GK: Norfolk was founded in 1682. It is part of a grand colonial hub of Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown. Grand colonial plantations can be found up and down the James River. I visited one...
VR: Want to buy a souvenir?
VR: A colonial souvenir. I have some lovely items.
GK: Do you have a tri-corner hat? I always wanted to get a tri-corner hat.
VR: Oh, I'm all out. But I have this rare quad-corner hat.
GK: A four-cornered hat? Where?
VR: Right here.
GK: Hmmm. It looks like a shoe box.
VR: It was worn by the business elite in colonial times.
GK: How much?
VR: Twenty dollars.
GK: For a shoe box?
VR: Okay. Fifteen. And I'll let you stick a feather in it and call it macaroni.
GK: Deal. So I put on my shoe box and continued my tour of the area, coming upon the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Excuse me, Mr. Ranger, is this the Great Dismal Swamp?
PR: (depressed) I suppose.
GK: It's quite impressive. Here you have something that's been logged and drained and altered by man since colonial times and now it's a thriving wildlife refuge home to 200 species of birds, minks, foxes, bear and bobcat.
PR: (not) We're all quite thrilled.
GK: It's a grand thing to view.
PR: (depressed) If you like that sort of thing.
GK: Majestic. But for man-made wonders, it's hard to beat the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. So we jumped in the car and headed for route 13 north.
GK: Built almost 40 years ago, the bridge-tunnel is a modern engineering wonder and an important part of the East Coast infrastructure.
GK: It's a series of bridges and tunnels that stretch over and under the Chesapeake Bay for 17 miles.
GK: The northbound side took 42 months to construct, opening to traffic on April 15, 1964.
GK: The southbound side took 46 months to build, opening up on April 19, 1999.
GK: It's a beautiful ride.
GK: Norfolk is so centrally located that two-thirds of the nation's population live within 750 miles of Norfolk. And most can be found at Virginia Beach on any given summer day.
SS: Look, honey, I think I saw some sand there...in the shade.
TK: Oh, yeah, near the fat guy.
GK: In addition to official city colors, Blue and Gold, and an official city flower, the Crepe Myrtle, Norfolk has an official silver mace.
TK: Ow! My eyes!
GK: Not that kind of mace. It's a sterling silver mace. It was presented to the Borough of Norfolk in 1754 by the Lt. Governor of Virginia. It is said to be one of only two Colonial maces owned by U.S. localities. So, they're pretty proud of that. The silver staff is 41 inches long and weighs more than six pounds. During the Civil War, about 1862, the artifact was hidden under the mayor's hearth. They must haven hidden it very well, or the mayor was one of those forgetful types because it didn't turn up until 1894...
JS: Did you stop anywhere? Buy something?
UB: No, George, no. Not even a stick of gum!
JS: Think! Think you old fool! You stupid old silly man, where's the mace?
UB: I don't know, George, I'm no good to you!
SS: Oh, here it is, at the police station!
UB: Now what was I doing at the police station?
GK: They were able to restore it and it now is on display in the Chrysler Museum of Art. Right next to the Minivan display. Just some assorted background facts about our host city...