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Family Trip to Williamsburg We Go To Williamsburg, VAI'm trying something new. Although Hubpages is primarily a place to post articles (it is not a BLOG site) I thought I would see if I could use it to post details of our family trip to Williamsburg, VA. The information provided may be useful to others who might also be planning such a trip. The last time I was in Williamsburg was nearly 30 years ago. I was living in California and our 8th grade class took a 10 day field trip to Washington DC, including a day trip to Williamsburg Jamestown. Williamsburg, VA is about 10 hours from our home in Massachusetts. With 4 kids, we tend to take vacations that we can drive as airfare for 6 would probably cost more than we typically budget for the entire vacation. PLANNING: Planning for this trip was pretty minimal. Neither my wife nor I require every detail and hour to be scheduled. However, a few small details needed addressing: A. A Place to Stay: A family of 6 cannot squeeze into most hotel rooms. So, as we have done for several vacations in the past, we book a room at The Homewood Suites in Williamsburg, VA. They had a better posted rate than we could get from the hotel directly. B. Packing: Having booked the room, we also had to make some additional plans for packing our luggage this year. We traded our minivan for a Toyota Highlander. Although it drives VERY nice, it has very limited storage space. So thanks to the wise advice of my wife we decided to purchase duffel bags for the kids and just strap them to the top of the car with some strong tie downs. Perfect! C. Bounce Pass: The only other piece of "planning" that went into this trip was the online purchase of what is called a "Bounce Pass." This was recommended by a friend, and it is clearly the most affordable way to purchase entrance into Busch Gardens, Water Country and some of the museums at Colonial Williamsburg. The Bounce Pass also includes parking at all these activities. If you plan to do each of these, then a Bounce Pass is the right way to go. DAY ONE: SATURDAYWe left our home in Massachusetts at about 5:00AM on Saturday morning. The cat and dog would be cared for by my parents. Thank you!!! First Stop: COFFEE!! I was up at 4:00AM to pack all the luggage on top of the car, so a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts was an absolute necessity. We knew that we would be around Baltimore, MD at lunch time. So I looked up that city on this great website that shows the location of restaurants that have been featured on Food Network. The site is called TV Food Maps. Doing so led us to CHAPS PIT BEEF. Cool! So we plugged in the address into the GPS and decided we would do lunch at Chaps on the way to Williamsburg, VA. Chaps wasn't especially easy to get to, but I blame that on a GPS that probably needs some updated maps. However, after navigating a few back roads,we arrived at a little shack serving up some really tasty meats. From the outside, it didn't look like some place we would ordinarily stop. But the staff inside was very helpful, and guided us toward some very tasty menu options. I went with the newly added "Guys Triple D" sub: Beef, corned beef and sausage. Yum! We arrived at our hotel around 4:45PM. After unpacking, we picked up some pizza from Pizza Hut, ate in our room, and enjoyed a little time down in the hotel pool. DAY 2: SUNDAYSunday morning we headed to church. I looked online for a local Presbyterian church. Would have liked to visit an OPC church (my own denomination) but there were none nearby. We have many close friends in another Reformed presbyterian denomination known as the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America), and found they had a local congregation in Williamsburg. Grace Covenant PCA is currently involved in a search for a pastor. Having gone through that process, and therefore sympathizing with the difficulties this can involve, we were happy to visit our brothers and sisters at Grace and worship with them. The guest preacher was an Army chaplain who preached on Jonah chapter 1. It was a convicting sermon on sharing the gospel, having a true heart of compassion for the lost. The whole service was very refreshing from what is so often going on in Christian churches today. The service began when the service leader looked at the congregation and said "God calls us to worship. But we can't. On our own, sinners like us cannot approach a holy God. But the good news is that God has made a way for sinners to worship Him. His name is Jesus Christ." If you are reading this I hope you attend a church that still preaches the gospel. I hope you attend a church which isn't afraid to tell people they are sinners and in danger of the wrath of God. I hope you attend a church where you are constantly reminded that without Christ you have no hope. I hope you do. If not, please find one. Sunday afternoon we met some dear friends from Richmond, VA. They drove down to Williamsburg. We shared a lovely lunch (got some sandwiches from The Cheese Shop) and enjoyed a leisurely walk and conversation through historic Colonial Williamsburg. The architecture was beautiful. The site was both interesting, but also somewhat sad. Bruton Parish is an Episcopal church, part of a denomination that once held to faithful Biblical doctrines and the gospel, but today has almost entirely forsaken her history. After saying goodbye to our friends, we went back to the hotel to enjoy a quiet end to a wonderful day. Busch Gardens, as you may know, was originally named because it was owned and operated by the Anheuser Busch brewing company. Interestingly, Anheuser Busch was originally a brewery on the point of bankruptcy. Purchased by Eberhard Anheuser in 1860, and partnering with son in law Adolphus Busch in 1869, it eventually rose to an incredibly profitable company which sold for 2.4 Billion in 2009. The day at Busch Gardens begins with packing a lunch (much more affordable than buying food in the park). We arrived at the park around 10:30AM and did the rides until about 1:30PM. We ate at 1:30PM in the parking lot, then decided to go back to our hotel (it was quite hot and humid) for a quick dip in the pool, with plans to return in the evening for more rides and fireworks. After swimming and eating dinner (provided by the hotel) we returned to the park around 7:30PM and walked around for another 2.5 hours until they closed at 10:00PM. The Griffon This coaster was a blast, consisting of 3 rows of 10 seats and a 205 foot drop at a 90 degree angle! Loved it!