williamsburgVA day 7

historic powhatan plantation

This was our final day at Williamsburg, VA, for the whole entire time we stayed at the Historic Powhatan Plantation which was close to all attraction in Williamsburg. We were informed that this resort was bought by Diamond Resort International from Suntera. The units were being renovated and as well as updated up to the new owner’s standards. However, the unit the we stayed in was still the old one. I would love to come back soon and hope to stay in a newly renovated unit.

Before we bid farewell to this lovely place, we have to do the obligatory shots. If it were me, I would have came back to Jamestown rather than went to the outlet. However, majority rules. We spent most of our time in the outlet before driving back to New Jersey.

The drive back was so busy and it was packed. The navigator made us take detours to avoid traffic, however, it just made our drive much longer and we did not avoid traffic either. We used the Chesapeake Bay Brdge Tunnel in hope to take pictures, I did took a few shots and I was asked to take a shot of a couple by the pier using their point and shoot which I found difficult to get a decent shot. I took their picture using my Sony DSLR Alpha 850 and just told them that I will email the pictures to them, which I did yesterday.

Back home safely and back to the grind of things. Well a friend told me that the hardest part after the long weekend was the first five days.

williamsburg VA day 6

chandelier

As our vacation is nearing its end, we were taking it slow and just planned to visit Jamestown. Well, they said that this was were America was born. Last 5 years ago they celebrated the quadricentennial of Jamestown and I have heard that the queen of England was there for the celebration. I could not imagine how crowded the place was with tourist, locals and security.

After lunch, we drove to Jamestown and it was so hot and humid. It was also a lot different from the first time we visited the place back in 2005. The whole place was improved with a huge indoor gallery which by the way has a no photography allowed. You can take pictures but not inside the gallery. I think that if you go through all the videos and displays inside the gallery, it may take you most of the day and there’s still the outdoor settlement ground.

The last walking tour was 3PM and we decided to wait for, this proved to be a big mistake. Our tour started and we were just walking through the Powhatan village and we received a warning that there is a thunderstorm approaching the area. All of the tourists and the actors and actresses were let inside the gallery to wait out the storm. We waited and waited and even continued going through the gallery, but the storm was not letting up. By the way if you want to save money, buy combined tickets for the Jamestown and Yorktown.

After an hour or so, they decided to ask for refund and got half back. I run back to our car and drove back to pick them up. We went back home and they suggested to just watch a movie, Batman.

The picture above was taken in the lobby just outside the gallery. I guessed because of my boredom that I looked up and saw this chandelier. I positioned myself directly at the center of the chandelier and dialed my camera settings and took two shots with the same setting. I chose this one because it’s much sharper than the other. I only did a minor adjustment in Lightroom 4 and cropped it a bit.

 

williamsburgVA day 5

williamsburg winery

Five days into our vacation and they seemed to taking it slow. We, minus the kids and Tita Precy, went to wine tasting tour at Williamsburg Winery. You cannot beat the price of $10 per person that includes the tour and wine tasting (consisting of nine select wines) after the tour. We also got to keep the wine glass afterwards.

There was so many things into wine making and who would think that it’s so complex. Well so much for that and let me tell you about the wine tasting. We had a chance to sample 9 wines and I have to really spit out one. I don’t know what it was called but I just cannot handle the taste. I acted like I know how to taste wine by swirling it first then smelling and afterwards taking a sip then just coat your mouth. If I liked it, I will drink the remaining content in my glass. I will eat some cheese and crackers to cleanse my palate in preparation for the next wine.

I had a buzz after the wine tasting, this goes to show that I am not a drinker. But the ironic thing was I still bought two wines that I liked.

Afterwards, went back to pick up the kids and went to spend the rest of the day back at Busch Gardens. This time we did not stay until closing because we wanted to avoid the traffic.

wiliamsburg VA day 4

soldier firing a musket

This day was set aside to visit historic places in Williamsburg VA after enjoying the Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. Our first stop was Yorktown. We visited the indoor gallery and took pictures until I heard from other tourists that photography was not allowed. I thought they were just joking but I saw the sign at the entrance and in various places in the gallery that food, drink and photography are not allowed inside the gallery.

The outdoor gallery on the other hand was so different because it was a live gallery. They built replica structures that depicts the early 1600’s. Aside from the structures, they also have actors and actresses dressed up like they did back then. It felt like you’re walking back in the old Yorktown. They had a field demo on how they administer treatment to sick and wounded soldiers by showing the tools/instruments and medicine that they used. The also showed how to operate and fire canons and muskets.

We then drove to the Yorktown marina and strolled along the beach and took pictures.

We then drove to Williamsburg and used the historical parkway. It was scenic and I would love to go back there and just stop at every scenic spot just to take photos. We just walked around town taking pictures and did our own tour. I guess next time it will be best to join the tour to learn more about the town. What I did instead was just take souvenir pictures in low light and hand held. I used flash most of the time specially for people shots.

 

williamsburg VA day 3

 

water country usa

Going to Williamsburg VA will always not be complete for teenagers without going to the Water Country USA. On a hot day, who would not want to just soak in the water and enjoying the thrill of the rides while getting soaked.

The water park is the other half of Busch Gardens, so to speak, because it was cheaper to buy tickets for both. The $0.99 drink refill was good for both parks, just buy the large plastic container one time and get the refill.

As soon as we entered the park, we need to do the obligatory pose or should I say they need to do the obligatory pose while we take the pictures (Carl and I). After that we looked for a place to park our stuff, while the young adults with their auntie went and enjoyed all the rides.

I did not take much pictures using my trusted Sony DSLR Alpha 850, instead I parked my camera in a locker and used my water proof Kodak camera instead. Still I did not take much pictures but took a few videos while enjoying watching their rides and mine.

Towards the end of the day, while in the lazy river ride, I found out that my Kodak camera was opened. I do not know for how long has it been opened but I know that my camera was done for. Yes, I tried the rice in a zip lock bag but did not work. On the brighter side if there is such, I was able to retrieve the pictures and videos I took (however, I only selected a few worth posting, click the picture for the gallery).

 

williamsburg VA day 2

the griffon

This was day 2 on our Williamsburg VA vacation. My wife’s cousin and her family arrived last night to join us. The first thing in the agenda was to get our children to the theme park, kinda like to get this over with before we hit the historic spots.

This was our second time in Busch Gardens and I have to admit that I liked this better than the other theme parks I have been (Euro Disney, Tokyo Disney and Six Flags). I have to ask my wife and kids if they like this better than the theme parks in Orlando FL because I have not been there yet.

For those who has not visited Busch Gardens here is a short description: the park is divided into countries like Germany, Italy, Ireland and I think France; and in each country they have different attractions, rides, shows and food; the park caters to old and young as well as for none riders and extreme riders.

Since I no longer ride, I was just taking pictures of people riding this awesome roller coaster. I was very fortunate that I was able to take this picture with my children with their auntie and cousin. Since I don’t have any means to know when their turn was, I took lots of pictures and went through each one during the post process to check if I got them in the shot. I also decided to create this collage to show the perspective of this ride. Click on the link to see more day 2 pictures as well as day 1. Thanks for visiting.

williamsburgVA day 1

historic powhatan plantation

Vacation time! We drove from NJ yesterday to Williamsburg VA and it was a nightmare. It took us more than 6 hours to drive down to Historic Powhatan Plantation in Williamsburg, Virginia. Thanks to the traffic that lasted almost forever from the DC area up to Fredericksburg. Also, thanks to our TomTom GPS that gave us that route instead of just taking the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel.

We just grabbed a quick dinner at Hardee’s before heading to the plantation. When we got there we thought it was different from the one we stayed the last time we visited Williamsburg, but it was not. It was the same one except for a new owner (we found out the next day during the owners meeting).

The picture above was taken the next day when I decided to take a stroll while they were still sleeping. When I got back they were still in bed sleeping.

This marked the first day of our vacation.

sinjin’s graduation and denisha’s 16th

sinjin and denisha

Last month, we celebrated my daughter’s 16th birthday as well as my son’s high school graduation. We decided to just have a combined celebration to save on expenses as well as they both have overlapping friends. My wife chose the newly opened Tepanyaki Grill in Blackwood, NJ. We were told that the food was good as well as the price. Can’t beat that. We just need to supply the cakes and equipment to show the slide for my son. I did not create a slide for my daughter because she suggested to do it on her 18th instead.