On Friday we finally went out to breakfast after having eaten in all week. After seeing the density of pancake & waffle houses in the area, I think it can probably be used as a “tourist trap” metric. 😉

After breakfast we hit the Colonial Parkway and headed down to Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America. Until we hit the fork in the road, I didn’t realize there were two separate (and distinct) attractions there:

  • Historic Jamestown: The National Park Service’s site located on and near the actual location of the actual Jamestown settlement. There are active excavations going on here, and a lot of construction in getting ready for 2007 (the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the settlement).
  • Jamestown Settlement: A park run by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, on the James River adjacent to the original settlement site. They’ve built a replica of the James Fort, which Ryan loved, and replicas of the three ships that brought the settlers over.

Each had its own admission and theme. Just inside the Historic Jamestown park, there was a glasshouse with a live kiln and glass blowers. It was really neat watching them make stuff, and Melissa bought a little green glass pitcher from the place. They also had a kids’ program there where they made a little clay cup like the native Americans of the area did.

The actual location of the settlement was neat, even though a good portion of the park consists of replicated foundations built on top of the original foundations. However, the overall presentation was interesting and it made for a good experience — at least for Melissa and me.

Ryan liked the “live” exhibits of the Jamestown Settlement much more, especially crawling around the replica ships. It was OK, but not as gripping as Colonial Williamsburg for me.

After Jamestown, we went to the Williamsburg Pottery Factory, a huge complex located in Lightfoot, VA. Melissa was interested in seeing their pottery, but we didn’t expect all the non-pottery they had. We found a huge collection of various baskets and other wicker-type items, and Melissa ended up buying some baskets and sleighs to use for Manolas gifts this Christmas season. Definitely a recommended stop if you’re into that sort of thing.

We headed over to Merchants’ Square to find a place to eat dinner and ended up at the Blue Talon Bistro. A little too fancy for Ryan, but our food was great. I had the Pasta With Shrimp entree: a medley of shrimp, spaghetti, tomato, mushrooms, squash, broccoli, carrots, and almonds. It was great.

We checked out this morning and made it back in good time. It was a great week off!