You are Now Leaving the 21st Century
Updated: Aug 4
Hello friends! I hope you are keeping cool in the godforsaken heatwave of sadness and suffering!
I wrote last week about my cousin Adrienne's spectacular aquarium wedding that I encourage you to replicate. The wedding was in North Carolina, so Rachel and I turned it into a tiny road trip. We left Philly on Saturday morning before the wedding, we drove 8 hours straight and pulled into the aquarium parking lot looking fresh to death in our rumpled car clothes. While "immediately needing an iron" could be considered a con to driving to a destination wedding, it pales in comparison to the major pro of a road trip: the ability to stop in silly places on the way back home.
This is how Rachel and I ended up in Williamsburg, Virginia, and how I can now present to you Queer Martha's half-day guide to the 18th Century. If you have 3 hours to spare on your way up the eastern seaboard, take this guide with you and unleash your inner Felicity Merriman. That's right, I see you, American Girl Doll fans.
When you arrive in Williamsburg, you will head to the visitors' center. You will immediately become aware that these people have a keen eye for detail. You probably noticed that the bathroom icons are wearing colonial garb - a nice touch, if you ask me. More charming still is the brickwork on the wall. This visitors' center was built only a few years ago, but the bricks are laid using Flemish bond. That's some fancy brickwork for a new building.
Here is the key part of this Williamsburg guide. You can pretty much stop reading after this: skip the shuttle. You can walk into town the back way. That's right - I am telling you to go through Williamsburg's backdoor. You might think that you need to shell out two big bucks to ride the shuttle from the visitors' center to the historic sites, but the walk over is actually quite short and extremely exciting. You are not just walking over to see buildings from the 1930s meant to look like buildings from the 1770s. Oh, no. When you walk right out the back of that visitors' center to the path that leads to the town center, you will find yourself on a:
That's right! You are literally walking backwards through time. Walking backwards through time looks like this:
What are we going to find as we go back in time?
Ok, that's not so bad. The 1940s are like hipster America. What do we lose next? Bring it.
Ooo, ok, that one is less fun.
I appreciate how wonky this bridge just got.
Oh, man. This is getting less and less fun.
So, that's like... Philadelphia to JUST outside New York. You would have to stay overnight in Jersey. God, the past is rough.
WHAT NO NPR!?!?!?!?!?
Then suddenly, you arrive. You arrive in the past, and there are cows.
There aren't just cows. Colonial Williamsburg really liked their animals, so there are also kissing horses...
...and mangy sheep.
But lo'! A carriage is heading to town. Let us follow.
The back way into Williamsburg leads directly to the Governor's mansion.
It is pretty, even on the dreary day when we were there, but the best part about the mansion is that it is guarded by a unicorn giving you side eye.
Come on, Unicorn, give me a break.
After the unicorn made us feel really awkward by throwing shade, Rachel and I did the actual most awkward thing you can do in Williamsburg, and it was awesome. We headed to the tavern and delighted in the fiddle music.
What the food good? No, not at all. But the music was great, the beer was great, and Rachel and I got to pretend we were young, in love rebels seeking to help the revolutionary cause, but not knowing whom to trust. Oh, themed restaurants bring out the best in us.
We spent a long time in the restaurant. It was a lovely tavern to pass a rainy afternoon. When we eventually decided it was time to get back on the road for Philly, we headed back out the back way. We didn't pass unnoticed, however. This little guy made sure to stick his face out and say, "Come baaaaaaaaack soon!" SHEEP PUNS!
And here we are today. Good luck to us!