girliegirl32786 (who had arrived the night before) and I drove down to Williamsburg Friday afternoon. Unfortunately not only were we running late but we ran into construction on I-95, then had issues checking into the hotel *grrr*. By the time we got into our room we had 35 minutes to dress head-to-toe in 18th century. We did it in 45 minutes (I did "pouf" hair in 15 minutes - that has to be a record!) and so were only 10 minutes late. I forgot my muff and gloves but we made our goal of not being the last ones to arrive anyway... :P
There were 30-40 people in our party (inculding local LJers marcine, isabelladangelo, williamsburg24, sadievale & idlewild_grey) and we were all seated in the same room at four large tables. Dinner was yummy if rushed. I tried the rum punch for the first time and loved it - there will be more of those in my future!
Next we all walked across the street to Raleigh Tavern for a candlelit concert. girliegirl32786 described it as "magical" and it really was. The concert itself was delightful, a lovely program of late 18th-century music played by a trio of pianoforte, viola da gamba, and baroque violin. Each piece was introduced with lots of interesting history and you could tell the musicians were passionate about what they were doing and were having a blast doing it. Add to that the room being full of 18th century frocks, sparkling spangles, rustling silk, feathers swaying, fans being gently fanned in time to the music - all in candlelight - and it really was magical. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done as a costumer and exactly what I needed that night.
Afterwards some enjoyed the lovely evening with a stroll through the historic area to the after party a couple of blocks away. The after party was fun, a chance to chat and catch up with both local and far-flung costuming friends while nibbling desserts and sipping port. We didn't stay too long which was fine with me, as much fun as I was having I was exhausted. We had another lovely stroll back, zoccolaro graciously detouring to walk us to our car. Thanks so much Francis!
girliegirl32786 and I got back to our hotel room which after getting dressed in such a rush was an utter disaster. So we tidied up, packed up all our costuming (which felt kinda strange!), managed to get a comb through our hairspray drenched hair, showered and crashed into bed.
The next morning we slept in and had a disappointing hotel breakfast before heading to the CW Visitor's Center. Our first stop of the day was the Dewitt museum to see the Accessories: Head to Toe exhibit. It was small but full of pretty and unusual things. Among my favorites were a frilly silk covered hat, a chemisette made out of sleeve ruffles and some rectangle mother of pearl game counters.
After thoroughly exploring and documenting the exhibit we wondered around the museum a bit before heading to Merchant Square for lunch at the Cheese Shop, coffee, and the chocolate cake of doom. We then headed to the Governor’s Palace, did the house tour and wondered the gardens.
We were on our way to see some of the trade shops when we ran into demode, jubilima, zoccolaro, trystbat, angldst, seekatesew & howlgirl who all looked awesome (the riding habits - ahh!) and were on their way to the Shoemaker. That shop had been on our list too so we joined them. I about tripled my knowledge of shoemaking in the 15 minutes I stood around listening to zoccolaro & the shoemaker talk. It was awesome!
After that A & I shamelessly followed the pretty costumes around the Governor’s Palace grounds taking pics and trying hard not to steal hats and walking sticks. It was a temptation let me tell you!
After we said goodbye to the pretty people it was time to head back to the hotel to meet Mom and Dad for dinner. We went to the Blue Talon for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Dinner was great but the dessert menu was truly epic. girliegirl32786's lemon tart was beyond fabulous, my chocolate mousse was perfect and Dad’s absinthe had the best presentation evar. *sigh* We went back to the hotel for Jampange and a rousing game of Uno. The parents crashed while Aubry and I stayed up into the wee hours chatting, scheming and generally talking ourselves hoarse in the sitting room of our suite. It was awesome.
We all slept-in the next morning, checked out of the hotel and went to Aroma's in Merchant's Square for breakfast. Some shopping was done and then it was time to say goodbye to girliegirl32786 (sadness). The parents and I headed out of the town too, taking a leisurely back way, stopping at an antique store or two along the way.
Monday afternoon found me on the road back to Williamsburg. I HAD to see bauhausfrau while she was in Virginia so I joined her, demode, jubilima, sarahbellem, zoccolaro, trystbat, seekatesew & howlgirl for dinner at the King's Arms Tavern. It was a lovely evening! It was nice to have a more leisurely dinner at the tavern this time and of course the company was beyond fabulous.
A lovely after-dinner stroll to the Governor’s Palace for silly pictures then back to the Lodge, where I changed out of my stays in bauhausfrau's room. I really wasn’t ready to leave yet so I hung out there for a little while longer before dragging myself away. The 1.5 hour drive home was fine, thanks in part to the long nap I'd taken earlier in the day (I be smart) and the wine I had with dinner (alcohol doing for me what caffeine does for most people hee). I pulled into the driveway at 1am. I have to say it didn't feel nearly that late, I guess the daylight savings time change worked to my advantage for once!
Needless to say my lack of enthusiasm for making any new 18th century this year is now gone and I'm feeling all inspired to delve back into my favorite era. I particularly need a riding habit - stat! You people are evil! (you know who you are)
My pics can be found here: (I have to admit slacking off on Friday night - pics weren't going to do it justice so I didn't really bother!)
Friday Night & Saturday Touristing - plus a few pinched from Aubry! :>
Monday Night Dinner
More photos from the weekend: (I'll add more as they appear online)
Loren - videos (locked post)