Saturday, 7 June 2014


This morning we visited Jamestown, the site on James Island, adjacent to James a River, where the first British colonists came in the early 1600's.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Williamsburg Winery

This morning I caught the early shuttle bus to Williamsburg to visit the DeWitt Wallace Collection at the Fine Arts Museum.

Firstly though, a Southern speciality for breakfast.  This is poached eggs with grits!

Back at the museum I visited a small exhibition of Chinese Export porcelain where they seemed to have some very nice 18th century items.

There was also an exhibit depicting life in the public hospital which had been on this site in the 18th century.

This is a hospital bed from that time.

By the mid 19th century things were a little better.

This afternoon we drove to Williamsburg Winery for a wine tasting with some of the people that David had been meeting with.  We started our tour under a very clear sky by the side of the vines where we were shown how they are pruned each year and the nets which protect the ripening fruit from deer, Canada geese and even hailstorms.

We visited the much cooler cellars where the wines mature in wooden barrels.

In the tasting room everything was ready for us and as the tasting went on the conversation was more and more animated!

After the tasting we checked in to our hotel - Wedmore Place - which is on the vineyard.  It is a modern hotel but built and furnished as a French chateau.

In our room is a tiled open fireplace which would I am sure be very cosy in winter.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Colonial Williamsburg

Today I spent the day in 'Colonial Williamsburg' - a preserved and reconstructed late 18th Century town which is entirely run as a 'living history' site with authentic buildings, costumes , trades and businesses, houses, re-enactments and characters depicting the final days when the town had a British 'royal' Governor who lived in the Givernor's Palace.

At the start of the day the skies were very threatening but after a downpour it stayed sunny for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

James River

This afternoon we drove south in Virginia to the colonial city of Williamsburg.

Our hotel is outside the city on a golf resort on the James River.  Jamestown, on the other side of the river is where the original settlers from Bristol landed.

It was very warm this evening, around 30C and very humid.  We had dinner on a terrace overlooking the river.  Walking back to our room we saw many fireflies, but they were too small and their light too transient to capture in a picture.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Tiny Visitor

Ever since we started feeding the birds I have been eyeing up the hummingbird feeders in the shops and wondering whether they would really attract any of these tiny creatures.

In the winter cold it was hard to imagine that such a tropical bird would ever be interested in being here but now that it is as balmy as a summers day in the tropical house at Bristol Zoo, it is a different story and apparently the migration from Central and South America brings these birds - usually on this Eastern side of the country the Ruby Throated Hummingbird - from mid April onwards and they are here until early October.

We bought our feeder a few weeks ago but with some scepticism and only actually filled it with the 'nectar mix' - essentially coloured sugar water - at the weekend.  The guidance advised that it would be several weeks before it would be noticed.  It is not as golden as it appears here, more like Rose Hip Syrup used to look, evidently red is an important colour to attract them, hence the little red flowers that surround the feeding holes.

This evening, to my complete surprise, I looked up to see a tiny fairy-like creature hovering at the feeder...

No photo yet, I didn't dare move, but we are very thrilled to have attracted our first little 'hummer' and hope to capture a photo soon!

(Shortly afterwards our friend the grey cat  turned up on the decking so we didn't anticipate that our tiny visitor would return today..)