We’ve been covering this trip Down South for the past 3 posts with the intent of it all culminating in the ultimate parental mistake: pregnancy… just kidding, Colonial Williamsburg. So, as much as I hate to burst balloons, it turns out the rest of the trip was pretty fun and taking the kids to Williamsburg was not as much of a disaster as expected. So, in order to move away from the topic of the weeklong trip that probably shaved 4 months off my life, I will sum up a few final observations.
- Jamestown is the new Williamsburg
…which previously was the new Jamestown, which was the new England with different accents, unlike New England which is neither, but with annoying accents.
Alright, what I meant was: I think everyone got sick of the whole never-break-character-routine; It’s been lampooned so often that even I won’t try to be funny about it. Seriously… I’m not going to do it…stop!… Prithee, sir, I beg you, I shan’t jest of yon Williamsburgers. Huzzah! Shoppe.
Anyway, the “characters” are still somewhat authentic, but shopkeepers are more likely to pass out coupons to TGI Fridays in town. One colonial maiden handed us a very nice laser-printed brochure and then assured us that our lightweight double-stroller was a good choice. I offered, “But wouldst thou pay 100 Doubloons for such witchcraft?” at which point she called security.
It’s also very expensive now. We opted not to buy the “Super-duper-do-anything-you-want-to” tickets and instead decided that just walking around town and purchasing a tin flute and two wooden pistols for the price of a first-class airline seat would suffice. Unfortunately we couldn’t go inside any of the buildings that weren’t selling anything; pretty much everything requires a ticket. Without tickets, we were actually escorted away from watching a squirrel take an authentic Williamsburg dump.
But Jamestown, now that place is awesome! You can get on the ships there, have settlers talk to you as if they are on all sorts of amazing drugs, and even put on authentic-style armor and helmets, giving you the feeling of being a real settler, covered in thousands of people’s germs.
The only drawback was Timmy the Native American. I don’t know what his real name is, but I think Timmy sounds about right. As we walked to the ships, we passed through the Native American village, where we saw a pasty-white, mop-haired Virginia college student dressed in a buck-skin wrap.
He bent down to try making a fire using the bow method with a piece of worn wood very little confidence. Naturally my family decided to camp-out and watch, the “Native American”, which caused other families to gravitate. Eventually, with nervous giggles and not a single successful pass after 10 minutes, Timmy stood up and thanked everyone for watching the show and to come back for more later. Timmy, don’t ask people to come by and watch the show anymore. I don’t know what terrible bet you lost, but it’s not worth it.
- Kids love pools an inordinate amount.
“Hey kids, let’s go to South Carolina, North Carolina, Williamsburg,VA and Richmond,VA. We’re going to see settlers, family members, a farm, a giant amusement park and have so much fun our heads explode!”
“Can we go to the pool?”
“Later… after we get back from buying thousands of fun souvenirs that you’ll cherish for the next 20 minutes! Then we’re going to eat dinner at your favorite restaurant! Then we’re going to get a private tour of Williamsburg including an ice cream banquet in a racecar!
“When are we going to the pool?”
“Kids look! We’re in outer-space and God is standing right there talking to you! What an honor! You are truly blessed beyond comprehension!”
“He’s blocking our view of the pool.”
- Why can’t dads leave well enough alone? Early on in life, James was afraid of monsters, goblins, roller-coasters, loud noises, water, wind, soft noises, breezes, air, eating, grass, words, walking, faces, laughter, etc… Thanks to hard work, and exceptional effort on James’ part, at 9 years-old he’s only afraid of roller-coasters. A reasonable person would say that anyone of any age could be afraid of roller-coasters, and anyone under 10 probably should be.
Well dads are not reasonable people. Not Dear Ol’ Dad! Not the man who constantly reminds children about “Back in my day…” Not the guy who will watch a leg break in half and tell a kid to walk it off. Not the guy who wouldn’t do half the stuff they want their kid to do, but that’s kinda the point.
So I basically told James he was going on a coaster at Busch Gardens and to prevent myself from feeling like a bully, I made a bet with James: If he liked the rollercoaster, then I would win and get the satisfaction of being right. If he didn’t like the rollercoaster, then I would buy him a new Nintendo Game.
So after talking with several people throughout the park, we determined that Loch Ness Monster was the easiest real coaster to go on and we were good to go. As we approached launch, I made deft work of easing James’ fears, assuring him that we were going on a mere toddler ride; something on which you might take a comfortable nap; A La-z-boy of the amusement park variety… As we hit the second loop of the coaster and most of the eastern seaboard heard James’ wails proclaiming his desire to go home, I knew I had lost the bet.
So after this trip I am only out one Nintendo game, have gained immunity to children throwing up, and am extremely tired. I think we built some cherished memories and will strive to keep in better touch with family members and friends who we don’t get to see regularly. In fact, this trip was so successful, we are already planning our next family vacation… going to the local hotel pool.