Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Return from the 18th Century

It may say something about how much I've traveled this year that I have not purchased a single bottle of conditioner, instead relying on the cute little bottles they give you in hotel bathrooms. I'd have the same record for soap but this weekend at Colonial Williamsburg their scented and fun-shaped "soap balls" were too much fun to resist.


I got peppermint scented and "Castille," which is actually not the name of the scent (it's vaguely floral) but the Spanish town where that style of soapmaking was invented. The more you know.

My good friend Amanda, who came with me, got a much more involved souvenir: a new dress.
Plushcoat and I at Colonial Williamsburg this past weekend!!
(I took about 300 pics so its hard to choose what to post!)


Plushcoat and I at Colonial Williamsburg this past weekend!!
(I took about 300 pics so its hard to choose what to post!)
As well as hats for herself and the Plushie Redcoat she made (she's also the creator of my plushie Eighth Doctor--an all-around talented individual).

Speaking of which, yeah, little 'Who' (my mother's name for him--I'm not going to correct her that he's "The Doctor") was along too:


Considering we were bringing a fun-sized version of the enemy into Williamsburg, everyone was quite courteous to us. Specific shout-outs to that charmer Lafayette, Chelsea at the milliner's where we got Amanda's dress, and the hosts of the ball at the Governor's Palace Saturday evening. I may have butchered a Scottish Reel but they were nevertheless gracious. It's rare to have an audience-participation event handled with next to no stage fright on my part, but they managed it.


We stayed 2 nights at the Chiswell Bucktrout house, which we remembered by the name of a certain British actor (perhaps better known as Sherlock). Although not as cheap as a Motel 8, it was happily affordable, especially considering our package included not only historic housing but also complimentary breakfasts at the super swanky Regency Room up at the Williamsburg Inn. All in all, a pretty cool way to make the most of your visit to the 18th century. The gift card that came with also managed to cover dinner at the King's Arms tavern, which this impoverished recent graduate would not have managed otherwise. We got to sample syllabub for the first time (tangy, because of the lemon, and just enough white wine to give teetotalers a buzz although our server said they were allowed to serve it to children) and I got the first good peanut soup I've had since my trip to Ghana. I bought mixes for both at the general store. All in all, a good review for the King's Arms too, even if they didn't believe me when I said I was from Washington, D.C. (apparently nothing had been named for the General yet--I wonder if visitors from Washington State encounter the same paradox?), and when we agreed I was from Foggy Bottom, the mosquito-ridden shores of the Potomac, this was taken as the reasoning behind my slovenly state of dress.

Well, slovenly compared to Amanda's period-appropriate round gown, I suppose, but I leave you to judge for yourself:




Returning home, I've got an email from mom in the colony of Wisconsin (yes, I know Wis. was never a colony) that my contributor's copy of Outposts of Beyond has arrived safe and sound. It'll sadly be a bit until I can read it, but that doesn't mean you can't get your hands on Issue #2, which contains among other delights my fantasy short "Murderer, Confessor, Executioner." The story evolved as an experiment in creating nonhuman characters, specifically a character who is other than human not merely in physical appearance but in emotional life as well.

Speaking of fiction, there's a call for submissions out for the Mammoth Book of Science Fiction by Women. If you have written stories meeting both those parameters, I encourage you to go check it out!


 PostScript: Okay, so Lafayette may have been a charmer, but it can't be denied he had eyes in other places than just the colonial ladies. That man's crush on America (perhaps personified by Washington, but consider the fact he brought home barrels of soil from Bunker Hill to be buried under) is historically adorable.