes, they signaled alerts and commands for soldiers and provided motivation during long marches. The U.S. Army Third Infantry Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps is the only remaining unit of its kind in the armed forces.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg-The King's Arms Tavern

Stopped here for lunch. The food was great, huge portions, you could really split a sandwich between 2 adults. Our waiter was the best, wish I could remember his name!

After Jane Vobe opened the King’s Arms Tavern in 1772, it became one of the town’s most genteel establishments. Present-day diners can savor traditional southern fare, sumptuous desserts, and after-dinner cordials in surroundings an 18th-century traveler would recognize.

Taverns then and now
In the 18th century, Williamsburg’s taverns provided comfortable lodgings for travelers as well as serving as places to gather for meals, conversation, and entertainment. Proprietors prided themselves on serving filling meals using the freshest ingredients. Today, Colonial Williamsburg’s historic dining taverns carry on these traditions by providing a relaxed and comfortable setting for diners to experience some of the flavor of the 18th century—through atmosphere, entertainments, and food.

To see the menu, click HERE

Monday, June 21, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg-Oxen

Oxen were commonplace in British colonies starting in the 1600s. Plantation owners and small farmers relied on them for all sorts of tasks as well as for milk, meat, hides, and fat. During the Revolutionary War, oxen hauled supplies; they were links in the Continental Army's logistical network. In September 1781, Williamsburg citizens saw what was probably the largest assemblage of cattle in the town's history when George Washington's supply column passed through on its way to the Battle of Yorktown.

Oxen remained the main beasts of burden until late in the nineteenth century, when horses and mules replaced them.

Colonial Williamsburg has used oxen in historic interpretation for more than four decades. Holsteins came first in 1963 for "Life on the Street" programs. Over time, the Holsteins were replaced by two rare breeds.

The Coach and Livestock Department has eight oxen—Milking Shorthorns. It has also used Randalls. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy recognizes the breeds as endangered. By caring for and using these animals in educational programs, Colonial Williamsburg is helping to preserve their bloodlines.

The Milking Shorthorns are one of the oldest recognized breeds in the world. They came to the United States, Virginia specifically, in 1783. Their forerunners apparently existed during the 1500s in northeastern England.

Milking Shorthorns spread rapidly across the United States. Farmers in the North and Midwest readily accepted them, and the first herd was established on the west side of the Mississippi River in 1839. During the nineteenth century, American farmers admired the animals for their strength, the quality of their meat, and, most important, their milk. But by the early 1980s, Milking Shorthorns were in dire straits. Thanks to a concentrated twenty-year rescue effort, about 10,000 of these red and white cattle now exist worldwide.

For more information, click HERE

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg-Pillory

Pillory: The Pillory was wooden, and had holes for a person’s head and hands. It was common for onlookers to throw rotten fruit and/or rocks at the criminal, making the punishment even worse.

When people broke the law in colonial Virginia, the courts ordered swift and often public punishments. Unlike today, jails were used as places to hold people accused of crimes until they were brought to trial. They were not used as places for punishment. However, if the court imposed a fine, but the defendant could not pay, he sometimes spent time in jail until he did pay the fine in full.

What Kinds of Crime Were Punished?
Crime in colonial Virginia consisted of many of the same harmful acts still seen today such as murder, theft, and disturbing the peace. Certain crimes that are not considered that threatening today were taken very seriously in colonial times. For example, slander [saying something publicly that ruins someone's reputation], public drunkenness and hog theft were major crimes. Virginia’s agriculture-based economy meant that farm animals [stock] were highly valued. Treason [going against the government] was a serious crime because the king wanted to keep tight control of the colonies. Blasphemy [challenging accepted religious beliefs] was another crime that resulted in harsh punishment.

Courts awarded fines for many civil crimes [crimes between people such as stealing, breaking a promise, etc]. Fines were a way of avoiding the physical punishments. Some crimes that would be considered rather minor today resulted in serious punishments during colonial times. For example, if convicted of hog stealing, colonists were either fined ten pounds [English money] or lashed twenty-five times at the whipping post on their first offense. On top of the possible ten-pound fine, there was a fine of 400 pounds of tobacco to be shared by the owner of the stolen hog and the informant [person who told] of the crime. If a person was caught again, he/she would be locked in the Pillory with his/her ears nailed to the frame. When the thief was released, the nailed part of his/her ear was torn off. A third conviction was considered a felony and the criminal's case was then a matter of the higher General Court. Death was the usual punishment, whether the thief was a free person, a slave, or an indentured servant.

In many cases, a person's social status determined the harshness of his/her punishment. Those in a higher social class sometimes received a lesser punishment for the same crime as someone from the servant class. The law did not treat men and women equally. A woman could be whipped or publicly shamed for the same crime for which a man would only receive a fine. Slaves were always tried in the local courts and were given physical punishment whether it was the slave's first, second, or third conviction. When children committed minor crimes, their punishment was left to their parents or guardians. At age fourteen, young people had to appear in court. But if the court thought a child knew the difference between right and wrong, he/she could be tried in court for a serious offense as early as eight-years-old. The harshest punishment children received was a whipping. Slave children and orphans were most likely involved in criminal conviction because they often had no respected member of the community to speak for them in court.

Social crimes were sometimes treated severely, especially when these crimes involved breaking accepted ways of doing things or values of the community. For example, women who had an interracial illegitimate child were severely punished. A free woman was fined 16 pounds sterling [English money of high value] and, if she was unable to pay, she was sold into servitude for five years. If she was a servant, after her indenture time was completed, she was sold for another five-year term. The bi-racial child in question was bound out until the age of 31, without regard for the social standing of the mother. Marriage between a white person and an African American, mulatto, or Indian was prohibited on pain of banishment [sent away and not able to return] from the colony within three months.(Alcock)

Another example of ways the social norms of the community were regulated by the courts had to do with church attendance. Virginians were required to attend their parish church at least once per month. In Williamsburg the parish church was Bruton Parish Church, which was Anglican. Failure to obey this law without a reasonable excuse was punishable by a fine of 5 shillings [English coins], 50 pounds of tobacco, or a whipping of ten lashes. Non Anglican Protestants had to go to the county court to be legally declared a dissenter to avoid church fines. This excused them from church attendance, but not from their duty to pay the annual parish tax.


I wonder what kind of crime these 2 trouble makers committed? ;)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg-Horsepower

It's easy to imagine yourself back in the 18th century with scenes like this all around.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg-Courthouse

Important events announced at the courthouse:

Williamsburg's citizens assembled at their courthouse at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, May 1, 1783, to celebrate at last the end of the war with England – just as they had gathered seven years earlier to hear lawyer Benjamin Waller proclaim from its steps the Declaration of Independence.

Led by four standard bearers, a herald riding a gelding, and the mayor and his aldermen bearing the city charter, the throng marched down Duke of Gloucester Street toward the College of William and Mary. They carried a proclamation announcing the initialing of the Treaty of Paris and, nearly two years after Yorktown, the end of the Revolution.

The footsteps echoed off the brick facade of the Courthouse, the sound of the footfalls bouncing between the broad stone steps and the white portico. Ordered from England, the steps had arrived from a London merchant in 1772, but there were no columns – possibly none had ever been intended. Their absence jarred the eye a little at first.

This picture is taken from inside the courthouse where a mock trial is taking place. Three plaintiffs are chosen from the audience as well as a group of jurors, which Nick was picked as a juror. Fun to watch!

For more info on the courthouse, click HERE

Monday, June 14, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg-Peyton Randolph House

A couple of weeks ago, over the Memorial Day weekend, we went to Colonial Williamsburg. I loved it! This is a picture of the Peyton Randolph House:

The original structure of the Peyton Randolph House was built in 1715. Colonial Williamsburg's primary restoration of the home began in October 1938 and was completed in April 1940. More restoration of the main section was undertaken in June 1967 and was finished 12 months later. The center and west portions of the house opened for exhibition on July 1, 1968.

While in Williamsburg we took a ghost tour through The Original Ghosts of Williamsburg Candlelight Tour.

We had so much fun on this tour, all of us! Nick does not believe in ghosts, Ashlyn hates to be scared and the boys and myself love ghost stories. This tour was perfect for all of us! Our tour guide Tom did a great job telling us "ghostly" stories of the city, based on the book "The Ghosts of Williamsburg" by L.B. Taylor.

We started our tour at The College of William and Mary and finished across town, stopping at many sites along the way for Tom to tell another story.

In this photo is the Peyton Randolph House which is rumored to be the most haunted house in Williamsburg, housing up to 23 ghosts. I tried to get photos on the tour but all my pictures turned out pitch black, so I had to take a quick pic the next day as we were walking past it. We had planned to tour the house on Sunday, but then on Sunday we noticed it was closed so we'll have to put that on our "to do" list for the next trip to Williamsburg.

I highly recommend the ghost tour we took. The stories Tom told us were a great addition to the stories we heard on the individual tours we took through Williamsburg. One thing I will mention is that if you are wanting to take pictures on the ghost tour, ask your tour guide ahead of time if they will allow a few minutes in front of each stop. I assumed that there would be plenty of time for taking pictures but at each stop we would gather in a close circle to hear Tom's story, and then quickly move on to the next location. If you wanted to hear the story, you could not move away from the the group for pictures and we didn't linger long enough to snap any after the story, plus, with it being so dark outside and several other tours going on, you needed to stay with your group as they moved on. I tried on a couple of occasions to take a few quick pictures as the group was leaving but found myself lost trying to find my group! so my advice is to just ask if there will be an opportunity to take pictures, I'm sure they will accommodate you as everyone was so nice and helpful, from getting tickets to the tour guide.

So all in all, a great time was had in Williamsburg and I'll have more pictures from our trip all week!

Some links to check out:
Colonial Williamsburg
Original Ghost Tours of Williamsburg
Peyton Randolph
Peyton Randolph House

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Roadside memorial in Williamsburg, Va

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 31 in 2010). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the Civil War), it was expanded after World War I.

Friday, May 28, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

This is the old Belmont Park wooden roller coaster in Mission Beach, San Diego, CA. The original Belmont Park was so much fun back in the day. I remember having a few birthday parties there and the rides were so much better than the new park. This coaster, The Giant Dipper, opened to the public on the 4th of July, 1925. It was a bit risky to ride back in the 70's, when I would go, as many would say that it would jump the track. I remember my first ride on it, so scared that it would jump the track as my neighbor told me it did, and I would be killed, but I still had to take the chance and ride it, over and over!

The rest of the park was eventually torn down but the coaster was saved and restored in 1989. I've ridden it since the restoration, but still prefer the old Belmont Park!

To see skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Snow-San Diego Style

While Nick was in San Diego a few weeks back, he took a short trek up to the mountains and was surprised to see snow on the ground still! Yes, contrary to what many believe, San Diego DOES get snow! When the Laguna Mountains get snow, everyone around San Diego County load up their chains and sleds and head up to the mountains to play. The roadsides are jam packed with cars. San Diego is one of the few places that you can go to the snow and play then head to the beach, all in one day!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Robertos Taco Shop

Ask any transplanted San Diegan what they miss most about San Diego and 9 times out of 10 the answer will be "taco shops". Nick was in San Diego a few weeks back and I won't lie, mostly he went for a carne asada burrito fix. This picture is of Robertos Taco Shop, one of the more popular taco shop chains around town.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

With Warmer Weather...

The snakes come out. We spotted this Black Rat Snake at Craig Creek a couple of weeks ago. Nick was bothering him so he took off inside of a tree. Later, Nick found him dangling upside down from a vine hanging down inside the tree. That would have been a cool picture except for my batteries died and by the time I got over there anyway, the snake had already went back up inside the tree again.

I've featured many Black Rat Snakes on this blog in the past and you can catch up on them HERE