Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I Got home the other day from a 10 day trip to Virginia having spent a few days in the "historic triangle," and the rest in Virginia Beach. Never having been to Williamsburg and Jamestown, I had to do the tour. Williamsburg, although impressive as it was, wasn't the pinnacle of historic preservation that I've always been led to believe. It is, on the other hand, a masterful merchandising and marketing machine.
Jamestown, however, is really a rush. The site of the first English settlement in the New World, it's an ongoing archaeological dig with most everything left as it was. It appears America was first settled by a corporate funded expedition with the goal of establishing big tobacco in Virginia, utilizing eminent domain over the indigenous population, and later exploiting slave labor to maximize profits. King James gave the Virginia company his blessing, as long as they named everything they found after him and his family. Fascinating stuff.
The first 105 settlers didn't do so well, due to weather, pesky Indians (except Pocahontas), and the fact they set up on the edge of a swamp. I know how they felt. It was soooo #$@&%* hot down there that I was sure I lost 20 lbs. from sweating buckets. However, I think I gained 20 lbs. from consuming a case of beer a day trying to cool off. The settlers, lacking beer, died of thirst 'cause they couldn't drink the water from the swamp. (I just prefer beer over boring plain water.) Which brings me to what I love about Virginia. In Virginia, one can buy beer and wine in any supermarket, which to a Pennsylvanian, where we party like it's 1699, is pure nirvana, kid in a candy store stuff, bliss, heaven. Gas is also 20 cents cheaper and cigarettes are free. (*disclaimer: no, they're not really free, I don't smoke, but they're really cheap if you do.)
So, the beach was great, big waves, because of the hurricane making its' way up the coast, and I fled town just in time to miss the storms. The place I stayed was the site of the "largest s'more ever", according to the Guiness Book, imagine that.
How did we get to this from the real one up top?