Finally, we took the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry, a free ride across the river on the unique transportation of a ferry boat. In any kind of reasonable weather, it's fun to get out of your car on the ride and enjoy the fresh air, views of Jamestown Island, and the classic nature of the "upper deck" of the ferry, a small enclosed viewing platform that's also home to many of the life jackets. It was actually J's first ferry trip, too. He remembers his mom telling stories of buying nabs (crackers) on the ferry--you can't do that any longer, but it is still a delightful little trip!
You don't have to have a purpose in riding the ferry, but we did: to arrive at Surry and see Bacon's Castle. We'll have to return to Bacon's Castle, as it was closed on the day of our visit and we hadn't picked up on the hours. We did wind through the countryside to the site (GPS recommended), saw the brick house known as the castle, and still hope to return in the fall.
We returned to Jamestown Island and detoured to the Jamestown Glasshouse, part of the Jamestown National Park Service site and home to its own passport stamp. We'd not spent substantial time there in a while, so it was good to take the short path through the woods to the glasshouse and watch glass blown for a short while. The gift shop here is a good stop for true artisan glass pieces made on site.
E and G are finally of an age where they can at least somewhat understand the value of a good meal with new flavors and a little ambiance. We were so proud of them at Kephi Greek Kitchen, a new restaurant in the former Milano's location on Richmond Road. Kephi serves authentic Greek food including G's new favorite, lemon chicken and rice soup, and a great selection of reasonably-priced desserts including ekmek, a new-to-us treat with shredded wheat and cream.
We also took them to the Old Chickahominy House, a classic restaurant at which we'd never stopped but that J had seen in old tourist books. Casual, reasonable, and somehow still elegant, it was also a great stop for traditional southern food. It's a breakfast/lunch place with delicious, albeit interestingly flat, biscuits.
We also did two walking tours with Williamsburg Walking Tours. We started with their ghost tour, which was a nice outing with more thoughtful treatment of history than some ghost tours in the area provide. We returned the next day for the African-American History Tour and were absolutely delighted with our guide Trish's sincerity. She was very knowledgeable and had clearly studied primary as well as secondary sources. She was also able to help all of us on the tour connect to each other and truly enjoy our time together--what a gift! There's a $1 off coupon in the Go Williamsburg guide, too.
If you go, check out our other blogs on Williamsburg, including one on Christmastide in the area. We always recommend a ghost tour or similar tour for a taste of local history--whether you think you enjoy spooky stories or not. We do steer clear of the "gadget-y" ones and recommend you do the same unless you have a particular interest. Our picks of value-laden (nothing fancy) places to stay are Colonial Williamsburg's Governor's Inn and the Best Western Historic District--both allow you to walk right in to the colonial section of town. Virginia residents interested in visiting the Colonial Williamsburg buildings (going inside), there's a special on passes right now! You can purchase the passes online and use them later in the season. If you are in coastal Virginia right now, we also recommend you not miss Lantern Asia at Norfolk Botanical Garden.