Happy Birthday, Nina! Of course, I wasn't there to celebrate with her, but I'm sure she had a great time.
After breakfast, we returned to the water park for the rest of the morning before leaving for lunch, a tour of Colonial Williamsburg and more economical lodging at the Sleep Inn. We stopped by Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Q for some lunch and we savored every bite. If I had a straw I would've slurped the juice remaining in my bowl of green beans, but Lori said it looked like what leaks out of diapers and with that I decided to toss it with the rest of the trash. It's been years since I ate there last and was glad to see that it hasn't changed a bit. The tea is still just as sweet as ever and the pork just as tangy. In a word, Y-U-M!
As you could imagine (if you've ever been there), the place was packed. We were able to find two tables to seat the nine of us, but they weren't next to each other -- there was a table in between them. Not a problem, we thought, and we split the party up between the kids table and the adult table. Five minutes later, the table in between us graciously offered to switch with us. They thought we should have the opportunity to enjoy our children more then they were. Well, maybe that wasn't their intention after all, but I'm trying to put a positive spin on the story, so work with me here, alright?!?
After lunch we headed over to the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center. We decided not to do the passes (starting at $36 per person) as we only had a few hours before everything closed. Instead, we opted for the shuttle bus tickets ($2 per person) and boarded the shuttle for the ride over to the historic area.
Our plan was to get off at the second stop (the Capitol) and then walk back towards the Governor's Palace, where we would then take the shuttle back to the Visitor's Center. So when we got to the first stop, we stayed on board. After leaving, the bus driver announced we were heading back to the Visitor's Center. Apparently there was a failure to communicate somewhere along the line. So, after getting back on the next shuttle (we had to unload at the drop-off point and then walk over to the boarding zone), we rode it back to the Governor's Palace where we then got on the shuttle to the Capitol. It was very much like the scene from Spinal Tap where they were walking around the depths of the arena trying to find the stage and kept coming back to the maintenance worker.
We FINALLY got to where we wanted to go and started touring the area. Of course, since we didn't get the passes, we couldn't go into any of the buildings. That didn't stop Lori and D from trying to though. We got to the jail and as they were passing the gate, they started chatting it up with the pass checker (outside of each building is a worker dressed in period costume making sure only people with their pass pinned to their clothing are allowed in). He ascertained that they didn't have the requisite pass and prohibited them from entering. The conversation went something like...
"Sorry, you need a pass to enter."
"Oh. Can we just peek in to see the inside?"
"You need a pass."
"Oh, well can the kids just poke their heads in?"
"They need a pass, too."
It was quite comical, to say the least.
Humor doesn't keep one cool, however, and soon the kids were overheating. We made a few pit stops in the various stores to cool down and buy things, but, eventually, even that wasn't enough. We finally had to resort to...ice cream.
We finally called it quits -- or were forced to call it quits I should say -- when the thunderheads became ominous after the fife and drum show (I forced that issue as a way to reconnect with my youth). We found the nearest bus stop and made our way back to the Visitor's Center.
We found our hotel easily enough, but had some problems with dinner. There was a Pizzaria Uno right across the street, so we forewent our cars and decided to walk. That was a mistake. Not only were there no sidewalks leading from the hotel to the main road, there were no pedestrian crossing signals or crosswalks available. While we could have managed across, with five kids in tow we decided on the safe route and walked back to the hotel to make the trip in our cars. We arrived safe and sound, only to find out there was a 45-60 minute wait. The kids, having been pretty good all day, wouldn't have survived (neither would the petunias they were deadheading -- although the buds weren't quite dead yet...or even close). We made a quick call to Mirabella's (an Italian restaurant we saw down the street) and when they said they could seat us immediately, we loaded back into the cars to make the trip...next door. This time we could have walked. Oh well, maybe next time.
The service was excellent, as were the food and drinks. The kids were at their limit by the end of dinner, but overall they were good. No food was thrown and no surrounding patrons seemed to be bothered by them (unlike at Pierce's). All in all, the second day of the weekend was a success.