Architecture, ART, Attractions, Decorative Arts, DESTINATIONS, Gardens, Museums, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL, United States

A Day I’ll Never Forget

Mom & I in the stocks. Yes I'm the one in the tri-corn hat.
Mom & I in the stocks. Yes I’m the one in the tri-corn hat.

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.

I picked this sweetie up in a Williamsburg toy shop and her hat came from a milliner down the street where I also picked up the tri-corn hat above. She sits on a shelf in my office until today.
I picked this sweetie up in a Williamsburg toy shop and her hat came from a milliner down the street – where I also picked up the tri-corn hat I wore that day. The doll sits on a shelf in my office until today.  I’m not sure where the tri-corn ended up.

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!

Accommodations, DESTINATIONS, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

The Caves Visit Colonial Williamsburg

BPS08112016_0001TRAVEL BUG TALES:  MY FIRST STAY AT A RESORT

I still remember my wonder as my family’s baby blue Pontiac pulled up to our accommodations in Colonial Williamsburg.  A little browsing around the internet leads me to believe we stayed at what is now called the Williamsburg Woodlands, a budget-minded choice for families, but to me it seemed like Waldorf Astoria.  Let me tell you about it.

Bellmen and Multiple Pools

As I said last week, my family was not the resort type.  We usually stayed in Holiday Inns.  These practical motels would have a few two-story buildings clustered beside the road around a modest pool.  Some would be a little bit nicer than others, but it was very, very low key.

The colonial part of Williamsburg is tightly controlled by a foundation.  This protects the authenticity of the historical city, but it also keeps Holiday Inns at bay.  I remember Mother being almost frantic about our arrival at, what was then called, the Colonial Williamsburg Resort Motel or some other similar name.  She’d been nervous about the expense of staying at the resort, but she felt the proximity to the historical attractions justified it.

I’d been traveling with my parent’s for over a decade by this time, but we’d never had a bellhop deliver us and our luggage to our room.  I remember my father getting out of the car to check us in and then being escorted through the property by a uniformed bell hop.  I wasn’t even sophisticated enough to understand this was a big deal, but I do remember being absolutely blown away by the property.  There were multiple pools and each one was huge.  The property featured many walkways, inviting benches in shady nooks and amenities like croquet and tennis.  I knew I was living the high life.

When we reached our room I wasn’t quite as impressed as I had been with the other parts of the property, because our room looked a lot like our Holiday Inn rooms.  It didn’t phase me too much, because  I was all for taking a swim in one of the pools I’d seen, but my parents were beat.  This was the day we nearly lost Susan at Mount Vernon, so they’d already had about all the monkey business they wanted out of us.  Instead of swimming, we got cleaned up and headed to the cafeteria…yes, I said cafeteria.

The property had a huge cafeteria serving meals for the budget-minded.  We’re talking trays with partitioned sections to separate the various foods on your plate and a slot for your silverware, just like many schools use.  The tabletops were Formica and you picked up your condiments at a station very much like fast food restaurants have today.  I was getting less and less impressed with this resort.  Perhaps they had a nice restaurant tucked away somewhere, but my family never went there.

I was dying to check out the pools and other amenities, but I knew the drill.  Once we had our baths there would be no swimming.  We’d gotten cleaned up to go eat and we were supposed to stay that way for the next day.  I’m sure I was displaying all kinds of teen-aged angst, but in truth I was never much of a rebel.  We’d been promised that we could swim the next day, but that didn’t pan out either.  Come back next week and I’ll tell you why.