Friday, March 18, 2011

Day One in Colonial Williamsburg

Old Chickahominy House, Aromas, Checking in at the Lodge, and Green Leafe
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Despite the typical DC traffic on I-95, we made it to Colonial Williamsburg in 3 hours. First stop was lunch at Old Chickahominy House (1211 Jamestown Road), an easy stop between the I-64 exit and Colonial Williamsburg. 

Their menu says they "invite you to enjoy a real plantation meal in an 18th century dining room". I had Miss Melinda’s Special – a cup of Brunswick Stew, Old Virginia Ham on hot biscuits, Fruit Salad, Homemade Pie (we chose to share chocolate but they also had coconut, buttermilk, and cherry) and Ice Tea – all for $9.95.  A great deal! He had Chicken & Dumplings ($7.95) and Old Virginia Ham on Hot Biscuits ($2.95) and sweet tea ($1.75).  The fruit salad is kind of odd, it’s very small with a piece of lettuce some canned fruit and some shredded cheese – but that isn’t why you visit.  The Brunswick stew and ham biscuits are so yummy (be warned that this is the salty ham not the sugar cured stuff). We were so stuffed that it was our only meal of the day and we barely ate a snack for dinner.  

Lobby at the Williamsburg Lodge
Then we drove to Colonial Williamsburg and checked in at the Williamsburg Lodge.  I had never stayed there before, opting on previous trips to stay in the low-rent Hospitality House (they had rates of $84 the weekend we were in Williamsburg).  But we would have classy friends joining us so we had to pop for the $135/$159 Williamsburg Lodge (both hotels are within walking distance of the colonial area).

Room at the Williamsburg Lodge
We were able to park the car and walk all weekend.  The boy was still stuffed from lunch so he chose to take a nap while I walked to Aromas Coffee Shop on Prince George’s Street to meet an old professor from the College of William and Mary. 
On the way, I stopped along Duke of Gloucester Street (hereafter called DoG street) and bought the special passes for guests staying at one of the official hotels, $22 each for length of stay (in our case Friday – Sunday, so not a bad deal). 

Next was the most disappointing news of the trip – for the month that we happened to be there they had closed all of the taverns except one (Kings Arms Tavern where we tried to get into several times but finally got to eat lunch there on Sunday).   The highlight of our visit several years ago was Chownings Tavern. They had roving entertainment (magicians, musicians, etc) and colonial games to play.  We are a little competitive and there was a dice game we played until closing.

So we had to go with a disappointing back-up plan.  There are only three main college bars in town, Green Leafe, College and Paul’s.  My favorite is probably Paul's but he wanted to go to Green Leafe (which is fine).  They are all right next to each other so you can easily try them all and pick which one you prefer.  We shared a fried shrimp with French fries appetizer, which was just okay.  

We lucked out that college wasn’t in session so it was fairly calm for a Friday night.  They weren’t showing the basketball game he was interested in, so we went back to the bar at the Williamsburg Lodge to have a drink and then head to bed. 

Next up: Saturday where we do some of the colonial activities, his friends join us with their children,  and we eat at the Cheese Shop and Williamsburg Inn.

Click here to read day 2
Click here to read day 3

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