Tuesday, March 27, 2012

History Lessons and Colonial Williamsburg

We just enjoyed a fun weekend away at Williamsburg with Tess and Josephine's grandparents (thanks Mimi and Bob!). Williamsburg is a fun vacation destination for us because it offers special experiences that appeal to each of us: the ability to immerse oneself in a dramatic story for Jo, ginger cakes for Tim and me, and lots of gravel and dirt for Tess.  Actually they are shells, not gravel, that cover the streets.  I was asked to pocket many handfuls of shells by a very enamored Tess, and those were in addition to the ones she had in her mouth.

Jo is just starting to understand and absorb some early US history. We checked out two interesting books at the library before we went, "A Williamsburg Household" and "Mary Geddy's Day, A Colonial Girl in Williamsburg."  We have also read some of the Felicity stories.  Felicity is an American Girl doll (also "archived" which is American Girl doll speak for it's gonna cost a lot to buy this doll on ebay).  Josephine does not have a Felicity doll, but we've read a few of the stories, which are set in colonial Williamsburg.  Honestly she is young for the themes presented in the Felicity books and both the Mary Geddy book and particularly the Williamsburg household book talk about slavery in some depth and that's upsetting to have to explain to her. Of course it'll be upsetting to explain to her at any age, but at four her picture of the world is so incomplete that I'm not sure what exactly she took away from my explanation, and yes I do mean please let this topic not randomly come up when we are chatting with a stranger at the store.  Anyway I would still recommend both the books and especially Mary Geddy for a young visitor to Williamsburg.  You can visit the actual Geddy house, which is pretty interesting.

Another of Jo's favorite things to do at Williamsburg is dress up like a colonial girl.  The shops have dresses for sale, you could make one (not I, but you), or you can rent them once you get there. It's pretty fun to watch Jo do her "courtesies" outside each store.  It was a great time!  

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