Saturday, August 30, 2008

Scope for the Imagination at Colonial Williamsburg

Besides the history and interaction at Colonial Williamsburg, I also love the architecture nestled among the formal garden landscape. Charming Georgian architecture of various homes and outbuildings are cozily wrapped in charming colonial fences, softened by shady magnolia trees and blossoms gently waving in the deliciously cool breeze. As Anne of Green Gables would say, "What scope for the imagination!" In between reliving history experiences, we'd take snack and rest breaks on benches under shady oak trees and soaked in the beauty around us, savoring the scent of colorful blooms and watching playful red-breasted robins hop about.  Leisurely walking down the back roads after dinner, we'd stop to watch the horses sedately graze while listening to the bubbling brooks that run through the delightfully hilly landscape and under wooden quaint bridges.  Bends in the road and open gates beckoned secrets to explore.  As the sun sets on a wonderfully exciting day, the azure blue sky turns shades of pinks, the bullfrog starts to croak at the edge of the pond, and another day fades away into history...

        


Friday, August 29, 2008

HUZZAH to Those Who Make Colonial Williamsburg Live

     Wishing for more time to experience Colonial Williamsburg, we needed to proceed on to the next leg of our journey.  Initially, when we planned our Virginia vacation, we made a long wish list of places to see.  A few places were scratched off, others were prioritized, and difficult choices were made.  We decided on less time in Williamsburg, so that we could spend a few days elsewhere to round out our American Revolutionary experience:  Mount Vernon, Washington DC, Montpelier and Monticello. 

     Like Lafayette who did a whirlwind grand tour of America in 1824, we did a grand tour of Virginia in 2004.  I called it our ABC trip.  It was our very first history vacation with our then 8yos and 11yod.  That time we toured Colonial Williamsburg while Hurricane Alex bumped into the Virginia coastline, drenching us throughout our Revolutionary experience before he whirled out to sea.  I watched Patrick Henry thunder away while standing under an umbrella behind the Palace Gardens. Breathtaking! (Two days later, after another storm during the night and a cold front came through, we watched his entire presentation.  Brrrr on the outside but definitely we were fired up in spirit!)   To stay dry at the peak of the rain someone suggested we meet with Thomas Jefferson who would talk to the children at Kimball Theater. What a treat! We visited every trade, played the drums, played the colonial games, marched with the drum and fife corps, went through boot camp with the militia and learned how to hold a gun and march in a wheel formation... interacting in every conceivable way.  (That was before Revolutionary City).  Then on a beautiful day with a brilliant blue sky we went to the interactive portions of Jamestown and Yorktown.  My son had a blast attending every single musket, rifle and cannon demonstration, while poor dd held her ears, cringing every time.  DS was firing imaginary guns and cannons for weeks!  We drove to our campground in Fredericksburg in the dark night during the downpour and mist of Hurricane Bonnie.  As we drove through the dark, narrow, winding road through the woods, through the mist hazily lit by our headlights, I could see Civil War soldiers stalking by with their guns, carefully looking... We toured Mount Vernon at the end of Hurricane Bonnie.  By noon the skies cleared.  My children got to do lots of interactive stuff at Mount Vernon, including running through the round barn that George Washington designed like the horses did to tread grain.  Then they got to see the horses do that.  (A mom has got to love programs that involve exercise for her children!  Afterwards they sleep great! lol)  That evening we took a boat tour from Alexandria up the Potomac into Georgetown.  We got to see all of the monuments and Arlington House from the boat under a sunset sky.  Beautiful!  We drove by Civil War battlefields and I pointed them out to the children and told them to imagine the fighting. (Harder to do in daylight than in misty rain at night.) Gun and cannon sounds proceeded from ds.  We drove by Montpelier and waved.  Then we toured Monticello during the biggest and coldest gulleywasher of them all, Hurricane Clyde, I mean Charlie. (I think that one was misnamed!)   Nevertheless we got to do a special children's tour of the mansion and walked through the gardens with our 3rd or 4th newly purchased souvenir umbrellas and raincloaks (Who knew it would rain again?)  Boy did we have memories...historical and tropical!

     Because we recently studied the American Revolution, we planned to return to Virginia for vacation this summer.  Since we experienced these wonderful locations at the grammar level last time, I challenged the chlidren to experience Virginia on a dialectic level this time, especially since we are learning in school at the dialectic level.  (Grammar, dialectic and rhetoric levels are phases of Classical Education.  Grammar is hands on.  Dialectic makes connections, as in my son asking the Marquis if the sour relations between the British and French during the Armerican Revolution and French and Indian War were a result of the Hundred Years' War. Rhetoric basically interprets and applies original source documents.)  As my children studied last spring, I kept encouraging them that they were learning the very things they would experience in August.  I told them to learn well so that they could engage with the re-enactors.   Because of the wonderful work of the actor/interpretors, our depth of understanding of the American Revolution was enhanced, allowing us to view the 21st century with a more focused lens.

     I cannot say enough what an incredible job the actor/interpreters did.  As we continued our grand tour of Virginia, other tour guides at other locations were good, but not nearly as knowledgeable as the historical interpretors of Colonial Williamsburg.  More than once my children stumped them with a question or knew more than the tour guide expected.  But never was that the case at Colonial Williamsburg. 

     While at CW we quickly noticed that many of the actors play multiple roles, assuming a new persona each day.  For background, last spring we read the Jean Fritz's biographies, Why Not Lafayette? and Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold.  I had always wondered WHY Lafayette was incredibly impelled to help us with our revolution and what caused him and George Washington to become so close.  On the other hand, I've always wondered WHY Benedict Arnold became a turncoat, as he is called in Williamsburg.  I not only got lots of answers from the biographies, but as I read the books I quickly noticed that these two men were foils to each other.  Each fought with passion and conviction and an inner drive to succeed.  Arguably, we discussed the amount of pride that each possessed.  It was of course out front with Arnold, but subtle with Lafayette. As we discussed the pride these men had, we also compared the drive behind and the goals for which they used it.  In the beginning, Benedict Arnold was quite the hero, most notably at the Battle of Saratoga, even though he was disobeying orders from a prideful commander. Yet he never gained the honor he sought.  The Marquis, on the other hand, was compelled by the idea of liberty for the comman man.  He had been working to improve the quality of life of his own serfs, stuck in the Medieval system of serfs owing allegiance to a vassal who in turn beckons to the monarch.  The lines of rich and poor in France during this time were becoming frightenly stark. Lafayette was pleased to use his title and money to help the common man to effect changes in society, in any way he could think of.  When Lafayette heard of the Declaration of Independence and General George Washington, he suddenly realized that his dreams of liberty in France were reality in America.  Excited that the idea of liberty was happening across the ocean, he had to become a part of it. In fact, his motto was...Why Not? At the age of 19 he arrived in America and convinced the Continental Congress to allow him to serve as aide-de-camp to General Washington; he'd pay his own way.  Lafayette, despite his youth, was a brilliant military leader, quickly gaining Washington's trust where others failed. Nevertheless he was often called "the boy" by those who couldn't look past his youth to see his brilliant military and leadership skills. Ever the mediator and encourager, he was known as the soldier's friend.  He stuck by his men, provided clothing for them from his own funds and inspired them when they were ready to give up. He always deferred to General Washington, whom he thought of as a father.  In turn, Washington thought of Lafayette as a son.  Lafayette's cleverness, quick wits and tenacity hounded General Cornwallis through Virginia for weeks. "Cornwallis gloated, 'The boy cannot escape me.'" (Why Not Lafayette, p28)   By September 1781, Lafayette and his men cornered Cornwallis in Yorktown.  The French fleet blocked any British hopes of escape by sea. General Washington marched south with his men to begin the siege on Yorktown.  On October 19, 1781, Cornwallis surrendered.  The American Revolution was over.  America was free!  In the end, both Lafayette and Arnold achieved enduring fame...the one for love and admiration for helping us to win the American Revolution, the other with detest for turning his back on America.  Coincidentally, when we met Benedict Arnold in Colonial Williamsburg, we were surprised to find that he was played by the same man who does Lafayette! 

     Over lunch and dinner that just brought up this entire discussion of comparing Lafayette and Arnold all over again.  But now we were also comparing what it would be like to act these bipolar personalities.  Effectively we were cheering Lafayette and booing Arnold. To me, that was the most prodigious contrast of character I saw in 3 days of Revolutionary City.  (Incidentally we figured out this actor/interpreter did three additional parts while we were there.  The kids had a lot of fun figuring out how many parts and which ones all the actor/interpretors did.)

     When we met with the Marquis the first day, he turned to leave and one of the ladies asked quickly if he was a historian.  He turned to her, smiled, bowed (Not at all like my son was taught to bow.  Lafayette bows like we are more used to, straight across from the hip.) and quickly and decisively announced he was the Marquis de Lafayette!  Wow, you know what?  That is exactly what all of these actor/interpretors would say about whatever part they happen to be playing at that moment.  They are so believable, so convincing that they are beyond doubt.  I've heard in various podcasts that these actor/interpretors do so much research for their part, that they often help the script writer and historian to write it.  As one goes through the town, whether it is a trade, a store, someone walking through town, or an actor/interpreter, they know their history and they become that character, for a moment in time to bring the pages of history books to life.  Huzzah!  

     If there is only one place a person would ever be able to go in their lifetime to learn history, before going to a mansion, a museum or anywhere else, I would heartily recommend Colonial Williamsburg. This is the highest quality history lesson I have ever experienced.  In fact, on many of the podcast interviews, the interviewer often mentions tongue-in-cheek that he probably shouldn't use the word, "educational," about what the actor/interpretors do, because it is so much fun. The Colonial Williamsburg staff often get comments like, "The history book was boring."  "Why couldn't I have learned like this in school?" After all, isn't that one of the goals of homeschoolers, to revolutionize the way a student is taught? 

     Additonally, Colonial Williamsburg is a great vacation value. Without a doubt, any visitor would get their money's worth.  They couldn't possibly get bored. Choices abound, there is never enough time to do it all, and there is something for every age level and interest.  And yes, CW is expensive.  But that is to keep Colonial Williamsburg alive.  My dh talked to one of the directors and the economy has hit them hard too. Like many of us, they have had budget cuts and such.  But for those who are themselves on a budget, Colonial Williamsburg offers homeschool week twice a year, September and April, for $5 a person a day, $11 for 5 days.   I have a friend who will be attending the next one in a few weeks. ...sigh...  She lives a few hours away. Hmmm... I might drive over there and stowaway in her baggage!  Another grand tour is always a good idea!  Huzzah! 




Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Colonial Williamsburg on Wednesday-Meeting Generals Washington and Lafayette

Monday and Tuesday were terrific in Colonial Williamsburg and Wednesday proved to be thrilling!  The theme of Revolutionary City was "Citizens at War" 1776-1781.    First, we met with the Marquis de Lafayette, even though we had already met him the day before.  It was still wonderful! He has a wonderful sense of humor and his monologue is informative, witty, and humorous. Afterwards he opened it to questions and answers as he did the day before.   It was a different crowd so it was interesting to hear some of the same questions and many different ones!  Some were sort of funny, like whether Benedict Arnold was really a traitor, and the Marquis engaged the crowd (audience) to respond with our own opinion (boo).    My son raised his hand with a question and the Marquis said, "Ah, the young historian has returned!  Are you going to ask about the Hundred Years' War?"  No, ds had a different question this time.  What did the Marquis think of Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox?  Later he asked the Marquis another question...What is a marquis?  That was actually my question but I wasn't brave enough to ask!  LOL After the question and answer, he quickly left for an important meeting with General Washington.  Hmmmm, I was looking all over my program for that meeting.  I couldn't find it anywhere!  Oh well, I knew there would be one in the afternoon I was looking forward to.



  We headed for the capitol for Revolutionary City.  It began with the drum and fife corps playing a march.



It is July 25, 1776.  A copy of the Declaration of Independence has arrived.  (In fact I purchased a newspaper from the print shop in town with that very date. The Declaration of Independence had been printed on the front page.)  The Declaration of Independence was publicly read from the balcony and  recited by the different actor/interpreters.  Wow, it sent goose bumps up the spine.  It also reminded me of how we also read the Declaration of Independence aloud on the Fourth of July



Then we went behind the Coffee House to see the drama of prisoner, Henry Hamilton, the British governor of Detroit.  It was June 18, 1779 and Thomas Jefferson was governor of Virginia.  Henry Hamilton had been captured by George Rogers Clark and Thomas Jefferson had him put in gaol (jail) in Williamsburg.  There was a question of precisely whom was responsible for war atrocities.



Then we went to the Raleigh Tavern to watch the unfolding story of Barbara Hoy.  She had followed her husband to war in South Carolina, where he had been captured.  Needing a job, she returned to Williamsburg for help.  It was September 15, 1780, and the future looked bleak. 

After this, the citizens of the town (actor/interpretors) got agitated and told us to make haste for the capitol, because the British were coming!  The British were coming!  They kept moving us along, encouraging us to speed up before danger arrived.  The date was July 4, 1781 and Benedict Arnold was in town!  How dare he arrive on Independence Day!



Audaciously Benedict Arnold announced the rules of occupation, which he considered fair.  I got the impression from him that he honestly thought he was doing the town of Williamsburg a service, by putting them under British rule.  We all booed at the gloomy prospects.



 Sadly, we watched the British flag rise over the capitol.  Wow, one can really get caught up in the emotions of history in this place!  Huzzah!



 Then we went behind the Coffee House to see the story of some slaves who were leaving with the Redcoats, who had promised them their freedom.  After that we went to Raleigh Tavern to see General George Washington!   Hip hip hurrah! It was September 28, 1781.  He was on his way to Yorktown to meet up with the Marquis de Lafayette and his troops.  After months of the Marquis and his men tenaciously chasing Cornwallis through the south, the Redcoats were finally trapped!  Victory is within their grasp! Huzzah!





 After eating our lunch under the trees and watching the horses prance up Bottetourt Street, we headed for the College of William and Mary.  Taking this picture made my heart stop.  My 12 year old son could be walking to grammar school, on the path to higher education!  That's a statue of Lord Botetourt in front of the college.



 Boys began their studies in the grammar school at the College around the age of 12.  We did a self guided tour of the college.  We walked all over indoors and out.  I have misplaced my tour paper so I don't remember all the details.  There was a room upstairs where the House of Burgesses sometimes met, I think when the Capitol had to be built.  Behind this building is the camp where the Virginia militia pitched their tents, when they were led by Patrick Henry! DD is rather quiet and never did ask any questions of the actor/interpreters.  But as we did the indoor tour there were paintings of some of the Kings and Queens of England.  DD knew every one!  Pretending to be studious scholars at the grammar school...



A notable group of scholars...my children and Thomas Jefferson.  Thomas Jefferson attended the College of William and Mary and recieved further training in law from George Wythe in town.



Bruton Parish Church where we attended the candlelight harp concert the night before.

 

After we toured the Thomas Everard House, we went to the Palace Gardens to see "Prelude to Victory".  We were going to meet General Washington and his staff as they prepared for the seige of Yorktown.  We got to meet with General Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette!  How wonderful to see them together!



There was a close bond between Lafayette and the General.  In fact, when Lafayette was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777, General Washington told the medics to take care of him as his son.  In fact, my first memory of the Marquis was when I visited Mount Vernon 4 years ago.  Well, I'm getting ahead of myself.  But this was a lot of fun to see them together!  In fact, it sort of gave us an idea of their working relationship, with the Marquis as the aide-de-camp to the General, fielding all the questions. 



Although I never got a picture of it, there was a cute part of the presentation.  There were 2 little boys who were playing guns on the side. General Washington stepped down to talk to one while the Marquis was talking and I thought, uh oh....I turned my attention directly on the Marquis while the General whispered in the boy's ear,  I thought to tell him to be quiet for the audience.  Then I heard soft laughter, pictures were being taken of the boys, and I looked and saw the General teaching the boys how to properly hold their guns and stand behind the tree!   



When my son raised his hand for a question, the Marquis said, "Ah, monsieur, the young historian! " Then the Marquis told the General that he had met the young historian the day before.  The General is usually very serious, but he smiled and then quickly became serious again.  =)  This time my son asked two questions. First, why is the General's sword straight when the Marquis' is curved?  Second, what did all the black and white fluff on top of the Marquis' hat represent and why didn't the General have that fluff?  (I was so glad ds asked that because I had asked it early amongst ourselves, once again I was too shy to ask.)  



After the question and answer time, the generals left to prepare for  General Washington's review of the militia.    

The day was nearly done, we hardly got to see everything.  DS wanted to see the magazine so we headed for that.  The day before the Marquis had asked him what his favorite place was and he said the magazine.  Well guess what?  We got there and they were closed!  I felt bad for ds because I had not realized they close at 4 instead of 5.  Well, he does have impeccable memories of his time there 4 years ago.  Hmmmm, couldn't we just come back another vacation...or even live here?????

We found seats under the shade to view the General's review of the militia.  Here is the Marquis and the militia.



The Marquis presents the General.



The General has encouraging words for his troops on the eve of the siege of Yorktown.  



The drums play...



DS joins the junior militia for boot camp...

 

Huzzah!



Huzzah!



The drum and fife corps play and march in and out of formation...



We capped off our day with some shopping at the print shop, a walk to Basset Hall to see the grounds and then dinner at the King's Arms Tavern.  Colonial musicians played for us and an actor/interpretor came to our table to tease us.  My husband and children had cups of peanut soup.  During Revolutionary City the day before, my husband introduced me to Mrs. Vobe, the owner (actor/interpretor) of the King's Arm Tavern.  He had told her that I also make peanut soup and she wanted to exchange receipts with me! 

 Sigh...three days is not enough time to experience all of Colonial Williamsburg. We could have easily spent our entire 2 weeks here.  We would love to live and work here!  Huzzah!         

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Colonial Williamsburg on Tuesday-Meeting the Marquis de Lafayette

After a great day 1, we couldn't wait for our next adventures at Colonial Williamsburg!  Before Revolutionary City began, we got to meet George Washington behind the Coffee Shop. This time the era is the spring of 1774.  He tells us about the Boston Tea Party, with which he disagreed.  He didn't think the men should have destroyed the tea, however he thought it was wrong of the British Crown to punish the women and children along with the men.  Because their Boston neighbors were starving due to the closure of the port, and because of the new tax, the citizens of Virginia were protesting.  This set the tone for the events we would see in Revolutionary City that day, called "Collapse of Royal Government".    

Colonel George Washington


Afterwards we went to the Capitol to get a good spot for the beginning of Revolutionary City.  All the actor interpreters stand around to "control" the crowds, while engaging with each other and the crowds about the current events.  My dh found Patrick Henry and told him that our son had memorized his "Give Me Liberty or Death" speech and recited it with great fervor at our last history presentation.  Patrick Henry came over to meet my son!

Meeting Patrick Henry


Patrick Henry was quite impressed that someone was following in his footsteps. After chatting with my son, Patrick Henry predicted that forceful exclamations would more than likely proceed from his mouth later.  ;)

Patrick Henry


To our surprise, a herald swiftly rode up and loudly proclaimed the arrival of Lord Dunmore, Royal Governor of Williamsburg. (The timeframe is now May 26, 1774.) Once again none of us were ready to get his picture...so here he is waiting for the Governor's arrival.

The Herald




Soon the angry governor made his appearance.

The Royal Governor Arrives


The House of Burgesses was waiting for him outside.

House of Burgesses


 The governor was angry that the House of Burgesses was protesting the closing of Boston Harbor and the British Parliament's new tax on tea.  While the governor expressed his outrage for the lack of support, we booed!

Looking On


After the governor left, the House of Burgesses discussed their reaction.  Of course Patrick Henry had a few things to say!

Patrick Henry and Mr. Randolph


Lines were drawn and while many in the House of Burgesses decided to protest the tax on tea, John Randolph, Virginia's attorney general, decided to remain loyalist.  His wife and daughter followed him.  His brother, Peyton Randolph, speaker of the House of Burgesses, became a patriot and chaired the First Continental Congress.  John Randolph's son, Edmund, was a patriot and later became aide-de-camp to General Washington. 

The Randolph Family


 From here we went to Raleigh Tavern.  The time is now April 29, 1775.  Governor Dunmore has further enraged the citizens of Williamsburg by having the gunpowder removed from the magazine. 

Raleigh Tavern


As Peyton Randolph prepares to leave for the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Mann Paige hurriedly arrives on horseback with news of the battles of Lexington and Concord.  The people want to gather arms to go to war.  I tried looking this up but couldn't find anything.  But as I recall, Mann Page is told to ride to Fredericksburg (100 miles) to tell the men not to bear arms.  In frustration, Mann Page gallops away on his horse.

Mann Page


Later my dd and I had to hurriedly run out of the way.  A loyalist was about to be tarred and feathered! The timeframe was September 3, 1775.

Tar and Feathers


The loyalist finally promised that he would renounce his ways and he was spared the humiliation.

Nope, No Tar and Feathers


Fife and Drum Corps
 Then we followed the drum and fife corps to the capitol. 

Now it was May 15, 1776. Here we met with patriot statesmen of Virginia who explain that they have unanimously approved a resolution to break ties with England.  The delegates to the Constitutional Convention have been instructed to introduce a motion for independence.    Edmund Randolph is on the left and Patrick Henry is in the middle.

Virginia Declaration of Rights


 The British Union Jack was taken down from the top of the Capitol, and a new flag of independence was raised!

America
Cannons boomed in celebration!

Huzzah


Wow, once again, I was fired up!  Huzzah!

That afternoon we went to the Kimball Theater to meet with the Marquis de Lafayette.

Marquis de Lafayette


General Lafayette Meets my Son
I was so excited to meet him!  When we were here and at Mount Vernon 4 years ago, I kept hearing about the Marquis.  Last spring we studied about him and he's a fascinating guy.  Seeing him "in person" with a French accent was incredible!  After he gave a wonderful narrative of how he ended up in America and what he had been doing here, he answered questions from the audience.  One lady asked why Britian and France had always been at war with each other.  Well, I had some ideas from our history studies, like the Norman Conquest of 1066, so I was surprised when Lafayette simply said they were like brothers. Sometimes they get along, sometimes they don't.  I had never thought of it that way but I made a mental note to discuss 1066 with the kids after the program. Right at that time my son had his hand in the air and Lafayette chose him. My son asked if the tensions between Britian and France during the American Revolution and the French and Indian War went back to the Hundred Years' War. My husband and I looked at each other and laughed and wondered how Lafayette was going to handle this. Lafayette was already impressing me by proving himself a great actor, but historian? I know Colonial Williamsburg trains everyone in 18th century. I had a feeling this might be a bit out of Lafayette's range historically, but theatrically this could be fun. Indeed, the look on the Marquis' face was priceless!  He was delightfully shocked!  He got a big smile on his face and said, "Ah, monsieur...we have a historian in the audience!" Then he went into a five minute dissertation on the Hundred Years' War, Joan of Arc, and the Battles of Crecy and Poiters!  I was delighted that this actor knew far more than I did! What a historian! I was impressed!  Afterwards we went up to meet him.  When the Marquis saw my son he asked, "Ah here's the young historian.  Who taught you about the Hundred Years' War?"  "My mother."  The marquis once again got a surprised look on his face, like one of delight and smiled and said, "Well, always listen to your mother. She is a highly intelligent woman! "  =) Even though we had studied the Hundred Years' War last winter,  I had been reading aloud St. George for England: A Tale of Cressy and Poiters  by GA Henty.  We only had two chapters left to read about the Hundred Years' War when we left for our vacation. 

They posed for my dh to take a picture.  All the ladies who were around (some were teachers) loved the pose and oohed and ahhed.  They asked them to stay put so they could take pictures too!  

French American Alliance


Meeting the Marquis was the highlight of the vacation for all of us!  And I must say, I am quite impressed with his knowledge of the Hundred Years' War!  ;)

Afterwards we walked around town and saw more sights.  We took a closer look at the architectural digs at the Coffee House. 

Future Coffeehouse


They will begin rebuilding and the Coffee House should be open for business in 1 1/2 years.  Since I don't like coffee, I am glad they will be selling tea and chocolate.  

Coffee House Archaeological Dig


We didn't get pictures of everything but we visited some of the colonial shops and got some colonial chocolate for a snack.  They often grated the chocolate on a nutmeg grater, so the chocolate would pick up flavors from other spices.  So this was a spiced chocolate that we were eating.  Different but tasty! 

We watched the silversmith work.  His talk was highly entertaining and interesting.  We visited the printer/binder.  We went to the cabinet maker shop.  Inside is a real harpsichord!  We had fun playing on that! At the end of the day, the drum and fife corps played through town.  Can't get enough of them!

Fife and Drum Corps


That evening we got sandwiches from the infamous Cheese Shop. I tasted my first Virginia Ham and it is very salty, but absolutely delicious!  A little goes a long way!

Finally we attended a harp recital at Bruton Parish Church.  Many famous patriots attended this church.  The church continues to be a working church today. The only lighting is by candlelight.  What a soothing ending to an incredible day.