Thursday, August 18, 2005

Getting to Beachy Keen

We're at the beach, and have been since Saturday. Here's the beginning of the journal, starting Saturday, August 13th...

13 August: We skipped breakfast this morning, but for some fruit snitched from the continental buffet. Lunch was at the Michie (pronounced Mickey, he was from Scotland) Tavern at 11:15, so it made no sense to fill up on breakfast at 9:30. No one even bothered to wake up until 8:45.
Packed up once again, we arrived at the Tavern. Lunch was good for "food from yesteryear", but I'm glad the boys ate free and the girls were reduced. Nicholas ate a roll. But he's not feeling well today, with a headache that comes and goes. Poor kid is probably still suffering from his encounter with the law.
The beach house was waiting for us, but we didn't want to arrive before 3 p.m., so we stayed at Michie and took the tour of the original tavern, moved here from it's original land 17 miles away, about 80 years ago. A basket on the deck provided dress-up clothes for the kids and our guide gave us and a couple other people a fun tour. The kids tried the dulcimer and wrote their names with a quill and ink in the ladies parlor. I finally learned that to use a quill, the point goes on the bottom so the feather ink well is above the point, then the pressure applied to the point releases the ink. Why I never knew this, I don't know. But all the kids wrote their names really well with the right technique. Upstairs we visited the ballroom and saw a map drawn of eastern Virginia by Peter Jefferson (Thomas's father) and Mr. Fry. While in the ballroom, our guide taught us part of Virginia Reel. Now that was fun. Back downstairs in the keep (the room where cooked meals were kept until it was time to serve them, the kitchen was elsewhere) was an assortment of nifty tools. Often I've wondered why some great ideas have disappeared over time, like the corner china cabinet with butterfly wing shelves so items in the back could be easily reached. Or the table that could be pushed against the wall and flipped up to expose a bench underneath.
One question though... out in the Necessary, are the corn cobs for what I think?
Before eating lunch, the kids had each received a treasure hunt. One sticker from the Ordinary (restaurant), and one from the Tavern, left the Clothier and the General Store. If they answered questions for each place and collected all four stickers, a prize awaited them. We scooted through the clothier and got caught in the store with a table sized chess set. Rebecca and Nicholas faced off and ended in stale mate. The others were bummed they didn't get a turn. I want a chess set like that whenever we have a house of our own, something that takes up a corner of a room.
The kids received their bags of gold coins, a real treasure.
Time to leave, and four hours later we pulled into the Beachy Keen driveway at Sandbridge.

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