Thursday, August 31, 2017

Weekend Getaway

Last weekend Ben and I had the opportunity to get away just the two of us!  We have not been away to a new place together by ourselves in 5 years!!!  We've been to the beach just the two of us but we wanted to go somewhere new but somewhere close and not super expensive.  After lots of googling, we ended up going to Williamsburg, VA.  I've been there before but only to Busch Gardens and since Ben isn't a big amusement park fan, we did the Colonial Williamsburg part.

My mom came up Wednesday, spent the night with us, and then took the girls to her house for the weekend on Thursday.  We wanted to leave Thursday morning but we had several things to get done, including dropping Ben's car off to get worked on, so by the time we did that, got lunch, and hit the road, we were in prime traffic time :(  What should've been a 3.5hr trip turned into a 5+ hr trip....Ben has sworn off Virginia and says he will never go back, haha!

We finally got to our hotel around 7:30pm and after checking in we went to a yummy Mexican place for drinks and dinner.  After that we crashed because we were both so tired from being in the car all day.

On Friday we went to Colonial Williamsburg.  We got our passes at the visitor center and did the 10min walk to the town.  The morning wasn't terribly hot but I had of course forgotten to pack sunscreen and they apparently don't sell that in Colonial Williamsburg.  So we tried to stay in the shade as much as possible and by afternoon we were hot, sweaty and sticky!  It got to over 100 degrees and I felt really bad for the people in costume!

Replica of a plantation

Walking to Colonial Williamsburg!

On recommendation of my friend Kara who has been there several times and lives in Virginia, we checked out the Governor's Palace tour.  Thank goodness it had air conditioning!  We came into the tour a few minutes late so Kara caught me up via text.  The mansion is not the original one, it was burned down a long time ago but in the 1930s they found the original blueprints and were able to reconstruct it based off those.  So our guide said it was a very very close remodel of the original.

The outer yard of the palace.

The back of the palace.

Ben's favorite was covered in thousands of swords, knives, and guns! This was the front entrance hall of the palace...makes quite the impression!

An old harpsichord.

The front of the palace.

Before we got all hot and sweaty!

After the Governor's Palace, we saw the gardens, the giant lawn in front of the palace, and a church where we debated on whether or not the weathered headstones were real or replicas.

The lawn in front of the palace was huge!  There were lots of horse-drawn carriages going around the lawn.

The palace from the other end of the lawn.

Next we ended up in downtown Williamsburg and did a little shopping.  By then it was after lunch so we started looking or a place to eat.  We soon learned that Williamsburg is not a big gluten-free place so Ben got by with some Coke and candy.  We wandered in and out of various buildings that had different uses, like the blackshop (the poor guys in there were drenched in sweat with the fires going!), the tin shop, mercenary, gunsmith, and more.

The blacksmith shop...I felt so bad for the guys in there!

Gunsmith shop.  I learned that rifles were really long so that they could lean the barrel against the ground to reload instead of holding it.

The other tour that Kara suggested we go on was the Capitol building tour.  Our tour guide was named Lindsey and she was phenomenal!  I am not a history person at all (I find it interesting but quickly forget it all) and even I found myself listening with rapt attention.  She was very energetic and captivating.  I learned that the capitol was moved there after being in Jamestown and it has burned down 3 times.  Each time they rebuilt it in the same spot.  Luckily it hasn't burned down in a long time :) It was interesting to think we were standing in the same spot where hundreds of years ago they decided to commit treason, break away from England, and fight for independence and equality.

After the Capitol tour we took the shuttle back to the visitor center to head out.  Ben found a brick oven pizza place that served gf pizza and it was really good!  We were starving and ate a lot of pizza!  Then we went to a mini-golf place and played a round.  I started off great with a hole-in-one but quickly lost my edge.  I think Ben beat me by 6 strokes!

On Saturday we had talked about going to Jamestown or Yorktown for the morning but we were still tired from all our walking on Friday, plus it was another hot day so we decided to head to the outlets and do a little shopping.  Everyone got new shoes (girls included!) and a few other things.  After lunch we tried a local winery.  We did a wine tour and tasting and came home with several bottles!  Then we went to a few other stores, including the Yankee Candle Village.  I'm not a huge candle person but there were so many candles there!  It was basically a gigantic store with lots of little stores inside...almost like it's own little mall.  We met Santa and it snowed on us in the Christmas section!  Finally Ben found some coffee and just sat while I completed my tour of the village.  After the village we went to a restaurant called Food For Thought.  If you're ever in Williamsburg, you should check out this restaurant!  It was delicious, the atmosphere was fun, and they even had a gf bread basket for Ben.  The owner was there walking around and talking to people and it was packed!  I definitely recommend it.

Sunday was a travel home day.  We left in the morning because we wanted to get back and use the kid-free afternoon to our advantage to get some stuff done around the house.  Thankfully the ride back only took about 4hrs, stops included.  It was nice to get away just the two of us and thank you to my parents for watching the girls and Ben's sister for watching Riley!

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