Visiting Williamsburg

Early last year we decided to take a family trip with my parents to meet up with some other family members in Williamsburg, VA. I had been to Williamsburg twice before that I remember. It was part of a senior band trip in high school. The trip was mainly to Washington DC to play on the steps of the capital building. We made a stop in Williamsburg on the way back but it was for just 1 day. I don’t remember too much about what we did in Williamsburg on that trip, it was almost 18 years ago. Here’s some flashback pictures from that trip.

The second time was when my brother in law graduated from the College of William and Mary. We went to his graduation, along with my in-laws, but it was a short trip. Aside from our graduation festivities we only really managed  to take a quick walk through the a park in the historic center of the city. Here’s my in-laws in the

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We set off on a Thursday to drive up. Matt and I are not usually road trippers, but my parents are and so we agreed to ride along with them. We rented a car through Last Minute Travel. This was the first time I had used this site, I heard about it on our local radio. The site actually had great deals, we ended up renting an Acura SUV for a week for only about $300. Way less then it was listed for on the actual car rental website.

It took two day to make the drive up there and it was not with out a few random events happening. About an hour into our drive, while my Mom was at the wheel, a bird in the median decided to take off and hoover in front of us in our lane. You would assume that it would swoosh up at the last second as birds usually do. Not this one all of the sudden we heard a big thud and my mom scream as the bird did not swoosh and smacked right into the window in front of her face. It was a little traumatic, and my mom trying to stay positive said “maybe the bird was fine and took back off after hitting the window?” Looking back after the bird hit the window and seeing it roll of the back of the car and into the road, I’m sure that is not likely.  Later on in the drive we had the misfortune of a rock flicking up from the car in front of us and cracking the windshield.

We arrived at our hotel which was actually a time share my cousin had reserved for the younger family members in attendance. There was suppose to be more people, but life happens and some of them had to cancel on the trip. We ended between to units having 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and two kitchens. All of this for 4 people. We were not lacking on space for the week.

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My Dad’s cousin and her husband were the unofficial organizers of the weekend. The even made an itinerary for the weekend. We don’t usually go into our vacations with an itinerary except for knowing what city we will be in on what day if we’re visiting more than one place. They were very stuck on following this plan but there was some room for suggestion.

We started the first day just checking out the old town. It very quaint on the old streets. It feels more like a tourist stop but people do in fact live in some of the houses on the old streets. They are all mixed in between the restaurants and shops so it can be a bit confusing. There were a few moments we realized we were looking into someones actual house and not a shop or display.

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The had some great restaurants and bars along the main road and a nice garden where you could buy plants and seeds to take home with you. My Mom ended up buying a plant because it had large soft leaves. They were actually somewhat furry and she said it reminded her of our puppy Nigel. We have no idea what the name of the plant is, so we just call it the “Nigel Plant.” So random, I know!

We ate lunch one day at King’s Arm Tavern which was originally opened in 1772. It is kept as a reproduction of a dining house of the past. The food choices are all things that would have been available in Colonial times. I ordered the friend chicken and it was huge and delicious. The staff dress in authentic colonial uniforms and they tell you stories and information about the city. The place is quite busy at dinner so if you can get a reservation that would be best. We didn’t have one so we opted to go for Lunch because it’s first come, first serve so we made sure to get there early and  take our chances.

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I spend some time trying to find something to do that was more aimed toward the younger crowd for us and my cousin and his girlfriend. I found through some searching and Facebook postings that one of the local pubs, Chowning’s Tavern, was doing an event called Beers in the burg. The have a nice outdoor patio out back where they played live music and you paid $25 to sample about 10 different beers. They gave you these nice glass engraved glasses that were probably about 10 oz along with 10 tickets you exchanged for your beer of choice. It was actually a very nice break from walking around all day.

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One of the other main things we did in the city was to visit the Governor’s Palace. This house was the home of the Governor who was pretty much the “King of VA” before the revolution. The explained how the state was ruled under the British authority and wealth back then. The rooms were beautiful and they have been preserved to keep the time period. Inside the house is the court room where they held discussions of the direction of the state. There is also a ballroom and a beautiful garden out back.

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Part 2 of our vacation was driving the beautiful Colonial Parkway to Jamestown. This wasn’t nearly as exciting as Williamsburg as it’s just ruins of the first permanent English settlement in America. The history was was substantial but it just wasn’t that captivating. It also started to rain on us and most of this exhibit is outdoors. The whole time we were at Jamestown I had that song from Pocahontas stuck in my head! You know the one, “For Glory, God, and Gold and the Virginia Company . . . . ”

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Part 3 was heading the opposite way down the Colonial Highway and visiting Yorktown. I would rank it in between Williamsburg and Jamestown. Our stops here included the museum, the walking tour of the battle grounds and a stop at the Moore house.

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Overall it was a great trip because we got to spend time with Family we don’t see too often. If it was just Matt and I taking a vacation I don’t think this would be our ideal vacation spot. We like adventure and active vacations with a little history thrown in. This vacation was ALL history!

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

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