This summer for our family vacation, we went on spy missions for the Colonial Army, experienced revolution in the streets, and even heard the Declaration of Independence read aloud shortly after it was signed by the first Continental Congress. We did all of this because this summer we went to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Or as my husband calls it the other Williamsburg.
|Powhatan Indian Village in Jamestown Settlement|
We tried to see some of each of the main historic sites in the area, though you can't see everything in a week. Even though he complained about it on reflection my little guy did seem proud of the fact he'd gotten to see some of the places he'd studied the previous school year, like Jamestown and Yorktown. I was a little troubled to hear that Williamsburg, Virginia was never mentioned. But we've all seen it now. It's one of my favorite historic areas to visit.
|The Govenor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg|
My daughter enjoyed the spy mission that kids and youth are offered a chance to complete. The spies were able to identify each other by purple ribbons and kerchiefs. I will say I saw several older kids that seemed very psyched about this mission also. My son went along the first day but was more interested in the 'hands on' living history for kids in the colonial village of which there are many to choose from. My nephew liked them as well and also enjoyed learning a new song which he still likes to sing called Yankee Doodle. Some of you might have heard of it. ;)
|It's Generale de LaFayette!|
There were more re-enacters this visit than what I remembered from my last visit years ago. One of my personal faves to encounter was the Marquis de LaFayette.
Another new thing I don't remember from my last visit to this area was the Yorktown Victory Center. It is currently under renovation to be expanded even more. But they have a military encampment there and a colonial farm that you can visit and walk through. They also had an army surgeon there who relished telling visitors about medical treatment colonial style. I only made it through the part where he talked about drilling into a person's skull. After that I left to explore the encampment and take pictures.
|Colonial Army encampment at Yorktown, VA|
All in all it was a fun filled family vacation. I hope it helped get my kids interested in the history of our country's beginnings. Below for those of you who enjoy historical fiction (especially during the colonial period) or would like some suggestions for same for your kids I've compiled a couple of lists below. Some of the books I've read but many I haven't, though I've added many of them to my reading wishlist. Anyhooo, that is my post for today.
|Colonial Army Surgeon in Yorkown, VA|
This guy made me seriously rethink wanting to develop time travel and sample life in the good ole days. :)
What about you? Any time in the past you'd like to visit? Any vacation adventures you would like to share?
Children's and YA Historical Fiction
1. Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
2. Copper Sun by Sharon M Draper
3. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Spear
4. Blood on the River by Elisa Lynn Carbone
5. Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson
6. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier
7. Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares by Frank Murphy and Richard Walz
8. The Ride: The Legend of Betsy Dowdy by Kitty Griffin
9. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Spear
10. Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski
Adult Historical Fiction
1. Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
2. The Turning of Anne Merrick by Christine Blevins
3. Bone Rattler: A Mystery of Colonial America by Eliot Pattison
4. The Schoolmaster's Daughter by John Smolens
5. The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss
6. The Outlander series by Diane Gabaldon
7. Dawn's Early Light by Elswyth Thane
8. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
9. The Widow's War by Sally Cabot Gunning
10. The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz