Sunday, July 7, 2013

Williamsburg, VA

Before Luke left for focus summer training, we went out of town for a mini family vacation. Luke knew the woman who is the head of hiring for all of Bush Gardens Amusement Park in Williamsburg, VA and she was able to get us free tickets to both Bush Gardens and the Water Park.Williamsburg is also known for it's incredible history and has preserved the most incredible downtown area of old colonial Williamsburg.I was so excited! (side note, even though I had the American girl doll, Samantha, I always had a love for Felicity. Seriously, the colonial era speaks to my romantic heart.) But on with our trip....

Our plan was to leave Monday morning, super early, and head right to Bush Gardens for a full day at the park. Theeeen we realized that it would be a 3 and half hour drive, right through Monday morning rush hour DC traffic - which could easily add up to an hour an a half, and then expect to be full of energy, ready to have fun at the park all way that was going to work. So we quickly packed up and left after mass and a quick brunch on Sunday. Since Jamestown was just minutes away, we wanted to stop there that evening and see the Pocohontas trail, the ship in the harbor, etc. Well, we got there at like 6:30 and the park had closed at 6. Such a bummer! We didn't think to check online, we were really kicking ourselves. So we went to downtown Williamsburg to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere a bit. It is so quaint and you can really imagine what it must have been like.

We then checked into the Days Inn and put the kids to bed. An uneventful night. But we were there, ready to hit the park at 10am when it opened.

Monday morning the forecast was NOT good. Thunderstorms and heavy rain from 10am till like 3 or 4pm. We drove to Bush Gardens anyway hoping maybe it wasn't going to be that bad and quickly blow over. The sky was definitely saying otherwise. We debated in the car for forever, my vote was no, Luke wanted to try. So we got out in the mild drizzle, walked into the park, rain was getting heavier, got our tickets, rain still increasing, and we ducked into a souvinour stand for cover to revisit the "should we really be doing this today?" conversation. We agreed....not happening.

So we went and walked around the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center and saw a 30 minute video about life back then. It was kind of cheesy but I liked it. Since it was still raining, we went back to the hotel and let the kids take their usual naps. When they got up, the rain had stopped and we went swimming in the outdoor pool at the hotel. It was kind of cold, but the kids still had a blast.

Dinner that night at a local pizza place called The Library. It was sooo good. Apparently the pool wore Casey out.

Head falls lower. Didn't fall asleep though, once that pizza arrived, he chowed down.

That night we went back to a different part of colonial Williamsburg and explored some more.

Candy shop where Luke indulged his sweet tooth (he denies he has one)

view of the other side of the street

He needed to roam so we stayed outside the candy store

Time to see what they got us!

Time to go
Tuesday was sunny and beautiful and with everyone well rested we were so ready to take on Bush Gardens! We didn't know what Hailey would think of the kid rides, and she ended up loving them! Casey was a good sport about watching with me.

He's just trying to imitate Oscar the Grouch's eyebrows here.

She's telling me, "Go faster Momma!!" Sorry Hailey.

The elderly gentleman who was in charge of this ride asked how old Casey was and if I thought he would hold on. When I saw how slow the thing was going, I kinda was thinking Casey could handle it too. So we let him ride as well, on Hailey's second time around and at first he didn't like it, but then relaxed and enjoyed it a ton!

Probably her favorite ride. She loves flying on airplanes.
Luke got to go on a few rides throughout the day while the kids and I were either looking at animals or taking a break. We did do one water ride as a family and Casey HATED it. Looking at the pictures they take of you on the ride afterwards, we just about died because of the look on Casey's face. Complete horror. I think we got him and Hailey ice cream after that.

Another highlight of the day, that I never want to forget was the Celtic Fyre performance we watched. Throughout the park, in the different countries, are stages and theaters where shows are performed at regular intervals throughout the day. The Celtic Fyre Irish dancers was said to be one of the best shows so we made sure we made it to that one. It was truly incredible and beautiful. Hailey was mesmerized and didn't want it to end. She LOVED the dancers and was clapping and bouncing in her seat the whole time.

The next day we went to the water park but the kids were sooo not into it. Like, at all. And they are normally obsessed with water. It was kind of baffling but I think when it came down to it, they were just still exhausted from the day before. They were lacking the stamina for day 2 of park fun.

where Hailey camped out almost the whole time.

finally someone was ready to have fun

We didn't stay long at all, and left around 1:30pm. Which was fine, especially considering we didn't pay for it! No need to feel guilty for not getting our money's worth or anything like that. And we had a long drive home ahead of us. Plus, the kids were just tired. They konked out on the car ride home, but woke up refreshed enough when we stopped to have dinner with a mission partner outside of DC at Chipotle to be bouncing off the walls and drive me nearly crazy.

Final memory from this vacation. The amount of pee in Hailey's car seat. For whatever reason, she could not hold it at all. It was like, "Mommy, I pee pee please!" "Ok, Hailey, wait till we stop the car. One minute." Pull over a minute later so she can go and she's already gone in her sear. It happened 4 times I think over the course of our vacation. (Once instance resulting in us on the side of the road, a cop pulling over behind us, assessing our situation and still being a jerk and writing us a ticket. A $90 ticket for failing to obey the "stopping for emergencies only) signs all over the highway. Well, sorry sir, this was an emergency, she had to pee and otherwise she would have gone in her seat. His response, "If my kids can't hold it, I tell them to go in their seat." Gee, thanks for the unasked for parenting advice. He was ridiculous. And then 2 hours later when she's telling us she needs to pee again and we're telling her we can't pull over on the side of the road, just a few more minutes till we can on an exit and she pees in her seat. Where are you now, cop? Case in point.) And it was just weird because she never does this type of thing and it probably was just the heat and amount of water she was drinking. Ohmygosh though, SO gross. We took her seat out once we got home, so I could take it apart and wash the padding in the washer, and the leather seat and floor were wet with pee too!! Thank goodness for leather seats though.

It was such a wonderful and special family trip though. And timed so perfectly by Luke so that it helped sorta sustain me during his absence. Good job, honey :)

And good job to you, if you made it through this long recap!


  1. Replies
    1. minus the extra squishy car seat... I cannot believe the cop gave you a ticket! Our last long road-trip (10 hours), we had to stop six times in the space of two hours for poor Lettie... that could have gotten expensive fast if we had had cranky cops on our route!