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Colonial Williamsburg - Part I

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Travelin' Grandma
...on the road with Myrna Oakley    


    In June I flew to the east coast to vacation with son Kenneth, his wife Winnie, and grandkids, Michael, 6, and Emily, 2.

Friday--We packed for our big adventure, a trip to Colonial Williamsburg!  With the car loaded with coolers, food, ice, toys, stroller, suitcases, pillows, cameras, film, and car seats, we headed east on Highway 64 toward Richmond, Virginia taking about three hours to reach Williamsburg and the Powhatan Plantation Resort. Here a 2-bedroom kitchen unit would serve as a great home base for the next five days.
    We planned each day with the children as well as the adults in mind. One of the best ideas was each day to pack a hearty picnic lunch--Ken made great turkey sandwiches, these with green grapes, bananas, cookies, and water bottles with cold water and lemon slices filled the cooler. Extra healthy treats were Colonial Williamsburg is a fun learning experience for the entire family.tucked in for Michael and Emily.    
    Again, keeping the children’s schedules in mind, we ended each day of sightseeing around 3 or 4 p.m. returning to the resort to rest and get supper started.
     After supper Ken would usually take the kids to the swimming pool for awhile before bedtime.            The weather was quite hot and humid, not easy for a Pacific Northwest grandma to manage!
 
Saturday--We checked in at the Colonial Williamsburg (C.W.) Visitors Center to get our passes, which are required for entrance into all sections of the facility; we also loaded up on helpful books, maps, and materials available in the well-stocked gift shop.
     We learned that Colonial Williamsburg was an outpost for England’s first colony, Jamestown; and because of C.W.’s strategic position between the James and York rivers, the colony’s capital was then moved. From 1699 and for the next 81 years Williamsburg served as the capital of Virginia.
    Six miles from Colonial Williamsburg is Carter’s Grove Plantation. This was once a 300,000 acre farm, with some 1000 slaves!  The mansion, built in 1754 by Carter’s grandson, is filled with antiques, period reproductions and art. Luckily, the plantation was hosting an extensive living history program, “Brothers-in-Arms,” in the Slave Quarters, in the gardens and on the grounds, and in the Manor House. Our cameras were clicking all afternoon!  We visited the fine archaeological museum on the grounds--an especially cool option on a hot, humid day it being constructed partially underground.  From Carter’s Grove we took the scenic country road back to Williamsburg; a great option, get directions before leaving Carter’s Grove.

Sunday--We decided to devote this day to visiting nearby Busch Gardens Park, so that Michael and Emily wouldn’t get too tired of the historical sightseeing.  We arrived early, by 9:30 a.m., so that we could park near the main entrance. We had purchased our park passes at a AAA office on the drive over from Lexington. The park is clean and relatively cool with tall shade trees, ample walkways and paths to hold families and strollers, lots of fun rides for all ages, gift shops galore, and, in each of the 9 themed sections, restaurants and eateries.  
    The staff members were friendly, upbeat, and helpful. Grandma treated for lunch in the German Das Festhaus accompanied by a delightful and colorful musical show.  The grandkids had a great time and we visited nearly every section, from Banbury Cross/England (the main entrance), Hastings /England, and Heatherdowns/Scotland to Aquitaine/France, New France/French Canadian, and San Marco/Italy.  Winnie got some great shots of Ken and Michael on Le Scoot, the Log Flume Ride!
    We enjoyed several shows including “American Jukebox,” the 4-D high-tech comedy adventure “Pirates,” and “Starlight Orchestra.” A daily bulletin gives current times for all the shows.

    Join back up with Myrna and her family on their big adventure to Colonial Williamsburg in Travelin' Grandma in Williamsburg - Part II.


Helpful Information:
How to reach the area: Interstate 64 is the principal highway leading to Williamsburg. US 60 and Virginia Routes 5 & 31 also provide convenient access. Williamsburg is located approximately 50 miles from Richmond and Norfolk, VA, and 150 miles from Washington D.C. There are frequent flights into Newport News, Norfolk, and Richmond airports. Also served by AMTRAK.

Williamsburg Hotel/Motel Assoc: 1-800-446-9244

Colonial Williamsburg:
1-800-HISTORY

http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com
http://www.history.org

Busch Gardens:
(757) 253-3350
http://www.buschgardens.com

Main entrance opens at 9:30 a.m. and usually closes at 10:00 p.m. The park is closed during most of November and March.

--Travelin’ Grandma Myrna Oakley lives near Portland, OR and is the author of Oregon: Off the Beaten Path and Recommended Bed & Breakfasts: Pacific Northwest.

 

Where are Tricia and Marla?


Tricia and Marla climbed these steps to this magnificent temple. Where are Tricia and Marla?
Click here to find out. 

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