Tag Archives: travel

Colonial Williamsburg – The Governor’s Palace, the Arbor, the Maze and cows….

 

IMG_0124

 

Historic area, here we come.

 

IMG_0125

 

As soon as we make it through the Colonial Parkway underpasses…..

 

IMG_0126

 

Which were quite something in and of themselves.

 

IMG_0127

 

A few more paths….

 

IMG_0129

 

And we’re there.

As you can see, there’s a lot to explore.

But first?

 

IMG_0131

 

Some cows.

 

IMG_0130

 

Who refused to smile for the camera no matter how hard I tried.

 

cheezburger-image-6930043648

 

Next up? The Governor’s Palace….

 

IMG_0142

 

An impressive place they don’t let you inside without a guide, so we killed some time strolling the grounds.

 

IMG_0139

 

Which were impressive as well.

 

IMG_0151

 

Of course all that strolling made some of us weary.

 

IMG_0148

 

No…

 

IMG_0144

 

It wasn’t me.

 

 

But how about that arbor?

 

IMG_0141

 

I’d love one of those in our backyard.

 

IMG_0149

 

Along with the full staff of gardeners required to trim, train and prune it as well.

 

IMG_0154

 

Still strolling, we found the maze.

 

IMG_0155

 

And promptly got lost in it.

 

h3F762405

 

Thankfully 2 ten year olds were in there as well….

 

IMG_0157

 

And pointed us to the exit.

 

IMG_0158

 

If I’d known you could climb up here….

 

IMG_0163

 

And over look the whole thing?

 

IMG_0162

 

I would have sent the husband in alone and shouted directions.

 

IMG_0164

 

Maze completed, we headed back to the Palace for our tour.

 

IMG_0152

 

 

 

 

Day 3….. Colonial Williamsburg.

 

When you visit Williamsburg, Virginia? It’s all about American history. Everywhere you go, everywhere you look… and that was fine with me. I’m a bit of  a nerd when it comes to that subject and couldn’t wait to experience it all.

The pinnacle in this area is Colonial Williamsburg. 300 acres of historic sites and museums filled with people in period costumes waiting to tell you their stories…. from an 18th century point of view. Loyalist and patriots, tradesmen and legislators. Is it any wonder this was where I headed on our first full day of vacation?

 

IMG_0102

 

You enter through the massive visitors center.

 

IMG_0103

 

Where we learned that Williamsburg is the heart of the Historic Triangle which also includes Jamestown and Yorktown. Tickets can be purchased for all 3, or individually, but we lucked out when a volunteer spotted the husband’s USMC hat and told us it would actually be cheaper to buy a year long Veterans pass for unlimited access, which we did. We also got bright blue stars on our passes which entitled us to 10% off everything.

Sweet!

There’s a shuttle bus that runs every ten minutes taking you all around the site, but it was a beautiful day and we decided to walk.

 

IMG_0106

 

Back in time….

 

80229261_2624302917624437_7663567518425939968_n

 

The walkway was wonderful….

 

79474202_2624302977624431_1188989939878985728_n

 

And filled with facts….

 

80408826_2624303010957761_5147311213817888768_n

 

That put things in perspective.

 

79450738_2624303050957757_198051378789089280_n

 

The farther back you went?

 

79688971_2624303110957751_2621064712200126464_n

 

The more you appreciated what you have now.

 

79702583_2624303157624413_6214954742603317248_n

 

Some facts were startling.

 

80317702_2624303204291075_1752190727980318720_n

 

Some, hard to imagine.

And then…

 

79599427_2624303257624403_111581768586362880_n

 

We were there.

 

IMG_0115

 

The first thing we saw?

 

IMG_0116

 

A windmill…. and the split rail fences we would see numerous times on this trip.

 

IMG_0118

 

Then… a plantation.

 

IMG_0120

 

Which wasn’t anywhere near as grand as you’d think.

 

IMG_0121

 

In the 1700’s?

Things were pretty basic.

 

IMG_0119

 

First fact learned?

A farm grows multiple crops. A plantation? One.

Yes dear readers, for the next few weeks months? my posts will be filled with colonial factoids.

Try to control your excitement.

 

 

But wait, that’s not all we saw at the plantation.

 

IMG_0122

 

There were flocks of geese as well.

 

IMG_0123

 

I love me some goosers!

The resort condo, the coffee shop, free chicken coffee…. and as always, geese.

 

After touring the Manor House of the Historic Powhatan Resort in Williamsburg, I knew our condo would be a bit of a letdown, but as timeshare units go…. it was quite decent.

 

IMG_0012

 

We requested a top floor, since the husband despises people tap dancing above him at 2:00am.

 

                   Our previous upstairs neighbors

 

It was a 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit…

 

IMG_9990

 

And like many of the newly renovated suites we’ve had lately….  heavily yellow and beige-d.

 

nifty-shades-of-beige_o_1799643

 

IMG_0002

 

But the king size bed was extremely comfortable….

 

IMG_9991

 

There was a working fireplace…

 

IMG_9989

 

A full kitchen with hardwood floors and granite countertops….

 

IMG_0006

 

Large bathrooms…

 

IMG_0003

 

A full size dining table….

 

IMG_9993

 

And a place for evening cocktails.

 

IMG_9994

 

The buildings were well spaced and far enough apart to limit noise, which is a plus for light sleepers like me.

 

IMG_0001

 

Heck, this condo was almost 1,400 square feet…. which is about 300 more than our first home, so I wasn’t complaining.

 

funny-meme-about-millennials-being-able-to-buy-houses-but-they-can-only-buy-small-houses

We unpacked, or rather I did. Husband just threw his suitcase on the bed and called it good. What is it with you men?

Then we decided to grab a quick bite at the on site coffee shop.

 

IMG_0064

 

It was next to the Manor House, and attractive in it’s own right.

 

IMG_0028

 

With a large outdoor seating area….

 

IMG_0030

 

And a view of the ever present geese.

 

IMG_0031

 

Unfortunately…

 

IMG_0035

 

It also had a big fat closed sign next to it’s front door.

 

IMG_0026

 

First the bad restaurant, then the shut up tight coffee shop. Clearly it wasn’t our day for eating out.

So we ended our first day in Williamsburg at the grocery store, stocking up for the 2 weeks ahead and wondering why no one was taking advantage of the free chicken coffee.

 

IMG_0087

 

Buy 2, get 3 free?

I don’t drink the stuff… but geesh.

How bad can it be to still be filling the shelves? The packaging alone should be worth the price of two.

 

funny-cat-fluffy-bird-fabulous

 

 

 

The resort, the Manor, a little bad food…. and geese.

 

There aren’t too many timeshare resorts that have a Manor House…

 

IMG_0068

 

But ours did.

 

IMG_0066

 

And for guests….

 

IMG_0072

 

The doors were wide open.

 

IMG_0037

 

So before even finding our condo, we explored.

 

IMG_0048

 

She was a charming old girl.

 

IMG_0046

 

And fully decked out for Christmas.

 

IMG_0049

 

Yes, there was even some funky chicken portraiture.

 

IMG_0052

 

Ya gotta love that.

 

IMG_0045

 

Traditional Williamsburg colors took center stage.

 

IMG_0051

 

And board games were set up on various tables.

 

IMG_0063

 

It really was quite lovely.

 

IMG_0060

 

And I certainly wouldn’t mind having a meal or two here.

 

IMG_0061

 

But we were burning daylight…

 

IMG_0053

 

So, needing liquid refreshment….

 

IMG_0038

 

We left the Manor House and were pleased to find a restaurant/bar on the property.

 

IMG_0075

 

Not all resorts have this, so it was a plus.

 

IMG_0077

 

The friendly bartender introduced the husband to a local beer, and we ordered some appetizers to test the menu.

 

IMG_0079

 

French Onion Soup for the other half…. which was absolutely horrendous. Croutons instead of French Bread, over salted broth and a glob of gelatinous cheese.

Blech.

 

IMG_0078

 

My margarita was made with cheap mix and even cheaper tequila…. and the cheesy crab dip? Tasteless, as well as crabless.  I couldn’t find a single piece.

Needless to say we passed on ordering dinner there. (Sorry Martin, that’s all the food pics you’ll get today.)

But ya know what?

The resort was beautiful.

They had a Manor House…..

 

IMG_0040

 

And geese.

 

IMG_0092

 

I forgave them their bad food.

 

 

 

The road, the bridge, the resort… and geese. Lots and lots of geese.

 

Day 2 began with us leaving the tackiest Holiday Inn in America and me vowing never to let my husband plan any part of a trip ever again.

Leaving Delaware we crossed into Maryland, where we passed through an interesting  town.

 

IMG_9923

 

Seriously…. it’s a place.

Matter of fact, I know quite a few people who should live there.

And if you’ve ever wondered if Maryland is considered the south?

 

IMG_9925

 

When you grow cotton in your front yard? Yes.

It’s the south.

Next up?

 

IMG_9933

 

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  A marvel of engineering that we hadn’t been over in 20 years.

 

IMG_9935

 

Yes, it costs $18 to cross…

 

IMG_9936

 

But it’s the world’s largest bridge tunnel complex and spans 17.6 miles.

 

 

If you’ve never done it?

 

 

You should.

 

IMG_9964

 

On the other side is Virginia Beach.

 

IMG_9966

 

Many more tunnels…

 

IMG_9974

 

And this bizarre looking building. Any native Virginians know what it is?

Blah, blah, blah…. husband speeding, me taking pictures, we arrive at our temporary home for our first week in Williamsburg.

After proving our reservation at the security gate, we entered the Historic Powhatan Resort.

 

IMG_9976

 

May I just say? Wow.

Though I always thoroughly research the time share resorts where we stay and try to book the best places, you never really know what you’ll find.

This time?

I nailed it.

 

IMG_9981

 

256 acres of natural beauty…. and geese.

 

IMG_0013

 

Quiet, peaceful open spaces…. and geese.

 

IMG_0016

 

Ponds, fountains… and geese.

 

IMG_0019

 

We drove around for quite a while just taking it in, before even looking for our unit.

 

IMG_0067

 

Did I mention there’s a Manor House dating to 1735?

 

IMG_0039

 

The land was originally a plantation, and they’ve done a beautiful job restoring the place.

 

IMG_0065

 

Did I mention there were geese?

 

IMG_0033

 

Geese!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready for a vacation smackdown?

 

You had 2 days off in between trips… and I threw in some Bambi pics as well. Are we good?

Good!

I admit I might have gone a little overboard with the Williamsburg, Virginia vacation photos this time…. like 3,089 pics overboard.

So sue me.

It was a fabulous trip, a marvelous Christmas and a wonderful place to explore. What can I say? When I’m old and feeble I’ll enjoy looking back on them all. (If I can remember why there are so many pictures of rocks…. and who that strange man is of course.)

Time to fasten your seat belts and loosen your pants!

The trip starts now.

 

1tzqxj

 

Okay… but fair warning, that may not be until June.

Not wanting to put the miles and wear and tear on my car, we rented one. Well, I rented one. A mid size SUV like I always do… but when we arrived at the lot, they didn’t have any and had to upgrade us to luxury.

Cool beans!

We could pick the Audi or the Infiniti.

So what did my husband pick?

 

IMG_0088

 

The Chevy Suburban.

 

 

Which happens to be the biggest, thirstiest, most annoying  lumbering behemoth vehicle ever made. A nightmare to park. A horror show for short people like me to board. A useless third row seat we didn’t need and couldn’t figure out how to fold down. Gas stations? We dreaded the mere sight of them after a few days. So why did my spouse choose it?

Because it was big.

And he’s a man.

Enough said.

Our trip from Maine started out like this:

 

IMG_9871

 

With buckets of the same for the first few states.

 

IMG_9872

 

When we were nearing Hartford, Connecticut it let up, but we hit road construction….

 

80773706_2652910504763678_6074626766494760960_n

 

And this rather precarious way of shoring up of the highway made me cringe.

 

81670183_2652910484763680_7535318523657060352_n

 

I guess I should be glad they didn’t use duct tape, but still.

 

 

Next up was my least favorite part of the trip….

 

IMG_9881

 

New York City.

Don’t get me wrong, I was born and raised in New Jersey… I can hang. But riding shotgun with my  (leadfooted, 2 centimeters from the car in front of us, switch lanes like it’s the Indy 500)  husband…. in the Black Brontosaurus?

Would test Ironman’s nerves.

 

IMG_9885

 

Though I can honestly say it’s the only time in my life I’m thankful for bumper to bumper traffic.

 

80981420_2652910594763669_2712527251949223936_n

 

Reduce speed?

 

80710769_2652910688096993_1144966701188644864_n

 

I don’t think that’s possible.

I’d post some great pics of our trip over the famous George Washington bridge, but the husband always takes the upper truck level…. so basically this was my view:

 

IMG_9886

 

But here’s one peek through the fog.

 

81041008_2652910648096997_4973202439457996800_n

 

After the bridge? It’s New Jersey…

 

80603574_2652910751430320_1714074259027918848_n

 

And the swamps they built the Meadowlands on.

 

80613286_2652910761430319_7536733612301877248_n

 

If you’ve ever wondered where Tony Soprano and his boys dumped the bodies?

It would be here.

 

80715259_2652910794763649_5109104915624493056_n

 

Oil refineries aside, you have to admit that the foul, smoggy New Jersey air does make for a dramatic sky.

Onward through the evening we drove, with the husband choosing our route. If you know me…. you know I’m type A and like to plan. Letting him pick a spot for us to spend the night was torture, but I sucked it up and endured.

I endured him picking a random town in Delaware because he liked the name, Red Lion.

Did Red Lion, Delaware have any hotels you ask?

No.

It did not.

And trust me, we drove around for almost an hour trying to find one even though I Googled it and came up empty. We did however find this:

 

80640896_2652911028096959_2699043047504609280_n

 

A Christmas extravaganza house that was blocking traffic.

 

81007923_2652911014763627_4643948618754031616_n

 

I can barely keep 2 reindeer lit… WTH?

After admitting defeat, the husband drove another 40 minutes to Dover, Delaware and pulled into the first Holiday Inn he saw.

 

IMG_9922

 

I had my doubts when I saw the lounge was decorated in early bordello. Yes… satin furniture and rhinestone encrusted mirrors.

Thankfully our room was toned down from that…

 

IMG_9918

 

But it did have some interesting features.

 

80568185_2652911444763584_3452171421193601024_n

 

Mainly, the lighting.

 

IMG_9915

 

Is it me?

 

IMG_9917

 

Or did this over the bathroom sink fixture look like deer hooves?

 

IMG_9916

 

Come on…

There’s no reasonable Martha Stewart explanation for that.

 

 

And while this corner lamp reminded me of my mother and her pull down hair dryer of the 1960’s…..

 

80695155_2652912084763520_7388661582525366272_n

 

It was these over the bed reading lamps that were a little too proctology/gynecology themed for my taste.

 

IMG_9914

 

And don’t get me started on the art work.

 

IMG_9919

 

Really, don’t.

What the…. what?

So ends day one.

(And before you start screaming Martin…. road trips with my husband consist of a McDonalds lunch eaten in the car doing 90 mph and a perfectly horrible turkey dinner at a Bob Evans next to the hotel late that night. Neither were photo worthy!)

 

Cape Cod Day 7… Highfield Hall, some twigs and the last supper.

 

IMG_9691

 

Since we were in the area we thought we’d check it out.

 

IMG_9673

 

The Hall however, had other ideas and was locked up tight.

But there were twigs.

 

IMG_9686

 

Lots and lots….

 

IMG_9681

 

Of twigs.

 

IMG_9676

 

Cleverly wound twigs.

 

IMG_9679

 

Twigs you could walk through.

 

 

Big twigs.

 

IMG_9682

 

Really big twigs.

 

IMG_9685

 

Respect the twigs.

Got it.

 

IMG_9688

 

There was also a sunken garden….

 

IMG_9687

 

That was mostly dead since it was the middle of November.

 

IMG_9695

 

But it had whimsical birds on a polka dot tree in the middle, so that more than made up for it.

 

IMG_9699

 

Photo of the rear of the house we couldn’t get in.

Yes, it was a banner visit.

 

IMG_9677

 

Good thing there were twigs so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Blah, blah, blah… I know, you’re getting bored and are silently screaming for food.

 

IMG_9706

 

Our last meal in Cape Cod ended up being at the Stomping Grounds Grille in Buzzards Bay.

And while buzzards aren’t usually the best dinner companions…

 

2b8s2a

 

This place looked promising.

 

IMG_9707

 

It was basically a lovely old home…

 

IMG_9708

 

Retro fitted to a restaurant/bar.

 

IMG_9713

 

And while I was walking around…

 

IMG_9711

 

I discovered a theme.

 

IMG_9709

 

A rock and roll theme….

 

IMG_9718

 

And when I saw Jerry Garcia on the shelf?

I felt right at home.

 

IMG_9715

 

See? My kind of place…

 

IMG_9714

 

The cocktail list made me smile and order a few.

 

IMG_9717

 

As we chatted with the very personable bartender who told me there was a turntable in the back room with an album collection…. and we could play anything we liked.

 

IMG_9723

 

We were having such a good time I almost forgot to take pictures of the food, but here’s their stellar broccoli cheese soup. Soooo good.

Secret ingredient? Nutmeg.

 

IMG_9724

 

I’m afraid I don’t even remember what the husband had…. but here’s my crab cake burger with side spinach salad and cole slaw.

Yum.