Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Memorial Day

Last year, at Memorial Day, we went to Colonial Williamsburg. It was a lovely restored 18th century colonial town where they preserved homes and other colonial establishments (like a general store, apothecary, gunsmith, tavern, tailor, post office, etc. etc.) It was my second weekend outing since I arrived. I remember that pleasant, sunshiny day, and I couldn’t believe it has been one year since.

This year, at Memorial Day, we went to Old Town Alexandria, another charming colonial city. We wanted to see the replica of ‘Godspeed’, one of the three ships which sailed to America from Britain to form the permanent colony of Jamestown in 1607. I love anything historic, and I definitely wanted to see the much talked-about ship.

Maybe it was because I played in my mind that the ship would be grand and imposing over and over, that is why I was a little disappointed to see a modest-looking ship docked at the Potomac waterfront. It was definitely smaller than I had expected, which made me wonder if they ever really sailed that tiny bit of a ship across the Atlantic. But then again, sea voyage back then was no mega-tankers or 525-feet super yachts, so I guess my expectations were a little off base.

The ship, even from afar, looked quaint. And it looked so delicate and vulnerable. Yet it traversed rough seas and reached Virginia. It was a marvelous feat. And to catch a glimpse of that part of this rich history is truly exciting and amazing.

I love the look of the Old Town. The cobblestone streets are so charming and the old homes are so pretty to look at. The outdoor cafes and many other old-fashioned stores magnify the historic beauty of the whole place. The Potomac Waterfront offer a best-looking view of the Potomac River and the everlasting enchantment of history. It’s truly admirable.

The sights and sounds at Old Town that Memorial day afternoon were captivating. There was an old “glass harper” who played Bach on a myriad of water-filled goblets, a magician enthralling little children with his rope tricks, a lone cellist playing love songs, a couple of young boys playing their violins on the street corner, even a bunch of tough-looking bikers, plus an assortment of revelers just enjoying the afternoon. And of course, the little piece of history called the Godspeed. It’s always awe-inspiring and exciting.

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