Vacationing in the footsteps of America’s Founding Fathers

I’m working on a slideshow of our weeklong family vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia. Here is what I have so far.

Slide 1: In this shot, Becky, her daughter Amanda and I are loading up the car. Kevin and Rachel left yesterday with the four g-kids fully aware that attempting to drive straight through would be insane. I have my travel mug filled with coffee, so I am set. The trunk is full, as is one-half of the backseat. We packed shoes. Lots of shoes. Why is that? I count only six feet among the three of us.

Slide 2: Here we are crossing the bridge from Indiana to Kentucky. I was dreading it because when people found out where we were going, they warned me not to go down Interstate 65 because of the massive construction mess around the bridge in Louisville. I decided to chance it because I figured the time sitting in traffic would be offset by the extra time an alternate route would take. We stopped for a restroom break just before the river in anticipation of a lengthy delay. Although I wanted some, I did not get more coffee when we stopped. The crossing was surprisingly uneventful.

Slide 3: Here I am swerving off onto the shoulder to avoid a big SUV that is right next to us and has decided to come over into our lane. Usually, Becky tells me I honk my horn at other drivers too much: “You realize, don’t you, he probably doesn’t understand that you are trying to tell him ‘Stop throwing cigarette butts out your window.’?” However, she agreed in this situation my honking was appropriate. Back in my lane, I take a swig of coffee.

Slide 4: After nearly 12 hours and 702 miles we pull into our parking space at what we will call home for the next week. Here I am rubbing my back as I start unloading shoes.

Slide 5: Here we are in Colonial Williamsburg standing under a tree to avoid the rain. We just visited the house of an important man, a Founding Father, who lived in the town with his wife and their 27 slaves. The guide was an African-American whose primary point was to impress upon us how it is impossible to tell the story of the founding of our country without including the institution of slavery as a integral element in its creation. We five adults discussed it later and agreed that although the Constitution is a unique and wonderful document, the men who created it were flawed and imperfect. It is as if the Constitution were written to be fully realized sometime in the future. We’re still working on that, I guess.

Slide 6: Here we are walking among the brick foundations of old buildings at Historic Jamestowne. (I love that extra E at the end. I point it out to one of the g-kids.) Along with Williamsburg, Jamestowne sometimes refers to itself as the birthplace of the country. I’m guessing Yorktown, just up the road, does, as well. It is curious how so many cities, towns and villages append the title “birthplace of the country” or the “cradle of democracy” to their names. I’m thinking of Philadelphia as well as several places in Massachusetts. Other birthplaces up and down the East Coast do the same. It’s like an American neonatal unit out here.

Slide 7: In this slide you can see the g-kids jumping and splashing in the swimming pool. After all, even kids with history buffs for parents, grandparents and aunts have to have some fun. Hey! I told you kids to stop running!

We leave tomorrow, so I will finish the slideshow when we get home. We should start packing soon. Guess I’ll pour myself a cup of coffee and gather up some of these shoes.