A Slice of Americana Down by the Rivah
We spent our Fourth of July this year (and a few days leading up to it) in coastal Virginia. We rented a little cottage on the York River (or Rivah to the locals) for a few days for a family vacation. It might be a stretch to call it a vacation in that our 2 and almost 4 year old children nearly did us in. Like, for real, they nearly killed us. But for the whole 5.2 seconds of the trip that they weren't whining, acting up or projectile vomiting (all true), we did manage to have a good time.
Traveling is something that I absolutely love doing. I got the bug many years ago when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for a semester. After that, I was hooked and spent two years in Edinburgh, Scotland working and getting my masters and traveling all around the UK and Europe. These days, with two small kids, our destinations are a little closer to home but I do still love seeing new places and experiencing new things. I also get so much inspiration and draw creativity from my travels which is why I'm sharing this excursion on my design blog.
The address of the cottage we stayed in said Gloucester, Virginia but I'd say it was closer to Yorktown - neither of the two towns being very close. It was about a 20-25 minute drive to the closest piece of civilization or at least a convenience store. The cottage sat at the end of a long country road:
Many years ago, it was a working farm but now is just a quiet piece of land overlooking the river.
The cottage itself wasn't much to look at but it was clean and had all the amenities we needed - most importantly, our own private pool overlooking the river (aka the ocean per the kids). The owners lived on the land nearby in a house built in the 1700's!
The first full day we were there was my husband's birthday. He got to choose the activity and picked a trip to the Jamestown Settlement. So, off we went. It was brutally HOT but the kids especially enjoyed the big ships. My son had to "drive" all three.
The fort and the settlement at Jamestown were pretty cool also:
When I say I find inspiration in traveling, sometimes it comes from colors, food, textures, smells, etc. and sometimes it is literally in the furnishings that I find. How awesome are these Colonial pieces? They are over 400 years old and I'd gladly have any of them in my home today. So classic and timeless.
That night we had dinner at a great little oyster bar by a marina.
The next day we hit up the Revolutionary War Museum in Yorktown. It was another unbearably hot and sweaty day but worth the trek.
We cooled off after the museum with lunch and ice cream in historic Yorktown.
On the way home, we stopped by the Rosewell plantation ruins not far from the cottage we stayed in. It burned down over a 100 years ago but in its day it was one of the largest and most opulent houses in Virginia. You could just imagine its grandeur back in the day. 33 rooms, 17 fireplaces and 12,000 square feet!
Our last full day was the Fourth of July. We wanted to avoid the traffic heading towards Williamsburg and Yorktown so we headed the other direction towards Gloucester and on a whim (and a missed turn to a national park) we ended up in the most adorable town of Mathews (yes, one "t"), Virginia.
The town was so picturesque and surprisingly nearly everything was open on the holiday from antique shops, to restaurants and their adorable General Store.
A friendly local directed us to an observation deck a few miles down the road that looked out over the water and a beautiful historic lighthouse built in 1801.
This is our third family trip like this to a remote coastal small town and we love it. If you have any must see/stay recommendations for our future travels, do tell!