Artisans and Adventures – Williamsburg, VA

My last post was all about the settlement of Jamestown, VA in 1607. The City of Williamsburg was founded as the capital of the Virginia Colony in 1699. At the time Colonial leaders requested to relocate the capital from Jamestown to Middle Plantation, five miles inland between the James and the York Rivers. The new city was renamed Williamsburg in honor of England’s reigning monarch, King William III.

Why did they move the capital?  There are three main reasons for the move: 1. the drinking water was contaminated by seepage of saltwater, 2. the living conditions became dirty caused diseases, and 3. Williamsburg  was situated at a higher elevation than Jamestown.

will and james

Some kids go to Disney as a kid…I got to go to Colonial Williamsburg.  It was one of the most memorable trips for me.  I was a really shy kid so I told myself one day that I would be able to make stuff like the artists at Williamsburg.

Slowly over the last forty years or so,  I have kept that silent promise to myself.  I make yarn out of fiber on my spinning wheel. I have a loom and can weave.  I have successfully created all kinds of wearable art and sell my own jewelry. I sell silver jewelry and know how to be a silversmith.  We have sold more wood turned items than I can count. We have even had our own wood shop. I even have a letterpress machine so I can make prints or business cards. However, I can’t leather work or blacksmith…yet!

Williamsburg is  was one of those places for me that made an lasting impression throughout my life.  So, this was my second time coming here to Williamsburg. I come to it from a much different perspective.

There are two ways to see Colonial Williamsburg…the first way is totally free.  You can park on the outskirts of the area like Merchants Square and walk in. You experience what it felt like to be in Colonial Williamsburg in the 1600s. Walk the street, see the architecture, and talk to towns people.  Parking for two hours is free or you can park in a garage for about $1 per hour.

The second way is all inclusive.  Make your way to the visitor center where you park for free. The visitor center has two gift shops: one British themed and one Colonial themed.  Buy a ticket which is about $41 per ticket(adults) for one day or a multi day ticket for $51 (adults).  Check the Colonial Williamsburg, VA website for more ticket prices and specials. With the ticket you get to see the tours of places like the governors palace etc. and seeing the artisans at work.

Spinning at Colonial Williamsburg VA
Spinning at Colonial Williamsburg VA
Silversmith Shop
Silversmith Shop
Silversmith Shop
Silversmith Shop
Blacksmith Shop Williamsburg, VA
Blacksmith Shop Williamsburg, VA

I was a little afraid Williamsburg would not live up to my expectation.  It held a really high regard in my mind. I can say it was equally inspirational the second time around.

You can check them out on their Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/ColonialWilliamsburg

-Mara

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No one lives here right? – Jamestown, VA

Original lines of the Jamestown Fort Virginia

Original lines of the Jamestown Fort Virginia

Nestled on a small island on the James river near the Chesapeake Bay… lies the original English Settlement of Jamestown, Virginia.  Why was this spot chosen?  Well, they thought it was a pretty secure location.  It was mostly an island separated by just an isthmus made of a sand bar from the mainland. This spot was far enough inland from the coast to discourage the settlement as an easy target from potential Spanish explorers. The river was actually deep enough to get their large ships to the spot! The location was empty from other inhabitants…or so they thought.  As we know, this land was not actually empty… and many of those new settlers lost their lives due to their naivety in those first years. NPS History of Jamestown VA

We have known about this site historically for a really long time. It was first inhabited in 1607, after all.  I find it fascinating that we are still digging here and rethinking the way the boundaries of this site looked.  We thought the fort was a triangle…but in reality it was the first pentagon.  We are still finding artifacts here on a daily basis. The resident archaeologist showed us the take from yesterday in a brown paper bag…broken bottles, buttons, an arrowhead, and more.  Amazing! Historic Jamestown

I always thought of Jamestown as this bustling port…and it was just not at the scale I thought it was.  My impression was way off that way.  The views along from this site are worth the price of admission (which was $14 per person for Jamestown and Yorktown which is a seven-day pass).  https://www.facebook.com/historicjamestowne/

This is one of the reasons we wanted to travel.  You can read or watch videos/movies about all of this stuff.  However once you see this in person,  you can somehow feel a sense of what they felt over 400 years ago.  From both sides…what the settlers may have seen and experienced and on the other hand… how land was being invaded by the settlers.  Super interesting experience.

For me…it was a really moving and fulfilling experience.

-Mara

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Costco and a Smart Car

Smart Car Costco
Smart Car Costco

Who says you can’t shop at Costco when you have a Smart Car?

As an RVer, we get questions about living in a small space and why on earth would we shop at Costco?  We are not often in an area to get groceries reliably.  We like Costco for the consistency of a budget (price) and reliability of what you can buy (quality of goods).  We shop at Costco about once per month and stock up our freezer and prepare meals for weeks. I guess it makes sense to us. Let us know what you think?

Costco Smart Car Shopping
Costco Smart Car Shopping

 

Oh by the way… I am working on a video testing Costco TP and if it is safe for Motorhome / RV/ Fifth Wheel black tanks… stay tuned…This picture may give you the answer!

-Mara

A little bit of History … ooo ice cream – North Carolina

I can’t say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days. – Daniel Boone

In 1750, Daniel Boone moved from Pennsylvania to the Yakdin River Valley of North Carolina with his family at age 15.  He was well known for his outdoor hunting talents.  Daniel even created a business based on his hunting skills. Though he moved to Kentucky, and was one of the first settlers in that state, his family (mother and father stayed in North Carolina).  Here is a link to more  Daniel Boone History

We visited the final resting place of his mother and father smack dab in the middle of Mocksville, NC.  It was really interesting seeing the old grave markers and how as you walk further back in the cemetery you walk further back in time. We ended up in the area as if we were walking through 1777… just after this country was founded in 1776.

Joppra Cemetery

 

We happened upon Mocksville, NC on the day of the Daniel Boone Family Festival.  Live bands, arts and crafts, and festival food all in the downtown area of this small town. Super cute and a great way to get a feel of the community.

On the lighter side, we stayed at the Thousand Trails Campground near there and found one of my absolutely favorite ice cream.  One of the best treats I have ever put in my mouth! Try the red velvet ice cream and the sea salt caramel… I mean it! It is locally made  http://enjoyfrontporch.com/

This was just a taste of our journey through history as we travel up the east coast of the USA.  We can’t wait to see more…onto Virginia and Williamsburg.

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Thanks for all of the support…

-Mara

The Waterfall – Greenville, SC

Falls Park Sign
Falls Park Sign

For most of Greenville, South Carolina’s history the waterfall on the Reedy River has been the centerpiece of downtown.  A great piece of beauty and can be considered a center of social activity.  While we were here on a Sunday in May, the park was alive with picnics and dog walking. Absolutely everything  from dining to coffee to shopping is within walking distance of Falls Park.

We stopped to enjoy a snack (yes, we are craving Mexican Food after leaving Albuquerque) at Papi’s Tacos and sat outside to eat at a little table near river. Check them out here:  Papi’s Tacos

Of course, my favorite part is the sounds of the rushing river over the falls!  I could listen to the beauty of that sounds all day!

Make sure to take a stroll over the Liberty Bridge…the bridge is  345 ft long, 12 ft wide and with a concrete reinforced deck supported by a single suspension cable- is like nothing else in the US. Spanning the Reedy River in Greenville, this structure overlooks the local waterfall and the gardens at Falls Park.

Falls Park SC
Falls Park SC

 

Definitely, a peaceful day and wonderful centerpiece to the town of Greenville, SC.

There are a ton of waterfalls in this area and what we enjoyed  most of this stretch  off I-85 in South Carolina! Check them out here : Waterfalls in Upstate South Carolina

-Mara

Kuma in Falls Park
Kuma in Falls Park