This past weekend Kasey and I took a trip to the lovely Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I had intended on taking lots of pictures. Pictures of the food, pictures of us waiting in line, pictures of the park itself. But nope. I got 1 single picture in the park, and it was of some hanging jack’o’lantern string lights. But I am gonna tell you guys about our trip anyway.
I ddin’t get a lot of pictures because for 98% of the time my phone was in my husbands pocket! They have a very strict bag policy on the rides at Busch Gardens so i couldn’t bring a purse along with me (or knitting to keep me occupied during long waits in line). I left my phone with him because his cargo pockets had Velcro, and therefore a much better chance of holding on to my phone than my shallow shorts pockets the phone didn’t even completely fit into. We had a few moments of silence for a pristine looking iPhone 6 we witnessed on the ground under one of the rides.
But let’s rewind a little bit and start from the beginning. The trip actually started with us visiting Kasey’s parents and leaving our Doggies with them overnight. We cooked a little and got to see Kaseys brother, niece and nephew as well.
Then we drove to Colonial Williamsburg and got a hotel for the night. Because it was Labor Day weekend a lot of places were completely booked out. The best one we could find in the area was quite expensive. When we checked in we found out it was so expensive because it was a suite, complete with a second living room area and a half kitchen. We asked if we could switch to a smaller room because we really only needed a bed for the night and nothing else. They claimed to be full up and so we got the key and entered our suite.
It was terrible. Kasey is military and has had to sleep in a lot of sketchy places. But this place was uninhabitable by his standards. Which might have been lowered if the price for the suite weren’t $160. What was so bad about it? Now this is a time i wish I had gotten pictures, but I was so frustrated I wasn’t thinking about documenting anything.
The most unnerving thing about it was the entire suite smelled of thick cigarette smoke. Now, to a smoker, this might not be the worst thing in the world. Not only are Kasey and I non-smokers, we are both the children of former smokers. To this day cigarette smoke still nauseates both of us. As we take a look around we notice several dead roaches across the floor. There was fresh plaster dust on the lamps & counters from recent work that was not cleaned up. The mattress had a very questionable stain and the tub faucet was literally severed, very much like nearly headless Nick, but in faucet form.
Kasey and I looked at each other and thought for a second. What should we do? Well I went online and looked to see if anywhere local had availability. There was a room available down the road for about $50 less. So we went to the front desk and I asked about the cancelation policy.
It is to the belief of me and Kasey that the person working the front desk knew the exact state of the room he put us in because he didn’t contest our question. He simply offered to put us up in one of the Hotel side rooms that “Just became available” at a lower rate of $89. We asked to see the room and found it to be what we were expecting our room to look like before arriving. It was perfect. A bed. A bathroom. And no dead roaches, plaster dust or broken fixtures.
While Kasey was behaving as if I was a crazy person for wanting to be up at 7 when the park didn’t open til 10 and was less than 15 minutes away, everything made sense in the long run. I wanted us to go to breakfast and found a restaurant that had a few vegan options down the road.
So we ate at a place called “Food for Thought” that had some damn good tofu scramble, almond milk for the coffee’s and even had vegan butter for the toast! They mentioned at the end of our meal that vegan French toast was an option but it wasn’t on the menu. While we would have indulged had we known, it was probably better to have the lighter and more nutritious tofu scramble.
We arrived to the gate at 9:30. When Kasey saw there was already a line of cars to get in everything clicked for why we had to be there so early.
After finding a good spot and parking the car we speed walked as quick as we could to the closest roller coaster. Neither of us had been on one since 2009 and he had never been to Busch Gardens. The first roller coaster had a wait of approximately 1 minute before we were riding. Which set up an unrealistic expectation for the next coaster.
The logical plan for us was to circle the park and ride each roller coaster as we approached it. The next ride in our queue also happened to be a pretty new one. It was called “InvadR” and was inspired by the Viking invasion of New France (Canada). It was a wooden roller coaster that only had 1 car going at a time so the loading and unloading process alone was pretty slow. To take things to the next level the conductor decided to test out the second car so they could get more people on the track at a time. This put a considerable delay on our wait time but we were already halfway through the line and determined to ride everything this park had to offer. After they decided it wasn’t going to be feasible to add the second car, they continued running the first car. We approached the platform, 2 car loads from being on the ride and they decide now was the perfect time to try again for the second car. After this idea failed for a second time we were able to get on what ended up being a pretty fun ride which completely made us forget the recently faced trials.
We continued riding each ride and walking about 10 mph faster than everybody around us to get to the next attraction. We were actually able to knock out every roller coaster in the park by 2 pm, which was perfect because in our adrenaline rush state we completely forgot about food.
This weekend was the opening weekend of Bierfest in the Oktoberfest section of the park so we headed to the Festhaus and got some lunch while enjoying a song and dance show performed on a stage in the center of the dining hall. After lunch it was beer time.
They have a craft beer room stocked with 35 different local microbrews. We got these handy sample cards that allowed us each 10 samples. Add our flight of 4 samples and between the 2 of us we each tried 24 beers. These were small samples so we never got loaded or anything, but we did have a slight buzz at this point which made the 4D “Escape from Dark Castle” ride even more fun. There was a live band performing polka music outside of the festhaus as well as a Burgermeister rousing the crowd and teaching traditional German folk dances. Which were also enhanced by the beer buzz, but had an intoxicating power all their own.
Unfortunately the buzz also made Kasey completely careless to the fact that we had a 5 hour car ride home ahead of us, and when I reminded him at 5 that we needed to leave soon he said “okay I just want to ride this ride ONE one more time”
He wanted to ride ALL the rides again. Because, ya know, we were there. The rides were there. It all made sense.
Before we knew it our watches read “9:30 pm”. Holy cow. We stayed in the park for 12 hours.
So we found a Starbucks that was open until 10 and started the long trek back home completely exhausted from a stimulating day. One can take only so many hits of adrenaline before being completely pooped.
I made it about 30 minutes before caving in to the dark side of sleep. About 40 minutes into my car nap I hear Kasey fussing in the drivers seat next to me. He was bouncing up and down in his seat trying to stay awake. At this point he gave an odd request. One I couldn’t have predicted in a million years.
He asked me to put on a Harry Potter audio book.
He said it would be more like having a conversation, so it should help him stay awake. Most people have the exact opposite reaction to audio books, but I happily obliged.
We listened to half of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone” by the time we arrived home.
What I found really funny was the next day he had to pack some stuff in the office and he finished the Harry Potter book on his own. He might become a Potter head yet….
So that was our Busch Gardens experience. Believe it or not this is actually a shortened version. If you’ve been waffling over whether or not to visit I say: “Go!”. Kasey being Military means we can go once a year without having to pay admission, so we shall be returning next year during Hallo-Scream for my birthday.