Jan 22nd
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Colonial Williamsburg - II

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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.  This is a continuation from Part I of my memorable time with family in Colonial Williamsburg...

    Monday--This was our day for Colonial Williamsburg and even though it was hot and humid, we managed quite well with our picnic lunch and our water bottles with ice and lemon!
    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.
    Armed with the helpful “C.W. Visitor’s Companion,” we found all kinds of interesting things to see and do including Wythe House and Yard, Apothecary shops and trade sites, the Episcopal Church (oldest in the U.S.), the Governor’s Palace, the Courthouse, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, and of course, the great shops in Merchant’s Square at the far end of Duke of Gloucester Street. There is ample parking at the Visitor’s Center with frequent busses to and all around the Historic Area.
    Tuesday--We took a day off from sightseeing and visited some of the Factory Outlet stores in the area including Berkeley Commons, Williamsburg Outlet Mall, Patriot Plaza, and Williamsburg Pottery. One of our best finds was a local Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Parlor for an afternoon treat! That evening friend Susie’s daughter, Deb, drove over from Newport News, VA, for dinner with us at the resort--Winnie’s great black beans with rice. After dinner we piled the kids into the car and followed Deb to Newport News to see her new condo.

    Wednesday--We saved Historic Jamestown for today, prior to taking me to the Richmond Airport for my flight back to the West Coast. Jamestown was a wonderful treat for Michael and Emily with all the interesting hands-on living history programs--trying on native clothing made of animal hides; watching the staff who portrayed Indian maidens making original pottery; exploring the three replicas of the wooden boats that the first white settlers sailed from England to the colonies; and, walking through the replicated Jamestown Settlement complete with thatch-roofed dwellings, church, and herb and vegetable gardens. Families, kids, grandparents, and grandkids could spend the whole day here learning from the living history and also browsing the excellent museum and gift shops. Bring a picnic along too!

    Final thoughts--Not only would I do this trip again, I’d stay longer! There is simply too much to see and do in just five days in the Colonial Williamsburg-James-town-Carter’s Grove-Busch Gardens Park-Water Country area, not to mention Newport News, Virginia Beach
, and the Chesapeake Bay areas.
    Visiting this historic area with one’s grandchildren makes it even more special. Our trip worked well because we planned ahead, we took into consideration the needs of the children, and we maintained flexible and positive outlooks. We were attentive to each other’s needs and we didn’t try to do everything in one day. We took plenty of time to rest and recuperate and we had the added plus of being able to prepare our own nutritious lunches and easy but delicious dinners at our resort home base.
     If possible I would go earlier, say in mid-to late-May, in order to avoid some of the intense hot weather and high humidity!

    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:

Busch Gardens:

Ghosts of Williamsburg:
Candlelight Tours

Busch Gardens:

Jamestown National Park Preserve

--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 was Solomon born?

This is Solomon, a new born Humpback whale. He provided hours of entertainment for our group of whale watchers. Where was Solomon born? Click here to find out.

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