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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Historic Yorktown

What a gorgeous day we had today!! Mid 70s, sunny and breezy - couldn't have asked for better. We headed to Yorktown to tour it. Neither one of us had ever been there before. The Siege of Yorktown basically ended the American Revolution.

We started our tour at the actual battlefield of Yorktown. You know, you think of a battlefield being scarred and strewn with remnants of the battle, but we found ourselves in the middle of a beautiful, grassy field. It is amazes that a battle of such significance took place in the such a small area of a couple of acres. Unfortunately, the best way to take in all of the surrounding areas is through an auto tour. We didn't know that and had taken the shuttle from the Williamsburg Visitor's Center to the Yorktown Visitor's Center. So, we plan to go back and drive the area. We'll have more on that for you later.

After seeing the battlefield, we walked to historic Yorktown. Along the way, we
crossed a bridge that was above a tobacco road along which the tobacco farmers took their crops to town to sell. Then we came upon the Victory Monument, erected in memory and honor of all those who fought in the Battle of Yorktown, both American and French allies. There is a lovely view of the York River from the monument.

Historic Yorktown is just like a mini-Williamsburg; there is a
Main Street you can walk down and view many original buildings. It is far less crowded than Williamsburg, almost as if people don't know about it. There are several side streets on which people live in historical homes. A riverwalk has been built along the York River with shops and a beach area. The breeze coming off the river was just wonderful!

We traveled to our next stop,Yorktown Victory Center, on the Yorktown Trolley (we're becoming regular Trolley riders!).
The Victory Center is a living history museum, chronicling the American Revolution and life afterwards. The entrance was kind of impressive as there were 12 flags in a circle with one in the middle, one for each of the original 13 colonies. Of course, the flag in the middle was Virginia's.

A reenactment of the Yorktown encampment, a 1780s farm whose major crops were tobacco and corn, a timeline leading up to the Revolution and several galleries are found at the Victory Center. The encampment and the farm have costumed historical interpreters available to answer your questions and to give it a real feel. All I can say is that I sure am glad I live now - those folks had to work too hard for me!! :)

We truly live in a marvelous country. The colonists fought hard for our freedom, just as those service personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing now. I so appreciate all of them. We are having a ball paying honor to them as we travel around learning more and more of exactly how fortunate we are to live in America.

Tomorrow we're off to Historic Jamestowne and the Jamestown Settlement. The difference is that Historic Jamestowne is the actual site of the first American settlement. Jamestown Settlement is a living history museum of 17th century Virginia. I'm sure we'll have lots to share with you.

Take care of each other. Until the next time . . .

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