Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Williamsburg, Continued

This post is a continuation of my earlier post Destination Williamsburg.

            On Wednesday we were ready for some non-historical fun and headed to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Since our boys have never been to a major theme park like Disney or Six Flags before, I warned them that they should prepare themselves to be standing in long lines for all of the rides. We also discussed the fact that there would be rides they wouldn’t be able to go on just yet—and more importantly we talked about the fact that there would be rides Owen would be old enough for, but not James. As the youngest (and shortest) of four kids myself, I know how disappointing it can be to be the only kid too small for something. Fortunately, at Busch Gardens, kids can get measured as soon as they walk into the part and get a list of rides they’re tall enough to go on. James was happy to see that there were more rides on his list than we were likely to get to in one day.
            Our family only split up twice so Owen could go on “bigger” kids rides. James didn’t mind since I let him play one of the games. I normally don’t shell out the money for games at fairs and parks because I’m cheap frugal. But since Owen was getting the opportunity to go on a roller coaster called Apollo’s Chariot I made an exception. James won a stuffed blue monkey playing “Whack a Hun” against me. Blue Monkey (his name, according to James) quickly became James’ best friend and went on all of the rides with us. There was a scary moment when he was left in the bumper cars, but we were happily reunited.
Monkey buckled up and ready for take-off!
            Owen emerged from Apollo’s Chariot feeling slightly queasy and “scared half to death!” Apparently some of the ladies on the ride gave him props for his bravery. He didn’t ask to go on another big coaster. I think maybe he felt like James got the better part of the deal—getting a monkey and not getting terrified and nauseous. Sometimes it is good to be the little one.
            There are plenty of rides for younger kids at Busch Gardens. I was pleasantly surprised how much my kids liked the Sesame Street area of the park. I’m sure if you asked, they would tell you it’s a TV show for babies, but it was one of the few attractions they wanted to visit a second time. I love it when my kids want to act their age.
            The temperature was well into the 90’s the day we went to Busch Gardens so it wasn’t crowded and I was wrong about the long lines. We never waited longer than five minutes, so we went on lots of rides. It also meant that by 4:00 we were all very hot, very tired and ready to head home. We left with smiles on our faces, memories in our hearts, and a little blue monkey.

            We spent the next couple of days taking in Yorktown Victory Center and the Jamestown Settlement. The boys were still having fun, but I could see James getting a little “historied out”. He had seen all the cannon firing demonstrations he needed to for a while and was more interested in  chasing dragonflies and chickens (both are abundant in the places we visited). We packed up our gear on Friday and headed to Maryland for a few days with family before we went home. It was a great trip and I learned a few things along the way.
            1.) You can buy wine at Target in Virginia—and fireworks! What a great state!
            2.) Wearing a Red Sox cap outside of New England is a great conversation starter.
            3.) I must be from Massachusetts, because courteous drivers really confuse me.
            4.) Vacations are way too short.
            5.) I like grits. With butter. Everything is better with butter.
            6.) If you tell people you’re from the Boston are they expect you to sound like they do on “Cheers”. Blame my high school drama teacher for putting those r’s back where they belong.
            7.) No matter how great a trip it was, it’s nice to be home.