we recently returned from our family vacation to williamsburg, virginia. we made some stops on the way down- sesame place (again!) and philadelphia. we ended up vacationing in williamsburg accidentally; our timeshare exchange availability was very limited, so we ended up in virginia in august which sounds hot and it was, but it was very bearable and we got to swim a lot. and, everyplace was pleasantly uncrowded because southern states have already gone back to school.
we went to the historical attractions which had people dressed in colonial garb, including black tri-cornered hats, which earned them the name pirates from jove. "momma, where are the pirates?"
the highlights of our stay were our trips to the jamestowne settlement and virginia beach. in honor of jamestowne's 400th anniversary (1607!), totally new exhibits were made- a replica of a colonial fort, a powhatan native american village and replicas of the three ships that brought over the original settlers. exploring the ships and grinding corn were the highlights for jove. there was also an amazing indoor (yay, air conditioning) museum documenting the larger colonial issues and history. i was impressed with the presentation of the history of enslaved africans and native americans and also a critical lens applied to colonization (for example, the original boats carried guns, why, if they were just peaceful settlers?) A very cool place, we highly recommend it.
virginia beach is one of the nicest beaches i've been to in the states and the day we went it was cooler and less humid. There was a very large and beautiful stone statue of neptune which jupiter and jove are standing in front of here. Virginia beach is near an airforce base and fighter jets were taking off and practicing. jove enjoyed watching them, of course, he doesn't know what they're for.
this brings up another point that i thought a lot about while we were on out trip, how to explain war and violence to a kid. on the colonial ships there were cannons and jove wanted to know what they were used for, we saw people firing muskets (i don't think jove had ever even seen a gun anywhere before this trip) and many of the children's souvenirs in williamsburg were toy muskets. the reality is that i can explain the logistics of war, but i really don't get it myself, why do people want to hurt other people?? maybe it sounds naive, but most of us teach our kids to share and to empathize with others, but this isn't really what society values. any thoughts?