I started my day by deciding against a 12 mile tunnel under water with "islands" to cross the bay. Instead I decided on a route further inland with a much shorter trip under the water and a lot of historical sites.
First stop was the Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe. The security check was over the top-requiring me to present not only my identification card (driver's license) but also my vehicle registration. I received my day pass and was on my way. The museum was very elaborate and contained several staged areas to help the visitor understand what really happened at this location.
Ever feel like you are invisible at a visitor center? Even when you are the only one there? There were two employees at the Hampton, VA visitor center. One was not interacting with anyone (appeared to possibly be a volunteer for the museum portion of the site). The other was definitely a paid employee, as she was dealing with a payroll problem on the phone when I walked up to her desk and patiently waited for her to finish her conversation-which took much longer than I thought it should have(especially with someone waiting). She never looked up to acknowledge me even after hanging up the phone. I finally gave up waiting to be noticed and asked her a question. It was apparent that she really did not want to help me today. This was the very first time on this trip that I actually planned on stopping at a visitor center for assistance with my travel plans and this is how I am treated? Amazing! I guess it is a good thing that I can figure things out on my own. "Information Specialist" is what they call these people at this location. Hmmm...
The Hampton Air Power Museum was a bunch of old planes and a few rockets/missiles. Ho Hum, unless you are an aviation nut. If so, by all means take a gander at these beauties.
Next I enjoyed a wonderful tasting with Andy at the St George Brewery. Great guy with tons of knowledge and excellent brews. He made me a believer in IPA. I had always thought it was too hoppy for me. He taught me that there are two styles American and English- the English style is not as hoppy and has richer flavor. Having tasted their English Style IPA-I am a believer. YUMMY! Their Porter was beautiful. I ended up purchasing a six pack for $8 and worth every single penny! They have great beer and offer fantastic information. A must do, if you even remotely enjoy a good brew!
The little road I took leaving the brewery and heading for Sandy Bottom Park runs right along (not more than 4 feet from the edge at some points) of the river. It is absolutely beautiful! Sandy Bottom was a nice restoration of a dump/borrow pit to a place someone would definitely enjoy visiting today.
They have a nice nature center with wonderful, knowledgeable personnel. The ranger there told me that I must go to the beach and town center at Yorktown and he was completely right! What a beautiful little place. The water is deep and still; the beach is clean. It is not crowded and there are places near by to grab a bite to eat. Very nice area.
I visited the Yorktown NPS site. I enjoyed the video and the exhibits (particularly the life sized boat to walk through), but was growing quite weary, so I did not get a chance to tour the remainder of the park.
The NPS Colonial Parkway is absolutely beautiful!It runs along the James River without interuption from Yorktown to Williamsburg to Jamestown-you cannot even tell where you are without the signage. You would have no idea that you had just passed an interstate highway, if you didn't know it was there! Even when there are a lot of cars present, it seems serene and peaceful. I was thinking more byways should be like this!
I checked into the Super 8 in Williamsburg, VA. The room was huge and reasonably clean, but the hallways have a moldy stench accompanied by a huge amount of humidity. They were always hot, even late at night and first thing in the morning. Grow mold, grow!
While it looks like they are trying to keep the place going. it appears to be coming apart at the seams. The ice machine intermittently spits out ice without any provocation, the a/c unit in my room had to be plugged in and unplugged to turn it on and off, the remote for the TV only worked after the second trip to the office. The manager gave me hers and it did work. I went down for breakfast this morning and could not be interested in anything they had. Good thing, because the signage requests that you not take anything out of the breakfast room, although the rooms have both microwaves and refrigerators (so it has nothing to do with eating in your room). Even with all the challenges, I would stay here again based on the true hospitality of the staff and the significantly lower price of the rooms.
Happy Birthday to my Daddy! But I had better wait until the sun at least rises on the west coast.
ROUTE: I 64 North> US 17 North> Colonial Parkway South> US 60 North
Lodging: Super 8 Williamsburg, VA 1233 Richmond Road 1-800-344-0046
St George Brewery (yes, I drank my lunch)
No 1 Top China Buffet 1203 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg (right next to the Super 8) (757) 221-0069
$$$: $23 Meals $24 Fuel $5 Souvenir $37 Motel = $89