October 05, 2006

Day 3: Busch Gardens

We slept in, well, not really. Got up and took our showers and just took our time getting ready. We headed down to breakfast, and I mean down the hall, because we were on the first floor, just all the way down at the end of the looooooong hallway. True to his word, our friendly server was back, and the buffet was set up. Since he knew why we had free breakfast the day before, he asked if we had another one, since the pool still wasn't fixed. We hadn't made a big deal about it with the front desk, but he hooked us up with a discount, not to mention didn't charge for half the stuff, anyway.

After stuffing ourselves with eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, ummm, biscuits and orange juice, off we went. Busch Gardens didn't open until ten, so we had time, and I wanted to stop at this little trading post for some shopping. We discovered how unbelievable easy it is to get around Williamsburg, once you figure out the right roads. Maybe we were just lucky to be staying right downtown, but we loved how easy it was.

We looked around the trading post, saw some great stuff, and W really wanted to get this leather vest, but knew it was a bit too expensive. I told him we'd see what was left after the day, we'd have time in the morning to shop again before leaving. On our way out, I asked if they had or knew where we could get discount admission to BG, and they told us right down the street they had some. Wasn't much, but it saved us like five bucks. I realize now I should have looked harder online for discount tix and ordered them ahead of time, but whatever. Tickets in hand we set off for the park, which was only like five minutes away.

This place is huge, for those who've never been. We weren't expecting them to be very busy, but got there right around opening time. I had pre-ordered the parking ticket, because that saved us two more bucks! Again, in retrospect, we could have taken a cab or the bus, tho the cab may have been more than parking, the bus would have been a bit cheaper, but not much.

We got parked, and loaded up, again I was carrying a huge backpack full of drinks, water for me, soda for W and snacks, along with my little backpack with my inhaler, wallet, camera stuffed in the top. We started seeing signs about no drinks allowed inside, and started freaking out. We had already ridden the tram up to the gate, and I was gonna be pissed if I couldn't take my stuff in, drinks were outrageously expensive. Anyway, since we had our tickets, we didn't have to wait in THAT line, and on up we went. Sure enough, they were searching bags, but the way I had mine set up, the drinks were on the bottom of the big bag, and when you open it, you saw my bag and the camera, etc., and the guard didn't dig much and in we went. I was so relieved. I figure we saved easily 25 bucks by not buying drinks.

I don't wanna bore you all *hahahah like this is all that interesting* with details of each ride/area in the park. But let's just say we walked the entire park once by about 2 pm. During that time, I rode each big roller coaster, and three 3D/4D rides. W did the one thing at the beginning, a sit down, in a theatre 4D thing with me which was very cool. Pirates themed, totally geared for the kids. The only other thing he rode was a 4D adventure ride that after I rode it, realized it was okay for him to go along. It was a haunted castle type thing, and it didn't have bumps or jerks or anything like that. I rode that one three times, actually. Rode one of the coasters three times, the others, except for one, twice and that last one only once.

Halfway through the park was Jack Hanna's Animal Odyssey, or whatever they call it. First enclosure we saw was BALD EAGLES!!! There were about six of them in this large area, open at the top, because they were all injured birds that they had rehabbed, but could not fly. We got a bunch of pictures and just stared at them for a while. *for any who aren't aware, hubby and I are BIG 'nature' freaks, and among our favorites are bald eagles and wolves.* Speaking of wolves, they were the next exhibit. Two gray wolves, who were curiously quite white, but I know that's normal. They were loping around and looking at us, and we got some more great shots, I hope at least. They had shows scheduled, but we missed them all, dammit. THEN!! As we were walking up some more, lo and behold, there's a park chick holding a fricking eagle, and you could walk right up and check him out and have your picture taken with it. (Of course, I asked if I could pet it, and knew I couldn't but really wanted to!!) When I turned around to face W she leaned in and was holding the bird like RIGHT AT MY SHOULDER. It was so awesome. I cannot WAIT to get those pics. When I took W's the bird shifted his head and looked like he was looking right into W's ear. Hee hee. There was also an aviary, which I couldn't go in at that time, because they were on break. When we came back later, the bitch wouldn't let me in, because they had JUST closed. I was not happy about that, at all. There was other pet shows, but we didn't see them, we were too busy doing the other stuff. This area was the other main reason we picked Busch Gardens because we knew W couldn't ride much, but that he'd enjoy the animals. We intended on doing the shows, too, but it didn't work out.

Once we completed the full park we stopped to eat, at the smokehouse. Spent a bit too much on food, but we were really hungry and it was really good stuff, not complete junk. Then it was just about time for the Halloween stuff to start.

It had cooled down a bit by then, and we were concerned, because yeah, we left the coats in the car again. We found a store in the France area that had long sleeve shirts on sale, 50% off!! We each got one, for the price of one! How awesome!

Ok, Halloween stuff: They had four haunted maze things, most of them pretty lame, tho. The train ride was all decorated for the haunting, but also turned out to be quite lame. I did some of the repeat rides at this time, as we were going through the park again to do the haunted stuff. We got ice cream at some point, too, in a waffle cone, dipped in chocolate with rainbow sprinkles!!!! Very very yummy.

The whole place got a bit busier after five, most likely with kids out of school, and people coming in for the Halloween stuff. We wanted to do the one haunted trail again, because it was the only one outside, and it wasn't quite dark when we did it the first time, so it wasn't too scary. It had the most potential to be worth it, but the train ride took a while, and by the time we finished it, and walked ALL THE WAY back to the entrance where that trail was, it was too late. By that point we were both really tired, quite sore and ready for bed. We had to ride the tram back to the parking lot, find the car and get back to the hotel. We took long showers again, and completely crashed out for the nite.

Okay, hopefully tomorrow I can finish up the vacation saga. Hope my few readers are enjoying.

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