I do not think I have ever met anyone who did not like the town of Williamsburg, Virginia after visiting there. It is Disney World for American history buffs. It is Disney World for middle class history buffs. Most of the food and shopping are expensive, although, with care, it can be done economically. The historic area was surrounded by children from private schools on spring holiday. I was there recently for a two-day garden seminar. Something we elitists do when spring arrives and we have planted all that we dare to before the last frost date.
There is nothing more entertaining for a husband than following sensible women with sensible haircuts in sensible shoes around sensible historic gardens all afternoon. There was some variety in attendance as some of the women attending were those charming 'Southern Bells' who wear lovely hats, Town and Country clothes and nice jewelry. They knew and were willing to share their knowledge of the scientific names of most of the plants with a maple syrup accent as their fragile husbands in nice suits stood quietly by... my, my! Even more exotic, the weather was perfect!
The historic district is romantically and accurately preserved with lots of Colonial architecture, some winding lanes, staff in Colonial dress doing Colonial era activities and or staffing the many cutesy little shops. We bought two of the Early American jar birdhouses for our fence posts. Did I mention that being there in the spring is wonderful?
Unfortunately, our favorite (and expensive) restaurant, The Trellis, was closed for renovation. This is the restaurant that produced the famous Death by Chocolate dessert that has been mimicked by every high-end restaurant on the East Coast the last few years. Fortunately we found plenty of other good places to eat.
On the last day, I found a true treasure. There is a very small used bookstore called Mermaid Books located beneath a wine/deli restaurant on a side street off the Market Square. Before this trip I did not know of its existence. We had a long lunch hour to fill and were perusing the shelves for some good historic references on plants and gardening, stimulated by the recent lecture we had heard, when I came across this!
The bookstore owner actually hesitated in selling it to me. He hemmed and hawed and then felt he must have another copy in the back, because he had planned on scanning it for the wonderful woodcut illustrations inside. I told him to let me buy it and he could mail it to me when he was done scanning it. He finally relented and let me purchase it then and there. Now I will see if the memory of enjoying reading this book when I was much younger still holds true. Have any of you ever read this book of fantasy? It is a male's version of a romance. It is not copyrighted in the U.S. and is downloadable at the following URL, if your are interested.
Or you can search the title and find it online in several places.