We revisited one of our favorite historic haunts -- Jamestown -- and found it as fascinating as ever. Jamestown was established more than 400 years ago as the first permanent English settlement in the New World. But it's only been in the past 25 years that its secrets and treasures have come to light. Archaeologists began actively digging in the mid-90s to determine the location of the original fort that housed those first intrepid newcomers. Prior to that the assumption was the York River had swallowed all remains of the fabled site. That assumption would prove wrong. A handful of determined archaeologists discovered the outline of the wooden palisade by the presence of "stained" soil, indicating the location of post holes. That crude, high wooden fence surrounded the fort and today is reproduced so you can see just how small this first settlement was. Rustic buildings such as a barracks, a communal storeroom, the first of several church buildings and a graveyard were sn
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A couple nights at Beaufort Docks Marina and we'll be off again. But what a fun stop, if only a brief one. Beaufort feels like it's sitting on the edge of a watery world, with the southernmost point of North Carolina's Outer Banks just around the corner. While technically not on the ocean, the Atlantic is close at hand and it shows. Local marinas are full of huge sportfish boats at the ready. Knowledgeable boaters have first-hand experience with the troublesome winds and currents that define these waters and the nearby inlet takes boaters out into the big water. We've seen more active boating around Beaufort than in any one spot on our journey thus far. Then there's the deep history that makes Beaufort a treasure for anyone who is fascinated by how the past has helped form the present. The infamous Blackbeard made his home here in the early 1700s before meeting his demise in a naval battle not far from today's waterfront. His house is still here, privately owne
I've always enjoyed the late fall and Christmas season in Williamsburg's historic district. The streets and byways are quieter. The houses and other buildings take on almost a sculptural quality as the trees lose their dense leaf cover and views stretch further than during any other season. But mostly I like the doors. Well, not the door itself (although I do appreciate those old latches, hinges and door knockers). It's the beautiful, organic holiday decor that catches my eye. Every year a fresh batch of gorgeous wreaths are created from real materials -- fir boughs, magnolia leaves and pods, dried flowers, wheat, cotton, shells, pine cones and fresh fruit including apples, lemons, oranges and cranberries. No plastic and polyester here. Even these natural-based wreaths are far more decorative than an 18th century local would have seen. But in our twinkle light and tinsel-encrusted world, they are a lovely change of pace.