Sunday, September 7th, we awoke to an unbelievably beautiful day. The air was clear, crisp and smelled wonderful, the rain having washed away all of the dust and smells. There was little to no humidity, it was 80 degrees and not a hint of a cloud in the sky. Combine all of this with a mild breeze and you have a truly perfect day.
Late last night, we had made arrangements with Dan and Debbie, from the Hunter 46 “About Time” to meet for breakfast. We were to meet at the River’s Inn, here at the marina, at 9:00 am, but upon arriving, we discovered that the restaurant didn’t open until 11:00 am. So, not to be set back by this development, we all got in Dan’s car and went across the river to the Yorktown Hotel and had a really great breakfast there. Blueberry pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and gigantic omelets saved the day and more than filled us all up.
Following a long, relaxed meal and good conversation, we returned to the Yacht Haven around noon. Dan and Debbie and Gordon and I said our goodbyes and arranged to meet later for cocktail hour on About Time. Then, Gordon and I walked Schooner for a bit, got in our car and headed for Colonial Williamsburg to play “tourista.”
We had a pleasant drive up the western shore of the York River, on the Colonial Parkway. This scenic stretch of federal highway is part of the National Park Service's Colonial National Historical Park. With portions built between 1930 and 1957, the Colonial Parkway joins the three communities with a scenic, tranquil roadway, carefully shielded from views of commercial development. A major effort has also been made to keep traffic signs and other modern roadside items to a minimum, and make them unobtrusive where unavoidable.
This helps visitors mentally return to the past, and there are often views of wildlife and waterfowl in addition to the river panoramas near each end.
Arriving in Williamsburg around 1:00 pm, Gordon and I parked the car in one of the many convenient (and free) public parking lots and took to the sidewalks. The streets of Williamsburg are lined with hundreds of upscale stores, boutiques and eateries. If you can think of it, you can be certain you’ll find it in Williamsburg. And, if you visit every shop in town, I can guaranty you you’ll find lots of neat stuff that you never thought of.
Williamsburg is also home to William and Mary University, the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the original eight institutions known as Public Ivies. William & Mary was founded in 1693 by a Royal Charter issued by King William III and Queen Mary II, joint sovereigns of England, Scotland and Ireland. The school hosted the seat of government of the Colony of Virginia beginning in 1698, as a new capitol building was constructed nearby. In modern times, the College's landmark Wren Building stands at the western head of Duke of Gloucester Street, while the reconstructed Capitol of Colonial Williamsburg stands at the eastern end of the street.
Having gotten our “shopping fix,” Gordon and I took the car and moved to the Colonial Village of Williamsburg, which is the historic district of the city. It consists of many of the actual buildings that, from 1699 to 1780, formed colonial Virginia's capital. The 301 acre Historic Area is meant to be an interpretation of a Colonial American city, with exhibits that include dozens of authentic or accurately-recreated colonial houses and staged events relating to American Revolutionary War history. In this environment, Colonial Williamsburg strives to tell the story of how diverse peoples, having different and sometimes conflicting ambitions, evolved into a society that valued liberty and equality. (On a lighter note, Gordon and I figured out that, the fact that the historic area contains nine (9) reconstructed taverns, means our forefathers did a LOT of drinking!)
Having walked (and walked and walked and walked) the city, we decided to leave Williamsburg and head for home around 4:30 pm. We made another scenic transit of the Colonial Parkway and finally returned to the marina around 5:00 pm. Then it was drinks (Bushwackers. Yum Yum!) and more good conversation until around 11 pm and back to the boat for a good night’s sleep.