Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Break: Virginia

(how cute is the Cube rental car?)

It's Spring Break and my daughter and I are in Virginia. What does this mean for reading and blogging? It means that not much is getting done. We are out all day, not getting back to the hotel until 8:00 or so. We watch a movie or play a game then I am pooped. I've only been reading for about 20 minutes a night, which does not progress me very far in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (though I am enjoying it).

Each morning as my daughter sleeps I catch up on email and my Reader. My Reader... my goodness you people are busy! There are at least 150 entries to catch up on and I just can't read and comment on all of them. So, know that I am here and skimming, but just not commenting much while we're on vacation.

Why are we in Virginia? My daughter is in 5th grade and her grade travels to Philadelphia, DC, Monticello and Williamsburg in May (California social studies curriculum: colonial US history). My daughter isn't able to go on the trip in May so we're doing our own version this week. We skipped Philly and have been to DC many times so we're just doing the Virginia part.

Day 1: Yorktown and Jamestown
I have never been to either of these places, but they were very interesting. Both have done such a good job of recreating the era without being kitchy. In Yorktown we toured a small farm (each building with dressed up people explaining what life is/was like for them in Colonial times), wandered through the museum, saw a brief movie on the Battle of Yorktown, my daughter got to try on a girl's colonial outfit, and we heard a talk all about battles, canons, and life in the military.
(we think the Converse shoes add a certain something special)

(Her comment? Thank goodness we have water from the tap!)

On to Jamestown where we did a super-fast walk through of the museum, but spent a bunch of time in the Native American village and the colonial fort. This was very hands-on and fun. My daughter got to make rope, scrape fur off of skins, row a canoe (on dry land), help stoke the fires that were making a canoe, climb around on ships at the harbor, knit, and chisel wood. She said it was good that we're on the trip without her class because if she was in a large tour group she would get bored with the long guided tours (me too) and she would be too embarrassed to volunteer/ask so many questions in front of all her classmates. She also said the dominant confident kids would get to do everything and she would just hang back. While that makes me so sad, but I can see it being very true, on our own, she has the freedom to do all those things. So, I am glad we're here on our own; I think her experience will be much richer (even though she is going to miss out on the social stuff).
(I tried this too, your fingers get really sore! Children as young as 3 and 4 were taught to make rope used to make baskets)

Day 2... Williamsburg

5 comments:

Amanda said...

That's wonderful that she's able to get that experience even if she can't go in May. I wonder if our boys will have trips like that as they get older. My schools never had field trips that went further than Austin...

Aths said...

I'm so glad you are enjoying VA! It's my fav state in the world because it's so historic!

Helen's Book Blog said...

Amanda--My school (the same one my daughter goes to) only did local field trips, too. But for the last 10 years or so they've done this 5th grade trip.

Aths--VA is so pretty and historical! Very nice. We'd only been to Alexandria and Arlington before

Katy said...

Oh, how fun! I so want to visit Jamestown and all of the great historical sites in Virginia!

And ugh, sorry I'm so behind on my reader. I know I'm late with my comment.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Katy--It really was interesting to see all the places that history actually happened. I never think it will be as interesting as it turns out to be!