May 11 – Williamsburg Virginia and Breakfast with Margie

Margie Keenan lives in Belmont Shore.  Doug worked with her for years in the Critical Care Unit at LBMMC.  Margie and I became friends when the nurses voted to have the California Nurses Association represent them in negotiations with the hospital administration.  Margie had also been in Washinton, DC petitioning for nurse patient ratios for nurses in other states.  We all ended up in Williamsburg at the same time ( compliments of Face Book) and met for breakfast at The Five Forks, a diner that hasn’t changed since the 50’s.

This area of Williamsburg is considered the Triangle and consists of three historic sites…Jamestown, Yorktown, & Williamsburg.  When Doug scheduled 5 days here, I thought that was way too much time…wrong.   

Yorktown – American Uniform Coats
Jamestown – Real life size replica of original ship that landed in 1607!
Bonny checking out a Jamestown Indian home

Jamestown was the first settlement by the British (1608) in The New World and in what eventually became the colony of Virginia…named after the Virgin Queen, Queen Elizabeth.  I had always been taught that the colonies were a result of people fleeing Europe for religious freedom.  That was not the case for Jamestown.  It was purely for financial gain and supported by wealthy men.  Jamestown struggled for many many years and almost failed due to disease, weather, famine and altercations with the Native American inhabitants.  This new museum is dedicated to that story.

150  years between these two events

Yorktown was the waterfront town where the last battle of the Revolutionary War was fought…(1781) Cornwallis surrendered there after literally being backed into a corner.  The British Fleet was blocked by the French at sea from entering the Chesapeake Bay and delivering reinforcements and supplies to Cornwallis’s troops.  Bad weather prevented their escape or retreat across the bay. 

There are so many fascinating and interesting stories about warfare and simple survival.  It seems all we have learned on this trip is about the founding of this nation.  First the exploration, then the settling, then the conflicts and wars to preserve it.  LOTS OF WAR.

Tonight we went to Christiana Campbell’s Tavern in Williamsburg proper.  I’m sure it is the same one Andy and I came to on our tour with Long Beach City College 19 years ago.  It is a replica of the original tavern and boarding house in which George Washington stayed.  My favorite was the Spoon Bread which is like a bread pudding made with corn.

That evening we attend a trial in the Court House.  It was a reenactment of a trial of one of our founding fathers for high treason.  The premise of the trial was that Britain won the Revolutionary War instead of the colonies.  Input and questions were encouraged by the audience and we even got to judge the defendant’s guilt or innocence. He was found guilty and was to be sent to London so that he would be “drawn and quartered” –  a gruesome form of punishment for high treason that I will let you look up.

The House of Burgesses in Williamsburg – site of our capital trial