Williamsburg — It Never Gets Old to Me

May Day, May Day! Tired, cranky 2-year-old in need of a nap sitting by the maze at the Palace Gardens!

Noncranky, perfectly contented 2-year-old taking a ride on the bus — his favorite part of the trip by a country mile.

Sporty Daughter, Crafty Daughter, Adventure Boy with two people who are not Mom and Dad. As my daughter pointed out “You made us stand with strangers! That’s dangerous!”

Williamsburg, VA…we’ve visited Colonial Williamsburg over 5 times. I love it there. My children have a good time there. It’s not an amusement park. It’s a group of old buildings several streets wide. The activities are not of the spectacular variety, like Disney, but more of the low key variety, like candle making and the changing of the guard. The costumed characters are subdued and normal people rather than costumed animals — I recall as a child trying to stump a costumed guide in the Governor’s Palace. I asked him all sorts of questions about modern appliances — he did not break character as he marvelled over a “machine that takes pictures that you can keep”…a camera! So, why do I love it so?

Williamsburg to me is a reminder of a childhood trip in the 1976 with my Grandma — she came to America to visit us. My Grandad was supposed to make the trip, but ill health and heavy duty smoking prevented him from flying for over 8 hours to see us. Sadly he died in 1973/4 before he could come and visit. My familys is from Manchester, originally. As a child we emigrated to America twice int he 70s. I’ll post about my wacky, nomadic childhood. Hello, 7 schools and 3 different countries!

Williamsburg is the place I visited in July with a six-month-old who almost overheated. Bad mommy moment #1. In the nick of time I found an air conditioned ladies restroom where I stripped my daughter to her diaper and fed her a bottle of juice. The juice was thankfully packed in a cooler bag with an ice pack. We were in Williamsburg for my husband to take USAVolleyball coaching accreditation. I was *supposed* to stay in the hotel and wait for him to get back from the class with the car, but I’m an impatient penguin and needed to get over to Williamsburg — right this minute! And, I wonder why my children are so “Mommy! Let’s. go. right. now!” Chips off the old block.

I had the hotel manager drive me over to Colonial Williamsburg and pick me up. Why yes I am insane! Oh and it gets better because later that same day all three of us went back to Colonial Williamsburg to eat at the King’s Tavern. Word of advice don’t take an itty bitty baby to a colonial tavern where diners are having quiet dinners for two. The tavern was not designed for parents — the high chair was an ancient, “colonial” chair where we had to tie our daughter in with a dinner napkin. Yes, I said a cloth dinner napkin was tied around her waist so that she wouldn’t plummet to the floor. Needless to say we both held on to her as we ate our meal.
Now, this is a 6-month-old who spent the day overheated with a mother who was so frazzled at the thought of spending hours in a hotel room with an infant that she made a super-human effort to get to Williamsburg. Yep, the dinner could not have gotten any worse. We had a lovely meal for two with a crying baby on the side. I’m sure the other diners were relieved that our dinner was thankfully short-lived. Oh, and did I mention the strolling minstrel who played a violin…well, that was the lone highlight for my daughter. She sat straight up in her non-Consumer Safety Product Commission approved highchair and listened attentively to his playing. As he stroleld to another table her crying started again and we said “check please” and “exited stage left.”

Williamsburg is a fun place for every age of person except infant! On previous trips… our 18-month-old had great fun running in the gardens at the Governor’s Palace. Our 4-year-old daughter loved watching a person chopping wood. She seriously wanted to stay at the woodcutters all day…actually I think it was a wood cutter who was making barrels. At one point he heated up the metal to create a ring around the barrel and soaked the wood to fit against the ring. Again this was totally enthralling to me as a 30-mumble-something. Our 7- and 10-year-olds enjoyed the demonstration of fiddle playing and colonial dancing.
In fact just writing about Williamsburg makes me want to book a trip…right_now!

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