Grand Illumination in Colonial Williamsburg

Dec. 7th 2012


To kick off the Christmas Season, Colonial Williamsburg has their annual Grand Illumination Celebration. This is a day of events to celebrate Christmas ending with the illumination of the Colonial areas. At dusk, each of the colonial homes will light candles in their windows.


Then at 7pm, they have their wonderful fireworks display. The fireworks will go off in three locations: The Governor’s Palace (which you see in the pictures), the Capital and the Armory. This was the first year I was able to make this event.







After the fireworks display, the Drum and Fife Corps will march down from the Governor’s Palace back to the Capital in a parade down the main street of Colonial Williamsburg.



If you have never seen it before, I would highly recommend it! It was a lot of people, so you will need to get there early. But it was worth the time.

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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 22 Comments »

Wreaths of Colonial Williamsburg

Dec. 4th 2012


On Sunday, I spent the day in Colonial Williamsburg during their “Grand Illumination” kick off for the Christmas season.

I am going to have to break up the posts to several to cover all that I saw!

Here you will see the beautiful wreaths and door decorations!














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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 81 Comments »

Getting Back to Normal

Nov. 29th 2012

Belle Grove
View from the Carriage side porch

Well it has been a few days since I last posted. After my trip to Belle Grove, we had the funeral for my mother on Monday. It was beautiful. And I made it through the eulogy… sort of. But the friends that came helped us with the final parts. We were so supported and loved. Both from our friends here in Chesapeake and those of you that have followed our blog! Thank you again for all your support and prayers. It was a life saver!On Wednesday, I returned to my current job. On my arrival I was greeted with 360 emails. One and a half days later, I am finally caught up. All email answered and files put away. Whew…. So maybe I can get back to normal again.

Belle Grove
View of Carriage side porch

Brett has been working hard on the zoning package. He has been in contact with the Zoning Director and has made some head way towards our goal. The Zoning Officials will be meeting to discuss our application the week of the 10th so keep your fingers crossed! Brett is also going to be meeting with the Zoning Director and the Surveyor on the 10th to discuss some correction he sees on the site plan. I am so glad Brett is here to do that! I would be so lost! Give me a wedding or gourmet breakfast to cook and I can knock it out of the park, but paperwork for government offices, I don’t know if I would get it right.

Next week, Brett is traveling out of town for his current job. What a dog! He is going for a week of work in sunny California! I will be back here in the cold weather! How unfair! Maybe he can bring some of that sunny weather back with him! He is also talking about stopping in to see one of the grandsons of the last owners if he has a chance in Los Angeles. It will depend on his time and how tired he is when he arrives. I would kill to be going with him! The grandson owns a high end restaurant in the LA and the food looks so good! If he goes, I will have to get him to take pictures and write about it for you!

So while Brett goes to take in the sunny weather this next week, I will be on my own for the weekend and week. This will be the first weekend after three weeks of family at the house in Chesapeake. I don’t know what I will do! I told Brett that I think I might take in some sushi and a movie. I have wanted to see “Lincoln” since it came out. Now I think I might have time!

Colonial Williamsburg
Governor’s Palace

There is also going to be a big event in Colonial Williamsburg this weekend called the “Grand Illumination”. This is a day of events to kick off the Holiday Season. It is scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd with events happening from 10:30am to 9:30pm. To view more information on this event, you can visit their website at:

In all the years we have lived here in Chesapeake, we have never ventured to the “Grand Illumination”. I may have to see if I can make it this year!


Another event that you should mark your calendar for is at Montpelier, home of James Madison. This event is called “Candlelight Evening at James Madison’s Montpelier”.  Enjoy centuries of Christmas traditions at the Montpelier Candlelight Tour. Be greeted by Dolley Madison and learn about early 19th-century Christmas customs while exploring the Madison’s’ home by candlelight. See the Madison Dancers perform in the Grand Salon. Linger in the DuPont Gallery, enjoy light refreshments, wine, and wassail while enjoying harp music and carolers. It will be from 4:30pm to 8:00pm. Advance Tickets can be purchased on their website at:

Brett will be returning on Friday, December 7th and we have an appointment on December 8th at Belle Grove.

But you may see us there on Sunday, December 9th!

One last update:

We have been posting information on some of the historic sites and museums we are working with on our Facebook page!

Please check out our Facebook page often and share it with your friends!

Thank you so much for all your support!

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 30 Comments »