Saturday, February 9, 2008

A supposedly fun thing [I thought] I'll never do again

David Foster Wallace wrote this book, which I bought because I thought the cover was funny when I was just fininshing graduate school. It turns out his supposedly fun thing was taking a cruise, and while he acknowledges that he had some hand in his not so fun time (he talks about feeling like an ass by wearing his tuxedo-printed t-shirt instead of a real tux to the Captain's dinner), he thought the event just wasn't what it was cracked up to be. I kinda felt this way about Colonial Williamsburg.

My mom and I went a few years ago, and it was hot. Really, really hot. I don't remember what time of year it was, but I'm guessing late spring or early summer. Did I mention it was hot? It was hot. We made the best of it, but watching someone make a barrel loses its charm when people are crowded in three rows deep and all that is really on your mind is a cold shower. There were definintely some interesting components to it, like the govenor's mansion and gardens, but given the press and the mammoth Welcome Center where multi-day passes were encouraged, heat aside, I just didn't get it. It was supposed to be fun, and while hanging out with my mom is fun all on it's own, I was glad to be back in Northern Va.

So, when an opportunity to spend a weekend out of the busy-ness of the DC metro area arose, my heart ignored my bank account and set its sights on Atlantic City, an easy 2 1/2 hour drive from here. Instead, Williamsburg seemed like a good way to spend just a little more than a day and a half, so off went the money metal Saturn southbound. Turns out, when you can wear sweaters and drink hot coffee while you're doing it, this view of history is actually pretty fun. The traffic signs were a bit confusing, with one sign for both 5 East and 60 West on the same road on the same pole, and several things weren't open, and the whole area including all of outlying shopping and restaurants locks up tight at 9, it was a very good way to spend a mild February Friday. I think I learned a little something, got a lot of rest, and bought new shoes. I hope, some time in the fairly distant future, I do it again.

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