Experiencing historic trip

2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the annual fifth-grade bus tour to Washington, D.C., Williamsburg and Jamestown, Va.

One hundred 36 students and 168 adults left April 24-25 on the memorable educational trip.

The students are familiar with the plight of the Jamestown Colony (hostile Indians, unfamiliar diseases) but to see in person how isolated they were, how low the land sits, how harsh the day-to-day living conditions were, brings the textbooks alive.

You can stand there and imagine the seclusion and hopelessness.

The trip is paid for by parents and the students have criteria of character and behavioral standards which they must meet in order to make the trip.

In Washington, the trolleys, subways and pace of the city are exciting.

Men and women executives and politicians walk briskly, in athletic shoes, from block-to-block.

Underground restaurants, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial the Vietnam Wall and monuments honoring Korean and World War II veterans, the fabulous Smithsonian Institute, the Capital, U.S. Supreme Court, Treasury Department, and Kennedy Center are but a few of the endless list of attractions to see in Washington.

Arlington Cemetery and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are spine-chilling and patriotic.

On the Williamsburg, Va. tour, the students experienced the home of George Washington, which sits on the banks of the Potomac River, has its own dock, wash houses, outhouses, grainery storage and carriage barn … then hit historic Williamsburg with a gigantic step back in time.

Barrel making, blacksmithing, farming, Redcoat raids, ferry crossings, cobblers, millinery shop, school and paperwork stores, news office, homemade baked goodies, old time toys, pharmacy, William and Mary College and block after block of lovely little cottages with gardens filled with stone paths and lovely flowers are but a few of the many things these lucky travelers will remember for the rest of their lives.

Cows, goats and horses are herded in the streets. The first gaol (jail) is still there and one will learn the origin of “sitting on the throne.” Lanthorn tours, ghosts and pirate tours are available and you can post your mail the old timey way.

Tavern restaurants offer “different” fares of food … most peculiar to our daily fare.

For 23 of the 25 years of the trip, Mrs. JoAnn Hoff was the “director” of the group. Rhonda Montgomery and Sabrina Lynch are in their second year as co-directors.

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by e–mail at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.