Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Vacation with Irene.......

Okay, so we didn't really vacation with Irene, we came home a few hours before she hit.  But.....anyway, let me start at the beginning.  A few weeks ago the phone rang, it was a telemarketer for a time share company, offering us all kinds of stuff if we would just listen to a 90 minute presentation.  If at this point you are already getting that "yeah right " feeling, you are right.  However, we decided that it would be worth it for a free vacation.
Thursday night we headed down to Williamsburg, VA for some fun!  Our hotel was okay, nothing great, but not bad.  The beds were comfortable, and the ac worked great, so that was all that mattered.   We arrived at the time share office for our 9:30 appointment and were told we would be driven by our sales person.   She took us to where a tree used to stand that George Washington used to sit under and think.  It might have been half interesting if the tree was there, but it fell during Hurricane Isabel, and now there is a tiny one foot tall tree there. She took us to a couple other innocuous places, then she started on her sales pitch.  By this time, Little Monkey is bored, and wants to talk to she keeps interupting the sales lady.  The sales lady kept losing her momentum.  She finally decided we should skip the talk.   After driving around for over an hour, she finally took us to the resort.  Here we got a short tour of the amenities, and then another sales pitch, then we toured the condos, then she brought in the big guns.  Hubby had already told her we were not interested in buying, it was just too much money, and not our kind of thing.  The big boss sales guy came over and tried to offer us a lower price.  We told him no, and then he proceeded to tell us that we needed to change our lifestyle and make vacations more important.  After listening to him demean my husband for 15 minutes, I stepped in and told him it was not something we could afford because we wanted to have more children. He told me that is always the case, and we could pass this on to our kids.  I told him not if you don't have them.  He then assured me that lots of babies are conceived on great vacations.  By this time I was almost boiling over, I politely told him that I needed medical intervention to get pregnant and that was why we had to save our money.  He told me that it was more important to have a "vacation plan" than it was to save for kids, that I could have kids anytime.  To say that I was a little offended and angry at this man was putting it mildly.  At that point, my husband told the guy we were not interested at all and we were ready to leave.  We were driven back to our starting point and had to talk to another guy, who wanted to do a survey and then give us our prizes.  We told him how the guy treated us, and then he made us a really low offer, of course.  We told him thank you but no.  We were given a Visa gift card, and a voucher for 4 days 3 nights in Orlando, which is good for a year.  I don't know if it was worth it, but we'll see if we can get the Orlando trip or not.  So, that was not a great start to the day.  It improved quickly.

After a quick late lunch, we were off to Jamestown Settlement.  Now, for those who care, the Settlement is a reproduction of the original Jamestown Colony.  It is great fun, and kids love it!  It was relatively inexpensive, $15 for adults, children under 5 were free (I think it was under 5).  There is a Powhatan Indian village, which is set up just how they lived.

This lady was weaving a basket.  She made the bag on her shoulder, and one that you can just see behind her.  She told me it took her about 4 months to make one.

Next you come to the ships.  These are exact reproductions of the three ships the colonists came over from England on.  It is amazing just how small they really are.  You can go inside the ships, and there are re-enactors who will tell you what life was like on the ships, needless to say, it didn't sound fun to me.

The next spot of interest, the fort.  This is where the colonists lived, inside a fort with walls made of pointed timber planks.  Their homes were made from an adobe like substance, and large timbers.  They all had thatched roofs.  They are tiny, not even cottage sized.  More along the size of a large storage shed.

There is a blacksmith, a cooper, a barrel maker, and many others that are fun to talk to.  They even had armor for the kids to try on, of course Little Monkey wouldn't do that, instead she got mommy and daddy to do it.  Don't we look funny?

They also have an indoor Gallery.  This has artifacts taken from the Jamestown archeological site, as well as info, and interactive displays that the kids will enjoy.  Here are a few pictures from the Gallery.

After we left Jamestown, Little Monkey really wanted to go to the beach.  By this time they had closed the tunnels leading to Norfolk and Virginia Beach, and we were told that the bridge coming back was closed to one lane, meaning we could go to Virginia Beach, but it would take hours to get back.  We decided to stop at a small beach on the James River, about 3-5 miles from the the Settlement.  It was called Archers Point, another historical spot.

It was so perfect for Little Monkey.  The water was brackish, meaning salt and fresh water merge there.  It was close to where the James, Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay all merge together.  There were pretty rocks and seashells to collect, and tiny waves to splash in.

There were only a few other people there, and they were mostly just relaxing watching the clouds roll in.  The water was so warm, and we had lots of fun for the hour or so we spent there.

After, we rushed back to our hotel and cleaned up, then headed to Colonial Williamsburg for dinner.  We made reservations at Chownings Tavern.  This was great!  It is not something we would normally do, because it was not cheap.  However, the experience was so worth it!  There was a lady who played the fiddle, and a man who played the guitar and sang.

It was all period music, from the 1600's, and when the guy sang, he used accents of people of the time, it was so authentic.  We really enjoyed the "show" before our dinner came.  This place was so kid friendly, they had the usual hamburger, hot dogs etc for kids, and authentic tavern food for the adults.  I got the braised beef short ribs in au jus sauce with veggies and tavern potatoes.  All I can say, that meat was so tender it was like melted butter.  Seriously!

Even thought it was getting late, we decided to drive around Williamsburg for a while, and then get some good fudge.  We saw a few places getting ready for Irene.

Then a couple of funny messages to her as well.

Then we stopped at The Trading Post for homemade fudge.  It is sooooo good.  We got it the last time we were there, and decided we had to go back.  They have unique flavors, like Watermellon, which I have to admit I thought was gross, and they also had root beer flavor, which was really good.

Saturday morning we woke up to rain and wind and thunder and decided we would head home.  We had planned to stay through Sunday, but the storm was going to be too bad.  We left around 9:30, and headed to Richmond for a stop at Hobby Lobby, always a favorite, and Home Depot.  By the time we had lunch at Johnny Rockets, which was a blast, the power was flickering, and the wind was crazy strong.  The closer we go to home, the better the storm got.  We ended up only having light rain, and a fair amount of wind in our area.  I am thankful for that!

So, that was a really long story about our weekend.  I hope you all didn't mind!  Will I do a time share thing again for a free vacation?  Not real soon, but yeah, I probably will again.


  1. I loved going on vacation with you. The pictures are great, I can almost skip the tour (not really - I want to go... someday) We too, have been roped in to those sales things, Mr starts talking to them about their soul's needs and they get rid of us as fast as they can...

  2. I know you must have had a great time. Your photos are great! I have not been to Williamsburg since I was about 12 or 13. I would love to take the girls there and to DC.

  3. Sorry about the "sales pitch" but glad the rest of your trip made up for it!
    Sounds like fun, we kind of missed out on vacations this summer.

  4. Glad you had a fun mini vacation and were home safely before Irene. As soon as one of those marketers find out we have 6 kids they get off the phone pretty quick. They only want 2 adult 2 kid families!