We took very few vacations when I was growing up but those that we did take certainly stood out in my mind. In particular, I recall my parents renting a motorhome for the weekend and taking the whole family to Williamsburg, VA. I have fond memories of the ruffled paper flowers on sticks that my sister and I bought at Busch Gardens. And I remember the mop cap I bought at Colonial Williamsburg that I saved for many years. But other than that, most of my memories of Williamsburg are in black and white. Maybe it was the history lessons in Williamsburg or just the fact that it was the 1970s, but nothing in mind stood out in any great color. So when Embassy Suites offered me a two night stay for my family at a location of my choice, I thought it might be time to take Evan to Williamsburg and see if we could make some colorful memories. The trip started out as any other. Like this.
Rainy and full of traffic, but that’s pretty much to be expected whenever you’re driving in a 50 mile radius of Washington, DC. We finally arrived around 6:30pm on a Friday night at the Embassy Suites Williamsburg in the pouring rain. No worries. We took it as an opportunity to stop at a nearby store and grab some new umbrellas for the whole family. I still think that was Evan’s favorite souvenir from the weekend.
Even better was what was waiting inside when we checked in. It was Happy Hour! To be exact, it was the Evening Reception with complimentary beer and wine and featured drinks. But happy hour isn’t just for grown-ups. Evan was more than happy to help himself to the kid-friendly snacks, like goldfish crackers, and order himself a Shirley Temple.
After taking a few minutes to unwind, we headed upstairs to our suite (they’re all two room suites at Embassy Suites).
Our room was equipped with two double beds in the sleeping area with a pull out sofa in the sitting room. Our suite, like all of them, was fully equipped with two 32″ HDTVs, a refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee maker, and more. While the boys went straight for the TV, I made sure the bathroom could accommodate
me us. But when the Nallys travel, we take little time to rest so off we went for our reservations at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern, one of the historic restaurants in Colonial Williamsburg.
True story: she was a real person and one of the first female tavern owners, much to the dismay of many men in town. The atmosphere was authentic with dining by candlelight, harp music, and an 18th century inspired menu (she was known for her crabcakes so I HAD to try them and I was not disappointed!). After dinner, the rain cleared as we made our way back to the hotel, only 5 minutes away. Despite the free wifi and satellite TV (that’s a treat for us!), we were in bed at a reasonable hour and up early because there was one thing Evan was looking the most forward to. Yes, it was breakfast.
Every morning, he woke dreaming of what he’d take from the buffet. Whether it was pancakes or blueberry muffins or cooked to order omelets, I let him fuel up on whatever he wanted since I knew it would be the cheapest meal of the day! (Breakfast is included in the rate at every Embassy Suites.) Then we headed off for a day at Busch Gardens!
Busch Gardens Williamsburg provided me two media passes for the day and we purchased an additional pass for Evan with our AAA discount (great savings!). Although it was drizzling, we had our new umbrellas in hand and were ready to face the crowds. Fortunately for us, there weren’t many. The lines were short and once the rain stopped, we couldn’t have asked for a better day. In fact, I wore a jacket all day. A JACKET! In AUGUST!!! We started in England.
Headed over to visit our Irish roots.
Got totally enamored with the animals.
And explored the rides, of course. (My favorite was Apollo’s Chariot).
We had such a good time that we only had to lock Evan up once for his behavior.
We called it an early day and headed back to the Embassy Suites just in time for the Evening Reception where we sat and talked with Tom, a one-eyed country boy (his words, not mine), and his girlfriend, Wanda. I learned more about cattle and food and country life than I ever thought I needed to know but the conversation was great and we ended up missing our window for dinner. No worries, though. We headed up to the room and called for room service: peanut butter and jelly for Evan and cheese pizza for me and Sean. The total bill with the service charges and tip was $20. TWENTY DOLLARS!!! You pay that for a bottle of water in a NYC hotel room! We ended up turning in even earlier and after breakfast, we checked out and decided to hit one more stop in Williamsburg. While it’s expensive, we still felt like we couldn’t visit the area without visiting Colonial Williamsburg. And this is where I was waiting to see if I lost Evan’s interest. (FYI – we ended up buying annual passes for just a bit more. If we visit just one more time over the course of a year, it’s more than paid for itself!) So off we went to learn about spinning wool, making wigs, cobbling shoes, and the American Revolution.
Clearly, I wasn’t at a loss for photo opportunities all weekend. Before our departure, we had to check out the one place that multiple people told us to visit, The Cheese Shop.
As we sat inside, ate sandwiches, and snacked on a little wine and cheese, we couldn’t help but reflect on the amazing weekend we had all within 15 minutes of the Embassy Suites. But pictures don’t always do it justice, so we made a little video so that you can feel like you enjoyed the journey with us.
I’d love to hear what you thought about our trip to Williamsburg. Have you been before? If so, what did we miss? We’re definitely hoping to go back and I think Christmas in the Colonies sounds lovely, don’t you?
Thank you to Embassy Suites for providing me with a two night complimentary stay. The hotel and staff were amazing!!! And thanks to Busch Gardens for the complimentary media passes and for reminding me that there are still beautiful theme parks outside of Orlando! I can’t wait to go back!
[…] One particular memory takes me back to one of our family “vacations.” We never had a lot of money for vacations so usually it meant a day trip or maybe even an overnight to a nearby amusement park. We’d do trips to Kings Dominion and occasionally Busch Gardens (when we were then tortured by Colonial Williamsburg, which is funny because I actually enjoy it as an adult). […]