TRAVEL BUG TALES: HOW DO PARENTS DO IT?
So I’m not sure why parents want to have kids. So far on this trip we’ve nearly lost my sister, I’ve been testing my teen-aged angst and I’m about to ruin the day for everyone – and I didn’t even mean, too.
A Day at Colonial Williamsburg
I’d reached the auspicious age of 14 and fancied myself to be very sophisticated. I’d had my first lobster (albeit a salad not a whole lobster), we were staying at a resort, I was in junior high and I thought I knew everything. However, I was still a kid and I was gaga over history. Yes, that was dorky, but I couldn’t help myself. Mom had been priming me for our day in Williamsburg for months on end and I was anxious to get there. I was also anxious to get back to the resort later, because I’d been promised we could swim in one of the pools.
One of the benefits of staying at the resort was transportation to the historical section of Williamsburg, because you weren’t allowed to drive your car there. I’m pretty sure the transportation was some kind of horse drawn vehicle, but I really don’t remember. We had breakfast in the cafeteria where we’d had dinner the night before, but I don’t remember that either. We had all our meals there, because I’m sure anything else would have busted my parents’ budget.
I do remember strolling the streets of Colonial Williamsburg, shopping for souvenirs in quaint shops and visiting various historical edifices. Which ones I can’t exactly remember, but I was filled with wonder as we roamed the city and its buildings. Making the whole thing seem surreal were all the costumed guides strolling around in colonial garb. I was fascinated.
My husband would tell you that I get a little excited when I travel. I speak too loudly, walk too fast and often get ahead of myself. That’s exactly how I was that day in Williamsburg. The day was incredibly hot and humid, but I was bouncing around like a tennis ball. Inside the buildings the a/c was blasting to protect the valuable artifacts on display; antique furnishings, tools and other valuable items. So outside we’d bake and inside we’d freeze.
My Williamsburg Waterloo
Each house had timed tours and we had tickets to a certain number of houses, but the tours were timed to give you plenty of opportunities to shop in their expensive boutiques. It was time to see the silversmiths house, so I charged in like a bull in a china closet. Once inside I started to feel woozy. I tried to stay with the tour, but finally I felt as if I had to get out of the house. I’d gotten cold and hot one too many times and there was some acrid smell associated with the demonstrations of silversmithing. I grabbed the handle of a door that I wasn’t supposed to and popped out of the house.
The next thing I knew I was lying on the brick sidewalk and a great fuss was being made over me. Once it was established that nothing was broken I was hauled into an alcove off the street and my mother hovered over me. Someone was asking if we wanted an ambulance. I was saying no, but Mom was saying yes. Mom won, because someone came to doctor me up, but I refused to get in the ambulance and be taken to a hospital. I was already so embarrassed that I wanted to die. While I don’t remember riding in the carriage that morning, I do distinctly remember the discomfort of riding it back to the resort in the afternoon.
I had not broken anything, but I’d managed to get pretty beat up. As I’d stepped out of the silversmith’s house and onto a small porch, I’d already started to lose consciousness. I careened across the porch, fell down a couple of steps and slid across the brick sidewalk. I busted my lip and scratched up my face, arm and legs pretty badly. I’d also shaken every bone in my body. Within days I was black and blue and scabbed.
Here’s the rub. There was no way my parents were going to let me go to swimming pool, even if I’d mustered up the strength to pretend I wanted to. I was put to bed for the balance of the afternoon, while everyone else went swimming. My mother checked on me several times, but I was 14 after all.
I mustered up the courage to eat in the cafeteria that evening, because I didn’t want a tray to be delivered to our room. While I’ve always enjoyed attention, that wasn’t the kind of attention I wanted – at all. Besides that, Mom had started to make noise about heading back to Texas rather than heading to the beach to rendezvous with our friends at their beach house. No way I was missing the beach, so I had to suck it up.
Come back next week and we’ll go to Myrtle Beach!