In my younger days – not so long ago – I was in love with all things country – especially what I called Southern Country. I collected hearts, candle snuffers and santa’s. My favourite colours were navy, rust and cream. I wallpapered bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen with small print paper and hung ruffled draperies. Furniture was pine, tables were pedestal and kitchen chairs had ruffled seat cushions. I had a porch swing, regularly switched out the “Welcome” flags and hung seasonal wreaths on our front door. I stencilled borders, candle wicked, embroidered, cross stitched and occasionally sewed. Homemade Christmas decorations included burgundy ribbon bows, popcorn and cranberries strung into individual wreaths and decorated gingerbread hearts. I collected Country Living magazines and read them cover to cover – again and again. I especially remember one New Year’s Day, in my younger days – not so long ago – spending the entire day in bed piled high with my collection of Country Living magazines that I had already read cover to cover.
But, my heart always skipped a beat when I read stories about Colonial Williamsburg and I saw pictures of the interior and exterior architecture, symbolic pineapples (I collected those for awhile too), wicker baskets, horse drawn carriages and Williamsburg pottery. Christmas was especially uplifting when I saw buildings and houses with candles and greenery wreaths in every window (I did that also a few times). In my younger days – not so long ago – I really, really wanted to go to Williamsburg. That would be my ‘perfect’ destination – for all things Southern Country.
AND, we’re here – at Christmas! AND, I had no idea it was this elaborate or covered this much ground or would be so expensive…
Among the hundreds of restored and reconstructed buildings, there are over 40 exhibit sites, ranging from colonial homes and government buildings to trade shops, taverns and museums.
In addition, the area is also a living city with over 80 families residing within the boundaries of this Revolutionary City. Each of the houses display a very, small plaque that reads PRIVATE RESIDENCE – NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. I walked up many steps before seeing these plaques and, I’m sure we were not the only ones!
With the purchase of a $40 admission ticket, a variety of tours and programs are available offering you a chance to learn first-hand what it was like to live in the capital of Virginia on the eve of the American Revolution. Some of the tours and programs are free while others require an additional ticket. You can fire a Flintlock Musket for $119, ride on an 18th-century ox wagon for $5 or take a horse and carriage ride for $20 per person.
For $18, you can even cast your vote for the guilt or innocence of “the Virginia Witch”. This program was not appropriate for young children due to subject matter and intense emotion! You can participate in a local court session, attend a Christmas Ball at the Raleigh Tavern or follow along the Fifes and Drum March.
Well, we didn’t get to see or do it all but what we did see was well done, very well maintained and you could definitely see where your $$ were going in the restoration and re-building efforts. And, I was not disappointed! No way!