After our two weeks exploring the deep south, we made our way to Kinston, North Carolina. We were told about this gem of a campground from some fellow travelers and were excited to use this as a week to catch up on work, and all things needing internet. The campground was a no-frills type without bath houses, laundry facilities and people riding around in golf carts with their little dogs, and it was lovely. Only $12 a night, with great WiFi, a nature center, playground and small science museum with a planetarium (all for FREE) right on site. The kids were a bit too old for the science museum, but we explored it anyway and enjoyed it. I highly recommend this campground for anyone, but especially for those with young kids.
Kinston leaves a lot to be desired BUT you must go here, if for nothing else but the campground and THIS restaurant. I say this without having gone there and this is one regret I have on this trip, but I will fuel this regret as a good reason to come back to Kinston. I had heard about this restaurant from our friends but I really forgot about it and toward the end when I was tuned back into it and looked at the menu online I didn’t see a lot of offerings for me and it was pretty expensive so we just decided to fore go. But since then I have become obsessed with this TV show all about the chef, her husband and their restaurant in town. Seriously, you must watch it. Its better than any cooking show I’ve watched in YEARS. I can’t wait for the chance to make a way through Kinston and stop there.
The boys and I did visit the CSS Neuse II, the world’s only full sized replica of a Civil War gunboat that is just neat to add to the list of sites sprinkled throughout the eastern south. I also enjoyed their farmers market (featured on the TV show) and the very nice health food store in town.
After Kinston, we headed to Williamsburg and stayed in our last campground that was a part of our membership with Thousand Trails. We stayed there a short time (4 days) with the main reason to visit Colonial Williamsburg, but this was a great campground as well that we would definitely come back to.
I cannot say enough about Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg. It was absolutely fabulous. First we went to Jamestown which is actually where the first settlers came to America 13 years before the pilgrims landed. We learned the real story of Pocahontas as told by history not by Disney and we experienced the evidence as it is being uncovered of the brutality of survival in harsh times. If it weren’t for these brave men and women, we would not be here. We were honored to listen to a talk by John Rolfe himself (an actor of course) who led a talk on the history of the time and even spoke to the boys after, giving them a good lecture on having your own mind, and making sure that what you are learning is true, even if told to you by well meaning adults and teachers. A lesson we are hoping we teach our boys more than anything else – explore what you learn, ask questions, and if something doesn’t sound right, you probably need to investigate it further. My favorite quote from him was, “Remember, history is told from the perspective of the winners. but there is always another side.” Isn’t that the truth with so. many. things?
Austin’s take on Jamestown:
This week I went to jamestown. OK so plymouth rock is not the start of America. So now that we got that out of the way plus the english wanted to eat people because they were starving and it was called jamestown. They came here for iron and gold ore for money plus an indian girl called pocahontas was captured by the english and she started to worship god. Plus she changed her name to rebecca and that is how we were at peace with the indians and our only chance of survival was the indians.
Colonial Williamsburg was a thrill and it is one of those places everyone must go. I knew it would be good to put on the list and we almost didn’t go and I am so glad we did. I did some research before we headed there, but it still was hard to understand what you get with a paying ticket. Let me be clear – you CAN go to Colonial Williamsburg without paying and just walk around the streets and be a part of whatever is going on that day on the streets (be sure to grab a schedule in the visitors center), but you will not be able to go into any of the buildings like the gunsmith, the apothecary, the blacksmith, courthouse and many more where they educate you on what it would be like to live when our country’s way of life and government was being established from people in character. I (we) learned so much. If you are a home school family you can get quite a significant discount, just call ahead to let them know and be prepared to bring with you a letter from your school district proving you are homeschooling (although they didn’t even look at mine, its good to be prepared).
Other than learning about the way of life of the early settlers, we experienced a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, a wedding between two slaves before the husband was leaving with his master, the public uproar and rallying around a young man who was being forced to go and join the war, AND a confrontation with Benedict Arnold himself. Can you even imagine? It was thrilling!
Here’s what Austin had to say and as always you can find Alec’s on his blog:
2 weeks ago I went to williamsburg virginia. it was like disney world but it was history rather than roller coasters and it was fun. There was a slave wedding of course it was not real. We even got to hear the declaration of independence and benedict arnold and cool army men. It felt like I was in the 18th century.
If you are taking a trip to DC as everyone does, put this on your list. You will NOT be disappointed!