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Old 07-02-2012, 02:58 PM   #16
solana131
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Ick! No power just sucks Dave, so sorry And to have to uproot the family just makes it that much worse. Good thing the kids are young enough to be able to see it as a mini vacation
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:14 PM   #17
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oh no! That is awful! We are having 104* days here ~ I can't imagine not having power. Stay cool!!
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:53 AM   #18
DaveinFallsChurch
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We got our power back!! Even though it was just a little over three days, it felt like a week! We're "moved" back into our house now.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:00 AM   #19
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Choosing a Place to Stay

For this decision, I took the minimalist approach. It's going to be only for one night. All I will do is use the room to sleep and that's pretty much it. Will not be using the pool (don't have time to!). And I'm not a big breakfast person so the breakfast spread is not as important either. Plus, I'll be by myself.

Sooooo, I looked for the cheapest one that was within 15 minutes of walking distance from DLR. Came up with this one for $60.

Quality Inn and Suites at the Park


From what I can tell from Trip Advisor, it's not going to be the best motel/hotel but I think it will work for me. Lodging for this solo trip is just not going to play a role on the level of my enjoyment.

I did browse through the Disneyland Resorts and boy, they do look tempting. I'll have to look into those again when I bring my family back. Just can't justify the cost when I'm traveling without my family.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:18 PM   #20
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Looks like a good choice...that totally makes sense. Save your money to try some new California Mickey treats
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:51 PM   #21
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Looks like a good choice...that totally makes sense. Save your money to try some new California Mickey treats
Oooh, never thought of it that way.

Maybe there's a way to completely forgo the lodging cost. Do you think I could just sleep in my sleeping bag outside DL gates?
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:03 PM   #22
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Yeah.....I'm thinking that's a no But there's probably a hostel around there somewhere. Or you can always show up at someone's door and say you used to live there and would like to spend the night in your old room. That would be cheap. Kinda creepy too, but cheap
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:05 PM   #23
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Mini-Trip Report - Colonial Williamburg July 4th-5th 2012

PART I

Between the storms and the power outage, I wasn’t so sure on Monday whether this trip would be happening as planned. But fortunately, the power was restored and my parents flew in from California on Tuesday evening to join us for our first visit to Colonial Williamsburg to celebrate Independence Day!

We started our drive down to Williamsburg at 9am on the 4th. Traffic between DC and Williamsburg was actually very manageable and we arrived at our hotel around 11:30am, Williamsburg Lodge (within the Historic Area). The hotel had beautiful landscaping and interiors.







Once we dropped our bags off in our rooms, we got a quick bite at the hotel restaurant and decided to brave the 95 degree heat and check out some of the scenery in the historic district. As soon as we stepped outside, we were baking! It’s been 4 years since we moved from Houston and my body must have forgotten what it’s like trying to walk around in heat in the 90s. I had been wondering if visiting WDW in August would be an option for my family, but 10 seconds into the Williamsburg heat and I quickly scratched August off my mental list of months to visit WDW!

We walked over to the Market Square where we saw a colonial auction taking place.



Watching all of the characters dressed in 18th century clothing, I quickly shut all thoughts of complaints about the heat. I can’t imagine being dressed like that in this weather. Behind the auction, there was a tent of merchandises being sold, and DS got a three-corner hat and DD got a bonnet. Across the street, we saw the courthouse and entered to watch a colonial trial.



They took some volunteers to play the roles of some key characters in the trial and they lucked out when one of the volunteers was actually an attorney in real life. He obviously did the best job reading the script without stumbling over any words and sounded the most convincing!

Afterwards, my parents decided that they would walk back to their room and get some rest. DS also was getting cranky from all the sweating so he went back with them. DD, DW, and I decided to check out some of the trade demonstrations. First we visited the brickmakers.



DD got a kick out of walking in the clay pit. It was pretty funny how every parent watching their child in the clay pit were saying the exact same thing: “Be careful, and don’t fall! I didn’t pack any extra clothing!” Once DD was done, we walked her over to a water faucet surrounded by several barrels of water to wash her feet and leg off.

Next we visited the campsite for the revolutionary militia. They had tents set up. A couple of soldiers were demonstrating gun fighting techniques.





The “volunteers” got to follow along using logs as their guns. Then one of the women of the barracks explained the rations each person would receive. She actually did a pretty decent job staying in character especially when a girl sitting up front (probably about 7 or 8 years old) raised her hand to ask “Are those food on your table real or fake?” The lady answered “They are real since I don’t know what purpose fake food would have here.” They even demonstrated the fife and drum call to pick up the rations.



The whole simulation must have been very realistic as at one point, DD thought I was going to be staying back and sleeping in the tents for REAL and got very concerned. She raised her hand to ask the lady “This is my Dad (pointing to me). Is he going to have stay behind?” She kept holding on to my hand tightly – it was very cute.

We made a quick stop at the cabinetmaker’s house and DD got to try playing the harpsichord.



Then we made our last stop at the blacksmiths where one of them was working on making a hammer. I had to leave the house just after a couple of minutes because the smoke and the heat was getting a bit unbearable. DD on the other hand didn’t seem to mind and watched the whole thing up close.

(This has to be the worst job in Colonial Williamsburg during the summer time, right?)


The whole historic area was so well preserved and you really got the sense of being immersed in the 18th century. So much so that whenever I came across any modern amenities or equipment, it really felt out of place. Like these set of cars parked next to one of the houses.

"I sense a disruption in the time-space continuum"


Next Up: FIREWORKS !
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:09 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by solana131 View Post
Yeah.....I'm thinking that's a no But there's probably a hostel around there somewhere. Or you can always show up at someone's door and say you used to live there and would like to spend the night in your old room. That would be cheap. Kinda creepy too, but cheap
Yeah, creepy AND awkward.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:19 PM   #25
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Cool trip! Seems like the perfect type of thing to do around the Fourth of July. Your pictures were great as well. What kind of camera are you using?
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:23 PM   #26
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Cool trip! Seems like the perfect type of thing to do around the Fourth of July. Your pictures were great as well. What kind of camera are you using?
Thank you!

I traded my point-and-shoot in for an upgrade after our Disney trip in April. Just couldn't accept the limitations anymore

So, my current camera is the Canon EOS T2i. I'm still very much a beginner in photography, but this is quickly becoming my favorite hobby other than anything related to Disney! All of the pics were taken with the kit lens 18-55mm.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:56 PM   #27
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I'm following too -
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:43 PM   #28
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Looks like a great start to Williamsburg. What a great time of the year to be there....well, other than the heat
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:21 PM   #29
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I'm following too -
Welcome! Happy to have you on-board!

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Looks like a great start to Williamsburg. What a great time of the year to be there....well, other than the heat
I know what you mean though - the whole concept of Colonial Williamsburg revolves around the essence of Independence Day! It really does provide the perfect atmosphere for celebrating the 4th of July. We enjoyed it a lot.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:56 AM   #30
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Mini Trip Report: Colonial Williamsburg July 4th-5th 2012

We headed back to the hotel to cool off. We met up with my parents and DS. DS had not gone down for a nap, so we all took a short nap before our evening festivities – we bought tickets for the “Independence Day Celebration” which included a boxed picnic dinner and reserved up-front seating for a concert by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra followed by fireworks. Earlier in the day they were forecasting thunderstorms right around the time the picnic was to begin. So, they moved the picnic event indoors to one of the ballrooms in our hotel! We really lucked out since we didn’t have to walk too far to get to it. The picnic box contained so much food including a very deliciously seasoned southern fried chicken and potato salad! During the dinner, they had a steady stream of entertainment on the stage including some colonial style singing, dancing, and story telling.



People were really packed in though and there were barely enough seats for everyone. DD decided to take this opportunity to lay down, curl up in a ball, and take a short nap on her chair.

After dinner, we headed out to the Palace Green in front of the Governor’s Palace to check in at the reserved seating area. We arrived early enough to grab a good seat near the center aisle. We had glow sticks and my trusty ol iPad to keep the kids entertained while waiting. Then from the distance, we started hearing the sounds of the Fife and Drums Marching Band approaching us. They marched their way down to the front and performed for about 15 minutes. Absolutely loved it! Really puts a nice historical twist to the whole evening.



They were followed by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra who played for 90 minutes with all the usual outdoor concert pieces including a couple of John William’s movie music and capped it off with a beautiful rendition of God Bless America and the 1812 Overture.



I was curious as to whether the kids would be able to sit through the whole concert without getting restless. They loved it. The either sat on our laps or on their seats and watched and listened very intently. Earlier in the day, I had bought them each a small Star Spangled Banner to wave. They were waving the flags in rhythm to the music. When the orchestra played a medley of military anthems, DS was standing on his chair, waving his flag, and marching his feet!

As they were completing the 1812 Overture, the fireworks started with the Palace as the foreground. It was very well done. No music accompaniment but it was beautifully put together.













As soon as the fireworks ended, the Fife/Drums marching band showed up again, this time accompanied by men leading them with torches. It was such an awesome scene as they marched down and a dozens of people trailing them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t capture this on my camera because I had already packed everything up and had DS in my arms. Once they passed through, we took a 10 minute stroll back to our rooms. This had to be THE easiest getaway from a 4th of July Fireworks for us EVER. No crowds of pedestrians. And as we walked back to our hotel, we saw all of the cars log jammed and barely moving in the streets – I was very glad we decided to spend the night here after the fireworks.

The next morning, we slept in a little. Had the breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant. Then decided to give it another go touring the Historic Area. It was already 89 degrees when we stepped out of the hotel around 10am. We first tried touring Peyton Randolph’s house.



Between the wait time and the actual tour, this ended up taking a full hour. While we were waiting for the tour to start, we saw several horse driven carriages make their way down the street.





Maybe next time we are down here again and when it’s cooler, we would think about trying it. But, it just seemed a little too hot to be trying this out. The tour itself was interesting, but DS’s attention span began to give out near the end of the tour which was expected for a 2 year old.

My parents and the kids returned to the hotel lobby – the kids ended up playing with some of the craft materials they had set up in the lobby area. DW and I decided we wanted to stroll all the way down to the Capitol building. On our way there, we crossed into the “Revolutionary City” boundaries.





Within this area, they re-enact some scripted scenes that tell a story over two days of how revolt began. We came across one such re-enactment – thought the actors/actresses were excellent and very realistic.





We made our way to the front of the Capitol.



Although I wanted to go in, this also required waiting and entering as a tour group which meant it would take another hour, so we decided to pass. And that was our last stop for this trip. We returned to the hotel, loaded up our cars, and returned home to DC. The first hour of driving was challenge as we had to stop twice for bathroom breaks and lunch for the kids. It took us 90 minutes to go 30 miles!

Had a blast and we may turn this into a family tradition for future 4th of July’s as long as we live in the DC area. I would also like to return back during the fall and really delve into the Historic Area, especially the “Revolutionary City”.
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