Thursday, December 6, 2012

Williamsburg - August 2012

When we took our big trip to Disney World in April, we decided that was the BIG birthday present for our entire family in the year 2012. That works pretty well for those of us who have April/May birthdays (which is pretty much everyone), but for Adam, whose birthday in August, it seemed like a bit of a stretch. So, when it was proposed that the East Coast Wride clan take a little trip to Williamsburg and it happened to be over Adam's birthday weekend, how could we refuse. MAJOR thank you to Aunt Janet, who used some of her time shares to house our large group, Costco for selling discount tickets to VA residents, and Busch Gardens itself for letting kids 5 and under in free with a preschool pass. 

We left early on August 2nd, which is Adam's birthday. In keeping with birthday tradition, the kids and I decided it was still important to have a birthday breakfast for this #1 DAD. We had yogurt, strawberries, pastries, and donuts complete with a birthday candle.

*You can see that Spencer is sporting a pretty awesome shiner in this photo. He got that the day before when he and a friend collided in the maze at what we call "The Rainbow Park." 

After that, we were on the road. Once we reached Williamsburg, we headed to Water Country and had some good fun there. Here's the birthday boy with our two year-old explorer. This boy LOVES the water and parks in general. Combine the two, and we have Johnny heaven. 

Spencer loved the water park too. Emma was not so much a fan after she fell and got a bad scrape on the back of her leg. Poor lovie was pretty much inconsolable after that. For the rest of the weekend, we made sure to keep the scrape bandaged and covered by leggings or shorts. Out of sight, out of mind is about all that works for our girl in these dire circumstances. Evenings baths were quite...eventful, but we all survived.

Our Water Country day was cut short due to thunderstorms. After we managed to extract ourselves from the parking lot, we checked into the condos and then met up with Aunt Janet and the Martins (Williamsburg locals and old family friends of the Wrides) for dinner at an all-you-can-eat restaurant called Peking Restaurant. My favorite thing there is the Mongolian BBQ. 

The next day, we were off to explore Busch Gardens. These three made for a pretty sweet little trio: Daniel, Emma, and Ryan. We used the buddy system to make sure no one got lost, and it was pretty sweet to see the cousins join hands.

The swings were a BIG hit with this crowd. Ryan, Daniel, and Emma rode these at least 10 times. They were conveniently located next to some of the rides that Spencer and Maddie wanted to do but the others were too short to go on, so these three would dart back into the swing line after each ride was over until we met up with the rest of our group. 

Ryan on the swings.

Daniel and Emma in a double swing.

Here's our larger group all together on the swings. From left to right you can see Laura, Spencer, Adam, Maddie, Daniel, Emma, Ryan, Valerie, and Brad. I think Emily and I were sitting this round out. (Someone has to take the photos, after all). 

Here's John in what was probably his favorite ride in the park: the airplane. He looped this line time and time again while the others were riding in the big swings. 

Since I had a wee babe in my belly, I wasn't going on any of the roller coasters and so spent a good chunk of time in the kiddy areas. Emma LOVED meeting the Sesame Street characters. 

Here's Emma with Prince Elmo. She was really wishing she had brought her autograph book, but at the very least she wanted to hug and get a picture with each character she saw. John like seeing them but would only venture a high five if he was in my arms and sure he didn't have to get any closer. Hence no pictures of our little buddy with Sesame Street friends.

Maddie and Spencer found a favorite ride: Verbolten. This was the newest roller coaster in the park, and they LOVED it, begging to go time and time again even though it meant waiting 45 minutes or longer for each ride. Fortunately, Dad and Grandpa were up for accompanying them, and they got many rides in while we were at the park. 

Maddie and Spencer have decided that they want to build roller coasters and own a theme park when they grow up. In a recent interview, Maddie even said her hero is the owner of Busch Gardens. Spencer took their future plans very seriously and made this model roller coaster out of cardboard, cardstock, and straws when we got home. If you look closely, you can see that it goes through tunnels and even has a loop.

 Group photo!  The Martins met up with us for dinner in the park. 

On our last day in Williamsburg, we had breakfast at Aunt Janet's lovely, newly remodeled home in Williamsburg. She just moved there this summer and was so kind to count us as some of her early guests. 

Here are the cousins playing in the loft.
(Daniel, John, Ryan, Spencer, Emma, Maddie)

Emma was particularly impressed by Aunt Janet's American Girl dolls. She has asked many times when we can go back to visit and play with these special friends.

Aunt Janet has great boy toys too!

Here's part of the group at Aunt Janet's expandable kitchen table.  

Another view of her gorgeous kitchen. Thank you for hosting us, Aunt Janet!
 Here's hoping there is more Williamsburg fun in our future.

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