Saturday, June 16, 2012

Oh, to be in Colonial Williamsburg...

So, last week the girls and I (and my mom, who went to drive the van) went to Virginia Beach for the last hoorah. Yes, you read that right. April is coming home NEXT WEEK! I am so excited.

But anyway, we decided that we really wanted to take the girls to Colonial Williamsburg before they moved away. We went there once as children-I was nine, April eight. What I remember-it seemed like Roscoe Village. And it rained.

So, this time, I am sure that I will remember more. And I wanted to impart advice for traveling there with children. Oh, yes, and it rained.

First of all, it is not at all cheap, so I would only advise going if you have children who will truly be interested in seeing it. Otherwise, that is what Roscoe Village is for, and it's nearby. It cost $60 for Betsy and me (Felicity was free, as she is under six, but then, it is not designed for kids under six).

I have nerdy girls, so we decided it was worth it. We read the Felicity book before going, which is set in Williamsburg. Betsy really loved it, as it is about horses.

They recommend that you tour the Governor's Mansion and the Capital Building. We skipped these. Again, base your decision on you kids ages and interest. The tours lasted about 30 minutes for each building, and that was just way too long, especially for Felicity. We did go on our own tour of the Governor's Mansion, which included a stop in the kitchen, where they were making chocolate, and going through the maze in the garden.

We managed to squeeze in all of the shops that were doing demonstrations that day. We met with the blacksmith, the shoemaker, the cabinet maker, and many others. One very interesting note is that they really do make all of their own furniture and buggies and things, using the tools from the time period.

They also have a reinactment that goes on for quite a long time, an hour and forty-five minutes the day that we were there. We watched some of it, and the girls enjoyed it, but then it got talky and they grew bored.

We ate our lunch at one of the taverns and I must say, that was the highlight of the day for me. I had a delicious pulled pork sandwich. They don't advertise it, but the taverns do have a kids menu with cheeseburgers and hot dogs, you just have to ask.

We took the children's orientation tour, which was cute but not much of an orientation. The gentleman leading our tour had the children pick up a bucket to illustrate how heavy carrying water would be, and then he had them go through a scenio of "Good day my lady," and "Good day kind sir." The girls thought that was fun.

They say that they rent costumes, so April and I were very much looking foward to that. However, upon getting there, we discovered that the costume was just a plain white dress, that would go about to their knees, and a bonnet, which you have to buy due to head lice problems. It was disappointing, so we skipped that, and only saw one little girl all day who wore one.

Overall, it was fun. It was too bad that it rained, but it wasn't hot and it wasn't crowded, which I certainly enjoyed.

The next day we went to the beach, which the girls always want to do when we are there. But there are many things to do down there. There is Busch Gardens, and the aquarium, and a small zoo. All things that we have done on other trips. And there is Jamestown and Yorktown if your kids are into the history stuff. The traffic is terrible, especially the closer you get to the beach. April will never remember how she managed to drive in it for all these years.

Anyway, it was a nice last visit. And now I am definately looking forward to visiting them in Akron, where I can go and come home all in one day!