12.11.2011 - 12.11.2011 15 °C
Sorry guys I've been a bit slack in the blog writing department - unfortunately the Inn was not conducive to using a laptop.
I'm now in Charleston and my super large room has a desk and a proper office chair so no excuses now!!!
I had planned just to do Jamestown and Yorktown but on the advice of the Inn Owner, Fred, I decided to do Basset Hall as well - it's opening times are rather haphazard..... Basset Hall is where the Rockerfellers based theirselves when restoring Williamsburg in 1930's. It was an amazing piece of philanthropy that ensured that Williamsburg essentially had a zero unemployment rate during the Great Depression. Mr Rockerfeller initially only agreed to put in $4-5million to get the restoration underway but after becoming so enamoured with the project he ended up donating over $68million - not bad for a Yankee as they like to say....
Williamsburg people (not sure what the word for that is, Williamburgers?) are very proud that the Rockerfellers decided to base theirselves 2 months of the year for the rest of their lives in Williamsburg and it is definitely the least lavish of all their 5 houses. Apparently the Rockerfellers used to walk to the movies which endeared them enormously to the town.
Basset Hall is definitely homely and one could easily live their today. Purchasing the property also ensure that the forest around the town was preserved and this gives it the timewarp feeling that it has. The guide was fabulous - she could talk non-stop about the home and was full of fascinating details.
If you are ever in Williamsburg - park at the Tavern Parking lot - its free and nobody checks whether or not you are actually going to a tavern - when I told Fred that this is where I parked, he said that's where all the locals park and they try not to tell anyone about it.
After Basset Hall, I headed over to Yorktown where Lord Cornwallis surrended the English troops to George Washington. Again, another time warp of a town - only a few people live here and it has mostly been restored. It's incredibly quaint and I feel sorry for town when hoardes of tourists travel through the place. Luckily for me, the wind had died down and I was almost sweating in the sunshine. Had lunch at Carrot Hill which must rate as the most disorganised restaurant I have seen for some time. City dwellers were extremely frustrated at the lackadaisical service. Had a quick scout around the battlefield - lots of mounds and canons dotted around which after viewing the movie you could imagine Washington charging the troops at the English.
After Yorktown it was a scenic drive on the Colonial Parkway - the foliage is stunning and periodically a deer or two would dart across the highway. Jamestown was the first settlement of English speaking people in North America - what a strange site to choose - no fresh running water and surrounded by bullrushes. It's essentially an archeological site so not much reconstruction here. But you do get an idea of the bustling town that it became before it burnt entirely to the ground and forgotten about.
After walking around all day I headed to my final tavern (using the tavern parking of course) - this one was called Christiana Campbells and specialised in seafood - I had crab cakes - you really can't avoid crabcakes in Virginia and Maryland - they're famous for it - in Baltimore there's crab everything - including coffee mugs that read Feeling Crabby? These crab cakes were suberb - all flaky crab meat seasoned and spiced into a round pattie - it was absoulely delicous and filling - I followed that with a slap of rum n' raisin icecream - yes, you read that correctly - no scoops in Williamsburg - it was a gigantic slab!!!