Thursday, January 17, 2013

Williamsburg & Jamestowne

Hailey gets her "colonial on"!
Williamsburg and Jamestown will be our last "official" stop on our great adventure.  From here we go on back to Panama City to retrieve our household goods and move to the farm we have recently purchased.  We can hardly believe we've been gone for a year!
The UAV parked on Navy Weapons Station Yorktown, Cheatham Annex.  You can read more about this place here:  Cheatham_Annex
Our second tire problem of the trip!  The tire on the opposite side of the motor home that went flat in Roswell, NM was the culprit this time!  These tires ain't cheap!  
I had the honor of having dinner with a retired comrade of mine, Colonel Mark "Oscar" Maier.  We go way back to the days of Captain and Major.  A true friend and patriot!  
The gals in front of Colonial Williamsburg Royal Governor's house.  The Governor's Palace was the home of five Royal Lt. Governors, two Royal Governors, and the first two Governor's of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.  An act by Virginia's General Assembly in 1706 authorized the construction of a residence in Williamsburg for the Governor.  The Palace, completed in 1722, was destroyed by a fire in 1781, while it was being used as a hospital for Americans wounded at the battle of Yorktown.  The Palace was reconstructed on its original foundations and is furnished to represent the home of the last British Royal Governor of Virginia, Hohn Murray, the fourth Earl of Dunmore and his family. You can read all about it here: Governor's Palace
Hailey takes in the sights and sounds of the Governor's kitchen.  Here they make and display foods in the traditional fashion that would have been served in the Governor's house. Read about food here: Colonial Foodways
George Washington was a regular in Williamsburg, where he was a member of the House of Burgesses.  And lo and behold who do we run into on the streets of Williamsburg?  Colonel George Washington himself....Huzzah!  You can read about our First President and his Williamsburg connection here: George Washington
Okay, I have to admit I had no idea what a Millinery was!  Well, it turns out that it is right up Hailey's alley.  It's akin to a tailor's shop and dress maker.  You can read about it more here: Millinery
Outside the courthouse, Hailey serves out her sentence!
Stacey poses in front a wall of British Brown Bess flintlock muskets, which was the M-16 of it's day.  This picture was taken in the reconstructed town "Magazine". It was built in 1715 and was colonial Virginia's storehouse for guns, ammunition and military supplies.  On the night of April 20-21, 1775 British Governor Dunmore removed gunpowder belonging to the Colony, which touched off the Revolution in Virginia before news of the Battle of Lexington reached Williamsburg.  You can read more about it here: The Magazine
Hailey checks out the local silversmith shop.  You can read more about it here: Silversmith
Heidi in front of the town coffee house with the Colonial Virginia Capitol building in the background.  You can read about the Capitol here: Colonial Virginia Capitol 
Below you can watch a night Fife & Drum demonstration along with the lighting of torches and lamps in Williamsburg.  Very cool.  You can read more about the Fife and Drum here: Fife & Drum

The Capitol illuminated from the torches the Fife and Drum Corps had lit earlier.
On May 14th, 1607, a short distance from where this picture was taken, a group of 104 English colonists disembarked from three small sailing ships to establish the first permanent English settlement in North America.  This settlement, called Jamestown, is where the United States of America really began.  King James I granted a charter in April 1606 to the Virginia Company for exploration, trade, and settlement in Virginia, an area of North America that today stretches from Maine to North Carolina.  Headquarters in London, the Virginia Co. consisted of gentlemen, nobles and merchants who hoped the colony would provide financial gain for them as well as for England.  The  company planned, funded, and recruited for the colonizing effort.  Substantial information on North America had been amassed in planning the venture, yet much remained unknown.  Knowledge of Canada, Florida, New England and the Carolinas was available from earlier French, Spanish and English explorations.  But little was known about the target area for settlement - the Chesapeake Bay.  The initial settlement was by necessity, exploratory. The founding of Jamestown sparked a series of cultural encounters that helped shape our nation and the world. 
Hailey stands next to across erected on the original Jamestown location.  The inscription reads:

To the glory of God and in grateful memory of those early settlers, the founders of this Nation, who died at Jamestown during the first perilous years of the colony.

Their bodies lie along the ridge beyond this cross, in the earliest known burial ground of the English in America.
Hailey holds hands with the statue of Pocahontas, the favorite daughter of Powhatan, Chief of the Powhatan Paramount tribe.   She was born around 1595, about 15 miles from Jamestown.  In 1608, she made frequent and welcome visits to Jamestown, often bringing gifts of food from her father.
Capt. Jon Smith believed she saved his life twice during the colony's first years.  In April 1613, Capt. Argall kidnapped her and brought her to Jamestown.  While a hostage, she received lessons in Christianity, converted, and was baptized.  Her marriage to John Rolfe in April 1614 helped establish peaceful relations between Powhatan and the colonists.  In 1616, she visited England with Rolfe and their infant son and was presented to the Royal Court.  She died on March 21, 1617 and was buried in St George's Church in Gravesend,England. 
We learned that glass making is the oldest trade craft in America, making it's start here in Jamestown. 
The girls take in a glass blowing demonstration next to the original glass house site.  We learned that glass is 60 percent sand; 15 percent soda ash; 15 percent pot ash; and 10 percent lime. 
We had seen demonstrations of flintlock muskets, but this was the first time we saw a demonstration fire of a matchlock musket.  You can read about the matchlock musket here: Matchlock
We check out what the well equipped Jamestown colonist might have in the armory. 
Hailey checks out leather working. 
And she tries out her hand at fetching water! 
Hailey shows off the bounty of the colonial garden!
We take a tour of the reconstructed Susan Constant.  She was the flagship and largest of the three ships that brought the first permanent English settlers to America in 1607.  While anchored in the River Thames near Limehouse, it was involved in a minor collision with another vessel, which led to a case in the High Court of Admiralty.  The resulting court records were used to assist in determining the size of this re-created ship.  The original was probably built in 1605 and almost certainly built on the River Thames near London.  Soon after the Jamestown colony was planted, the Susan Constant returned to England, continuing its career as an ordinary trading vessel. 
Heidi, our traveling Christian Apologist, debates Truth with a crew member on board the Susan Constant.  Well, done Heidi!
Hailey strikes the salty sailor pose with one of the Susan Constant crew members!  Ahoy, their Hailey!
Wow!  Check out our map!  We can't believe it!  By the time we get back to Panama City we will have visited 35 states and logged almost 13,000 miles...just in the motorhome....not including mileage on our towed vehicle!  We are so grateful for the blessing of the opportunity to do this as a family.  We are now ready to plant ourselves on our "new to us" 30 acre farm!  I may start a blog about that, I'm not sure yet.  Thanks for taking this "virtual" journey with us.  We really wish we could convey the vastness of this great country to you and the awesome diversity of it's people and topography.  I have been to many parts of the world...many not so nice....and I am here to tell you....America is the most incredible place on Earth.  Get out and see the back roads for yourself!  But never forget we are not meant solely for this place or this life.  God made us for eternal life and he made it simple for us all...accept His Son Jesus Christ and his sacrifice so that you may be in communion with the perfect God...the creator of Heaven and Earth.  I wish that each of you would earnestly seek Him and accept this unconditional gift.  Don't get hung up on all of us Christian's failings...for we are human too.  Seek Jesus for He will never fail you or forsake you...forever.  God Bless!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Washington, D.C.

The gals in our Nation's capitol!  We had the opportunity to visit both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  We heard debate in the Senate chamber.  You can read more about the capitol building here: The US Capitol
While visiting Washington, D.C. we camped out on Joint Base Andrews (formerly know as Andrews Air Force Base), which is home to both Air Force One and Marine One.  You can read more about the base here: Joint_Base_Andrews
By far, the best way to get around is taking the Metro (aka Subway).  That is exactly what Team Breitmann did!  You can check out the D.C. Metro here: D.C. Metro System
Hailey in front of the United States National Archives.  Here we saw the actual Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Magna Carta.  You can read about the National Archives here: National Archives.  You can read about the Magna Carta here: Magna_Carta.  You can read about the Declaration of Independence  and founding documents here: Declaration.
Of course, we had to take in the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum!  You can learn more about it here: Air & Space Museum
Hailey poses in front of the actual Wright Flyer that the famous Wright brothers used on that historic day of December 17th, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  The Wright Flyer made four flights that day.  The best controlled flight covered 852 feet in 59 seconds.  It was the first heavier-than-air, powered aircraft to make a sustained, controlled flight with a pilot aboard.  Key to the Flyer's success was its three-axis control system, which featured wing-warping for lateral control, a move able rudder and an elevator for pitch. The right wing was four inches longer than the left, in order to compensate for the engine being mounted to the right of the pilot.  The wings were rigged with an intentional droop to reduce the effects of crosswinds. 
Heidi poses in front of the Mercury program's Friendship 7 spacecraft.  This spacecraft is the actual one in which John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. On February 20th, 1962, he circled the Earth three times.  The flight lasted 4 hours and 55 minutes.  Friendship 7 landed in the Atlantic Ocean near Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  With this flight, John Glenn became a national hero, and America gained confidence that we could compete successfully in space with the Soviet Union, which had previously attained the distinction of being the first country to put a man into space.  On April 12th, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin gained the distinction as being the first person to travel in space. 
Hailey poses in front of Columbia, the Apollo 11 Command Module that carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Ed "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins on their historic voyage to the Moon and back between 16 and 24 July 1969.  This mission culminated in the first human steps on another world.  The Apollo 11 spacecraft had three parts: the Command Module, the Service Module and the Lunar Module Eagle.   While astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the Moon in Eagle,  Michael Collins remained alone in Columbia.  For 28 hours, he served as a communications link and photographed the lunar surface.  After reclaiming Armstrong and Aldrin from the ascent stage of the Lunar Module, Columbia was the only part of the spacecraft to return to Earth. 
The gals check out an actual Moon rock brought back on one of the Apollo missions. 
Here's a shout out to my good friend, "Buff", who is a great American and a Marine Aviator.  Semper Fi,  my friend! 

Hailey gives a try at flying a P-51 Mustang in the wind tunnel!  Well, done ACE! 
We made a visit to the Native American museum part of the Smithsonian.  The girls particularly liked the exhibit on the relationship between the horse and the Native peoples, one that is one of the great sagas of human contact with the animal world.  When American Indians encountered horses, they found an ally, inspiring and useful in times of peace, and intrepid in times of war.  Horses transformed Native life and became a central part of many tribal cultures.  American Indian hosrsemanship became legendary and the survival of many Native peoples depended upon the horse.  They incorporated horses into their cultural and spiritual lives.  
Hailey poses with a bronze statue entitled; Allies in War, Partners in Peace, 2004.  This work honors the bonds of friendship that were forged between the Oneida Indian Nation and the fledgling U.S. during the American Revolution.  Oneida fought alongside the colonists in many key battles and helped sustain American soldiers during the darkest hours of the war.  In the winter of 1777-78, a group of Oneida walked more than 400 miles from Oneida Territory, in what is now central New York state, to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, carrying corn to feed starving soldiers.  Polly Cooper, the Oneida woman depicted in the statue, taught the soldiers how to cook corn.   Oskanondonha, at right, played a key role in the Oneida Nations decision to side with the colonists.  Also known as Skenandoah, he was the wampum keeper and creator of government-to-government agreements, a highly respected individual among the Oneida.  General George Washington holds the two-row wampum belt, symbol of an agreement that the U.S. and the Oneida Nation would not interfere in the other's internal affairs. Behind these figures stands the white pine tree, a symbol of peace.  The turtle, wolf and bear represent the three clans of the Oneida Nation. 
We stopped in to take a look around the Library of Congress.  Very impressive.  You can read more about it here. Library of Congress
Hailey in the Library of Congress next to the artifacts of Lincoln's assassination. When he was shot at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865, he was carrying two pairs of spectacles and a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a linen hand kerchief, and a brown leather wallet containing a five dollar Confederate note and nine newspaper clippings, including several favorable to the president's policies.  These items were given to his son Robert Lincoln upon Lincoln's death.  These relics remained with the Lincoln family for more than seventy years.   
The gals in front of the Lincoln memorial. 
Inside the massive Lincoln memorial.  You can read more about it here:  Lincoln Memorial
Hailey on the steps of the Lincoln memorial with the Washington Monument at her back.  Many a famous and controversial speeches have been made from these steps, including the famous "I have a dream..." speech by Dr. Martin Luther King. 
Night time in D.C. 
In our quest to get passes to tour the House and Senate, we came across our "favorite" House Representative....sarcasm intended.  Now, to be absolutely fair, her office was the one that gave us passes to both Houses.  So, we can't say she never gave us anything!  
A short drive south and we take in the home of our first President of the United States, George Washington.   You can read about it here: Mount Vernon
In front of Washington's home. 
A view from the back of his house. 
A "turkey" with the turkeys!  Heidi poses with the Presidential pardoned turkeys that are now enjoying the easy life at Mt. Vernon. 
Hailey enjoys the Mt. Vernon vegetable garden and green house. 
Heidi enjoys her favorite drink...tea...while at Mt. Vernon.
On Sunday, we found these posters in the hallway outside of the sanctuary at the church we attended.  We found them quite appropriately pointing to our next phase in life after this "world tour" that involves living the farm life!  
Well, our next stop will be our last real stop of this adventure...Colonial Williamsburg area!   C-ya there!