June 27, 2013

Yet at the end there's always laughs and giggles...

Before we delve into yet MORE history at Yorktown and Williamsburg, how about dipping back a little further in time and visiting ye Olde Europe via Busch Gardens?  We love history, but hey, we like to cut loose once in a while too!  Our family discovered this 400 acre theme park close to twenty years ago when we were vacationing in Washington, D.C.  After visiting friends in Richmond we decided to spend a couple of days in Williamsburg.  I was picturing Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown and the archeological digs at Jamestown, but turning around in the van to look at my children and seeing how wiped out they were from days browsing through the Smithsonians in D.C. I quickly realized we needed a break from history and museums.
Not my family, but you get the idea....
Browsing through some promotional literature I saw an advertisement for Busch Gardens--it sounded like fun and we thought the kids would enjoy it.  Well, did they ever!  The "theme" was Olde Europe and we all had a blast traveling back in time through medieval England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France and Italy.

The charm of the park is that not only are the lots of rides, the shows are spectacular so those who aren't keen on rides (like yours truly) can also enjoy the day.  We've been back several times since then with our youth symphony trips, but this was the first time Phil and I had gone to the park alone.  The "up" side to that?  Only two admission tickets and two lunches to buy!  Plus no squabbling over which show to see next.  We wanted to see all the shows, and worked the rides around the show schedule.  Ah yes, the rides.  The "down" side to it just being the two of us?  No kids to send on a ride with my husband while I waited on a bench.  It was time to "cowboy up" (my husband loves this phrase!) and agree to some of the rides, in spite of my huge fear of rollercoasters.

So what did I brave up and ride with my husband?  An volcanic adventure in Italy....

A journey through the ancient ruins of Pompeii turns out to be more adventure than visitors had bargained for.
Even the mighty Roman Empire had been no match for Mt. Vesuvius, which draped Pompeii with a blanket of lava and ash, erasing it from the map for nearly 1,700 years. But don't worry, this angry volcano has long been at rest.
Or has it?

My husband got pretty damp.  I got soaked.  Wring your bra out soaked, if you know what I mean!
Followed by an ancient cursed castle in Germany:
Deep in the snow covered hills of Bavaria stands a foreboding castle frozen under the spell of a centuries-old curse. The castle has been uninhabited for decades.
By the living, that is.
Literally frozen in time, these ancient castle walls ache to reveal the secrets they have held. To whisper a warning. To tell you, urge you, beg you to leave. Except it's too late.

Rollercoaster in the dark, with 3-D glasses and holographic ghosts.  Need I say more??
and the hair-raising, death-defying Loch Ness Monster in Scotland!
Beneath the thick mist of an old Scottish Loch, an ancient sea creature swam undisturbed for generations. More than 30 years ago, this creature was awakened -- right here at Busch Gardens®. Now a classic, it's easy to see why Loch Ness Monster® is still one of the most popular rides in our park's history. This interlocking, double-looping coaster stretches a monstrous 13 stories tall before racing those who challenge it down a 114-foot drop, with speeds as fast as 60 miles per hour.
Don't you think I get EXTRA CREDIT for braving this monster??!
We then strolled over to New France (Canada) for a cooling trip down Le Scoot, a log flume that is definitely a more tame adventure!

We dined at the FestHaus, enjoying Bavarian sausages and red cabbage, while watching our first show, Entwined.
Busch Gardens’ Das Festhaus® transforms into a forest wonderland where fairy tales come to life and weave a story told once upon a time.
It was then a short stroll back to Italy, for an amazing musical performance at the Il Teatro di San Marco

I've mentioned my love of Celtic dancing before, so I'm sure you can imagine how much we loved this wonderful performance of Celtic Fyre!
Let your heart dance right along as fabulous music and the pure energy of Irish dance explode onstage in one of our most popular shows ever. Enjoy the Celtic tradition of storytelling as you connect with the heart and soul of the Irish people through the universal language of dance.
What a perfect end to a lovely sunny day spent with my husband....

Well, almost the end.  A trip to a theme park should also include a funnel cake, right?!
My reward for all those terrifying rides!
So tomorrow we'll visit Yorktown, but for today let's remember that it is important to let your hair down and play a little, no matter what our age.  It's never too late for fun...and funnel cake!

Here's a poem by Kelsie Smith that sums up the experience nicely:
Life Is Like a Roller Coaster! ! !
Life is like a roller coaster,
Big turns,
Wild loops,
Never know what's coming next,
Thrusting you forward and then slowing you down.

Life is like a roller coaster,
Never ending,
Rollimg you slowly up a hill and then shooting you down as fast as it can,
The scary thrill is the sense of illusion.

Life is like a roller coaster,
Scary pictures,
Thrilling Screams,
Vibrant colors.

Life is like a roller coaster,
The nauseous feeling in your stomach,
The racing of your heart.

But yet at the end there always laughs and giggles,
Life is like a roller coaster

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