Mondays are for dreaming: Colonial Williamsburg (and beyond) in the Truckster

Chatting with an interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg

Wigs! Printmaking! Oxen! When I got the itinerary from Homeaway.com for the trip Tommy and I would take in the Truckster, I was most excited about the fact that we would be stopping in Colonial Williamsburg, even if the visit would be brief one. We in the Mother of All Trips household love history, especially early American history. And Williamsburg, definitely high on my list of dreamy places, did not disappoint. The lovely historic downtown is chock full of interpreters in costume, horses pulling wagons, and children in bonnets or tri-corner hats bowling hoops. Four refugees from a 1980s movie car fit right in.

Although we were only there for a couple of hours, we learned a lot. Tommy was fascinated by the print shop, where we got to handle pieces of moveable type and see how playbills and newspapers would be published in the eighteenth century.

Printmaking in Colonial Williamsburg

At the peruke maker we learned that men had pretty, pretty hair once it was shaved off their heads and sewed by hand into comely wigs.

Wigs on display at Colonial Williamsburg

And I was fascinated by our visit to the county courthouse where the process for electing local officials was describe in detail down to the rum punch on offer from the candidates to the fact that you had to look the person you voted for in the eye as you gave them your vote (while all of the other competitors stood in a line nearby).

Oxen in the street of Colonial Williamsburg

And even if our visit was short, I was able to glean a few tips for any family planning a visit there. Number one would be to avoid going in the summer if you can help it. It’s just plain crowded – and since many of the sights in the historic area have a limited capacity you’ll spend time standing around outside in the hot sun waiting to get in (we probably wasted close to 45 minutes doing this). And that hot sun is another reason to stay away in the summer if you can – it was sweltering on the June day we visited. With kids, I’d also go into my time there with a plan of what I wanted to see and do roughly sketched out so as to maximize what we were able to see on a given day. And I’d definitely consider costume rentals for the kids – just to help get into the spirit of things. And to have mortifying photos to pull out on prom night.

After our all-too-quick stop in Williamsburg, we made the long drive to Washington D.C., which was lengthened by the usual heavy Beltway traffic. The Truckster was a comfortable ride, but we were glad to arrive at our destination in the early evening. The kind people at Homeaway.com put Tommy and me up in an immaculate and large house just north of the city. We unfortunately didn’t have much time to spend there, but the lovely owner Patricia left me a birthday card and Tommy a basketful of snacks, which he managed to devour despite the fact that we were in the house for only about ten hours total. This house would be convenient for anyone staying in D.C. with a car (we drove from there to Capitol Hill in about 20 minutes the following morning). It could easily hold several families staying together since it has no fewer than five bedrooms, one well equipped for a posse of kids. It’s a little quirky – three of the bedrooms are basically adjoining and the neighborhood isn’t exactly scenic. But it was very comfortable and I kind of like the variety that’s to be found when looking for rentals with Homeaway – no cookie cutter accommodations here.

And honestly, since I’m all about getting out and about when I’m on vacation in a great city, as long as my rental is clean, safe, and comfortable, I’m happy. This trip was no exception – we arrived, dropped off our bags, and took off for a minor league baseball game between the Bowie Baysox and the Reading Phillies (we may have been the only people there routing for the Phils, who were up by quite a few runs when we left after the fifth inning). The evening was gorgeous and Tommy couldn’t have been happier to hang out with his new best friend.

John and Tommy at the Bowie Baysox game

And the next morning, after enjoying many of the lovely snacks in Tommy’s basket, it was off for a photo-op in front of the Capitol Building and the breakfast at Union Station. A great end to a whirlwind of a road trip. I was so grateful to HomeAway for giving Tommy and me a chance to hang out with John and Stephanie and to ride in that car, which has a personality all its own, almost like a member of the family. Maybe even better. Certainly the trip was an experience worthy of many Monday dreams and one Tommy and I will continue to talk about for months if not years to come.

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I know that you may be surprised by the topic of this post and may have been expecting a post about London where we’ve been for the last week. England certainly has been dreamworthy (if exhausting). I have lots and lots and lots to share but have frankly been both too busy and too tired to post. Now that I’m not jet-lagged anymore, I’m hoping to have a little more energy to publish at least a few “postcards” from the rest of our trip to Bristol, Oxford, and Windsor if not a full report on our stay in London. But since my Internet access is less certain once we leave London tomorrow, we’ll have to see just what I’m able to publish before my return to the United States next week.

Until then, I hope you’ll share your Monday Dreams below. Questions? See About Monday Dreaming. And I hope you’ll read more about my trip in the Wagon Queen Family Truckster in these posts:

Wagon Queen Family Truckster stop one: Virginia Beach
Your top 5 questions about riding in the Truckster answered

Disclosure: Our entire trip was paid for by HomeAway.

Reader Responses

5 fellow travelers had this to say

  1. I could totally see from his face how happy he was in this trip.

    I can totally related about blogging on the road during a family trip. I couldn’t do it! Just too tired to even attempt to check my RSS feed. :) Enjoy your trip and hope to read about it later!

  2. You are having too much fun!!! The truckster is awesome and I’ve loved catching up on your travels. How great!

  3. What an excellent photo journey through Colonial Williamsburg! While I know you’re having a blast in London, this last trip with the Truckster sure wasn’t too shabby either.

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