Since June 1974, I’ve Loved Colonial Williamsburg, Peanut Soup, Spoon Bread and Patent Leather Shoes

Colonial Williamsburg has been one of my favorite vacation destinations since my first visit there in June 1974. 

My mother documented that vacation in a scrapbook for me so I could read it and remember what we did during our trip. Here’s what she said her four-year-old enjoyed the most about Colonial Williamsburg.

“Taking an old-fashioned carriage ride through Williamsburg was lots of fun.”

“The Raleigh Tavern was Betsy’s favorite place. The gingerbread cookies were warm and very good.”

“Betsy enjoyed following the sheep as they moved across Williamsburg eating grass.”

“Betsy bought a Joan Walsh Anglund doll like the pictures on her dirndl dress. She named her Annie.

“Annie plays tricks, coughs and sneezes. Annie had fun looking around the old jail’s dark corners, making Betsy laugh!”

“Betsy also bought her first patent leather shoes at Williamsburg.”

“Spoon bread was served at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern and Betsy liked it. Behind the restaurant was a big pile of clam shells. After dinner Betsy went to a concert at Bruton Parish Church. The music was pretty and the church was lighted with candles.”

In addition to swimming in the pool and riding the Historic Area Bus, I tried peanut soup at the King’s Arms Tavern and liked it. At the millinery shop, I also bought a straw hat to decorate for my dolls. I took my dad to the Williamsburg Inn for breakfast on Father’s Day.

During that vacation, we also visited other historic attractions in Virginia. In Fredericksburg, we went to George Washington’s mother’s house, and his sister’s house, Kenmore. In Kenmore’s kitchen, I ate hot gingerbread and drank my first iced tea. We also visited Wakefield, on Pope’s Creek, where George Washington was born. There, I saw some clay marbles which George played with as a boy, and I met a pig named Petunia. At Stratford Hall, I ordered a ham sandwich and lemonade for lunch, played with a tiny kitten named Henrietta, and met Julia, the lady in the kitchen, who gave me a ginger cookie.

On the way home, we stopped in Ocean City, Maryland, where the waves were so big that I sometimes couldn’t stand up.

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