So, we headed up to the Fairfield Williamsburg at Kingsgate Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia this weekend. Just Emily and I, actually. The weather was pretty crappy on Friday, so we didn't leave here until around noon. No sense in getting there too early since checkin wasn't until 4 o'clock anyway. We drove up through Richmond and then down I-64 into Williamsburg. We checked in and then headed to our room, Building 13, #101A.
The Kingsgate Resort looks like your average neighborhood of townhomes, for the most part. The buildings are all 2 and 3 stories, and consist of 1-3 bedroom apartment style condos. We were actually in a 1 bedroom lockoff in a recently renovated building. Apparently, the Kingsgate Resort is being remodeled to Fairfield's "Gold Crown" standards. The room was very nice - for a lockoff. The kitchenette even had granite countertops! The resort itself had great amenities. Two large outdoor pools and a small indoor pool, plus a very nice hot tub outdoors. There was a BBQ style restaurant onsite, mini golf, a large gameroom and an activities center. Those things come in handy when you're staying more than 2 nights!
After we checked in, I gave my friend Steve a call. He lives with his wife in Norfolk, and drove up to join us for dinner. We went to Uno's Chicago Grille, which was maybe 1/4 from the resort. It was pretty good, I hate the BBQ shrimp.
Emily and I then headed to the pool for a while before retiring for the night. Saturday was going to be a big day!
Saturday morning, we headed out around 9am to go to Busch Gardens. We stopped at McDonald's on the way in for breakfast, and walked through the park gates right around 10am, the official opening of the park. We went on a few rides and Emily met another little girl named Taylor while waiting in line for one of the kiddie rides. Emily and Taylor became instant friends, and so Taylor's mother Beth and I decided to let the kids hang out together for a while (apparently, Beth's fiance and sister were off riding the Griffon). The kids went on a few more rides and then we all went on "The Big Bad Wolf", a full-blown hanging rollercoaster with a nice steep 100' drop. Rides only had to be 42' tall and both girls were well above it. Both girls cried at the end too, but Emily said it was fun - though she didn't want to go on it again. It was definately the biggest rollercoaster she'd ever been on, and the first one with a shoulder bar. Previously, she'd been on the rollercoasters at Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, but they're pretty tame and only use lap bars.
We parted ways with Taylor and her mother, and Emily and I headed back to the lockers to get her shorts on, drop off anything that we wanted to keep dry, and hit the water rides - Escape from Pompei and the Roman Rapids. Wow, did we get wet on the latter!
We had lunch and then went on some more rides, but by around 5pm, Emily was worn out and was ready to go back to the hotel, and since we couldn't go on the biggest rollercoasters, we'd pretty much done everything anyway, so we headed back to the resort for dinner and a dip in the pool.
Dinner at the onsite restaurant was less than stellar. They didn't have a kids menu at all, so I just ordered sides of baked beans and applesauce for Emily. There were onions in the beans, which she wasn't very happy about. I ordered a full rack of wet ribs with cole slaw and hush puppies. I had to chew the meat off the bones, some of the BBQ sauce was still cold (they'd clearly thrown the BBQ sauce on pre-cooked dry ribs)... the cole slaw wasn't very good, and the hush puppies were doughy. I ate the ribs, some slaw, and some of Emily's beans. But after we were done, I told the server (we actually sat at the bar) that I wasn't impressed, and the manager was standing next to her while I told her. He comped the meal and I left the server a suitable tip. It wasn't her fault the ribs sucked. The restaurant had apparently only been open a week and they still had some kinks to work out.
The next morning, I attended "the sales pitch." It wasn't required, but they bribed me with free breakfast and $70 cash. As a Discovery Club Owner, I didn't have to go through the full 3 hour presentation or whatever it is these days. I actually sat through a 10 minute presentation by a senior sales representative in a room full of "fixed week owners".. more of a Q&A session where Fairfield is trying to get them to convert to the points system, then I spent about a half hour with the sales rep, whom I actually liked very much. We didn't like the sales rep we spoke with back in January, so I'm happy to have found someone who can convert our Discovery package to full ownership when it expires in July. All told, I was in and out in about an hour, with a full stomach and $70 cash in hand. Can't complain about that.
Emily and I headed over to Water Country USA, and spent about 5 hours there. They have no height restrictions at all on their rides, though some of the slides required that children under a certain height wear a life jacket or ride with an adult. That's great, because some water parks simply don't let the younger kids go on the bigger slides. For example, at Wet-n-Wild Emerald Point in Greensboro, NC, many of the rides are restricted to 45" or even 48". Emily was scared of the bigger slides at first, but we worked up to them, going on some smaller slides first - and of course she was happy to ride on any slide where she could ride WITH me. We only went on two slides that she had to go on by herself - the Jet Scream, in which you ride in a single tube, and the Nitro Racer, where you ride laying stomach down on a mat. That one she didn't like. Too fast for her!
We headed back to the resort around 3:30 pm (my feet were killing me, walking around barefoot all day!), and Emily and I both took a nap. We didn't get check out until after 6pm (We didn't actually have to check out until Monday, but I had to work).
It was a great daddy-daughter weekend!