The Christmas Break
So, what has the UK Desperate Housewife UK been up to over Christmas week?
Taking in a lot of American history, don’t ya know. And pondering about what makes American people American, and what made them not want to be English anymore and what defines the American population. Interesting thoughts, let me tell you.
Yup, I’ve been to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown and Yorktown and Norfolk and I learned a whole lot of stuff about The War of Independence and wotnot. 🙂
So, what about Williamsburg?
1. It rained, so as we walked in to the town high street with its MASSIVE puddles and everyone had their brollies up, yes, it felt a lot like England.
2. Harry asked if we were actually in England. Bradford on Avon, to be exact – where his grandparents live. ‘It’s just like Bradford on Avon in the olden days,’ he declared. ‘They haven’t got a McDonalds there either.’ 😉
3. You can find the ‘am dram actors’ dressed in their colonial paraphernalia of the time either a charming addition to the town, or you can find them a bit disconcerting and/or annoying. To be fair, some of them do it really well and share some fascinating history with you, but some of them are trying a little too hard.
Things like this:
‘Oh, look, that lady is pointing an odd-shaped box at us, how strange…’ (My camera). I sort of laughed, feeling embarrassed for them and for me and pottered on over the cobbles as fast as I could.
My favourite thing, however, was to allow (encourage) the costumed characters to interact with my husband who had not a clue how to react and generally mumbled something back incoherently, finding it all very awkward and embarrassing.
‘Good day, sir! How art thou?’
‘Um, alright mate, how’s it going?’ (He’s kind of Cockney.)
‘That’s a fine and sturdy lad you have there, sir.’ (Man in costume points at Harry.)
‘What? Yeah, thanks very much. Cheers….See ya.’
Oh how we (I) laughed!
Anyhow, yes, Williamsburg is super lovely and I would like to go back again when it’s NOT raining quite so much (I’m not that homesick!!) 🙂
Visiting Virginia Beach
We also visited Virginia Beach, but I don’t really have much to say about that, except that every seaside town is a bit bloody miserable in the winter time. Beaches are made for summer and sunbathing, wherever they are.
That stuff is everywhere. I don’t get the fascination. Even the gas station I stopped off at on the way home to get some milk had not real milk from cows, but chocolate milk in full supply. It is truly an American phenomenon.
Norfolk, but not as we know it
I rather liked Norfolk, especially the handsome cop in the Police and Fire Museum, whom I kept approaching with yet another question or funny/amusing comment. 😉
Harry’s view of Norfolk? ‘This looks just like England!’ He kept asking when we would be in America again. He is very confused, poor child.
Oh yes, and there is a big old ship there and a mermaid.
Jamestown and Yorktown
I liked both of these places a lot. They got my British head a-thinking about what happened back in those days that changed the colonies in the New World from British to American. I love the history, but it always makes me think about the people.
I’m interested in what made them go: ‘Hang on a minute, I don’t want to be bloody well English anymore and told what to do by that nutter King George with his rules and wotnot, I want to create my own independent rules and speak with a different accent and do some exploring and be a bit different, but the same in some ways, and create my own super power and have chocolate milk and drive on the other side…Hey, let’s have Revolution!’ (etc).
I’m guessing it was the type of people who came to the colonies – a bit adventurous, challenging the times, looking for a new way of life. Anyway, that’s the bit that fascinates me.
I did learn this: Jamestown was America’s first permanent English colony in Virginia in 1607 – 13 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in Massachusetts, and it sparked a series of cultural encounters that helped shape the nation and the world. The government, language, customs, beliefs and aspirations of these early Virginians are all part of the United States’ heritage today.
Yorktown was all military stuff with the battlefield where allied American and French forces won the decisive battle of the American Revolution in 1781. The Yorktown Victory Center chronicles the entire Revolutionary period, from colonial unrest to the formation of the new nation. I learned a great deal about the Declaration of Independence and how people from many different cultures shaped a new society and the development of a new government with the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Wow, my head was exploding with information. Ace.
And now back to normality. Or as normal as it gets in this adventure 🙂