As a single mom, I cherish the time I spend with my child… just us two.
It’s not often that I’m able to disconnect from all the distractions, the stressors of the day, or the busyness that is my life, and simply relax…take a deep breath, laugh, and enjoy the moment.
I desperately needed to disconnect from it all…so I booked a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia.
This would be the first Mommy & Me trip for Lil Ms. Sunshine (my 5 yo daughter) & I.
Why Williamsburg, Virginia?
In case you don’t know, Busch Gardens is a theme park with amazing rides, animal encounters, and kid friendly attractions. Water Country USA is a family friendly water park less than 10 minutes away from Busch Gardens. Both are parks in the Sea World Parks and Entertainment company and I got a great deal on passes to both parks.
SeaworldParks.com offers a preschool pass to children between the ages of 3 and 5, which grants them unlimited visits for the season to both Busch Gardens and Water Country USA for FREE.
Which means I only had to pay for my unlimited access pass for the season. Woohoo!!
I decided to make a weekend of it and rented a hotel for our weekend stay. I wanted to disconnect from the busyness of “real life” and fully immerse myself in the experience that is Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. LOL
I also wanted to limit my time driving between Busch Gardens, the hotel, and Water Country USA so I chose a hotel that was less than 5 miles from Busch Gardens.
I knew we would be spending a lot of our time in the water at Water Country USA or getting wet on the water rides at Busch Gardens, so I packed several bathing suits and water shoes. We also needed my favorite pair of shades and sunscreen, because we would be in direct sunlight, while in the water at the water park or walking around at the theme park.
I had no intention of spending a lot of money eating out so I packed a cooler with one large bottle of juice for Sunshine, bottled waters, and Pepsis for me. I also threw in some strawberries and grapes (they make for a great snack when frozen) and a bottle of mayonnaise to go with the cold cuts and bread I picked up from the grocery store! Turkey sandwiches all the way!! In a separate bag, I packed snacks for the car ride and the hotel stay.
I had to psyche myself up for the 3-hour drive from NC to VA…remember I hate driving!!
I literally would not survive the drive if I Sunshine asked me, “Mommy, are we there yet?” So, she had to be fully occupied for the entire drive. She had her Kid Kindle and headphones, which were a godsend. We downloaded a few movies from Netflix. She several books, a sketchpad, and colored pencils to draw. A sticker book to do activities and her blanket and her cuddle buddies, in case she got sleepy. All she needed was her travel table and she was set!
We got on the road and within 4 hours we were in Williamsburg, VA. I did say it was 3 hours from North Carolina to Williamsburg, right? We picked up the extra hour because of the perpetual construction along I95. UGH!!
But not one…”Mommy are we there yet!” Sunshine was fully entertained.
We arrived at the hotel and while checking in we learned of the FREE shuttle bus that transports visits to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.
Can I tell you how happy I was; that meant that I did not have to pay for parking passes at either park for the two days we’d be there. Woohoo!! SCORE!!
We got to our room, unpacked a few things, and headed for the shuttle bus; which was waiting for us in the hotel parking lot!
I let Sunshine decide which park we’d visit first and she chose Busch Gardens.
Busch Gardens is a huge amusing park spanning over 300 acres. It is beautifully designed and decorated, each section representing a different European country. Thankfully the steam train transports visitors to numerous stops throughout the park and the Aeronaut Skyride which was our first ride, transports visitors to different ends of the park.
The Aeronaut Skyride was pretty cool because we got an aerial view of the entire park. We then jumped on the Flying Machine, Teacups, Merry-Go-Round, Battering Ram, Roman Rapids, Escape from Pompei and the wildlife conservatory.
Sunshine was such a trooper. You could almost see the fear in her face when she was on the Battering Ram but there was also excitement just beneath the surface.
She was loving it after the second time! And of course, to memorialize the day we took quite a few selfies. A Bluetooth enabled selfie stick is must have when you want to get the best shot of you and your sunshine.
I was also thankful to have my cross-body bag to carry our park passes, money, and the selfie stick.
We left the park just before closing.
We rode the shuttle back to the hotel and had sandwiches from the cooler, for dinner!
Water Country USA:
The next day we woke up around 10 am. We dressed in our bathing suits and headed out to Water Country USA.
The park was very crowded…it was a hot Saturday in July, so I should’ve expected the crowds.
Many of the ladies walked around in just their bathing suits and no coverup. I’m not that brave, so I was thankful to have my coverup.
Sunshine’s water shoes were a life saver; walking on the concrete at Water Country USA in the 98º heat was a scorcher. Sunshine learned her lesson after I told her to put on those shoes and she thought she knew better! LOL.
Water Country, USA had plenty of rides Sunshine and I could go on. There are also at least 3 pools with play structures for kids of various ages. So, we camped out at one of the pools. I reclined in a lounge chair while Sunshine made new friends.
We grabbed some lunch at one of the restaurants, rested near the pool for a bit, rode a few more water slides and decided to head back to the hotel.
Back to Busch Gardens:
I knew Sunshine wanted one more go-round at Busch Gardens, so we hopped on the shuttle bus back to the hotel to change. Thankfully, our hotel was the first and last stop on the route so we had a few minutes to hustle out of those wet clothes and jump right back on the shuttle bus to Busch Gardens.
We took our time to visit all the places and rides we didn’t see on Friday. We spent a great deal of time in Sesame Street Forest of Fun, where Sunshine found her very favorite ride of all time, Grover’s Alpine Express. It is a rollercoaster that she rode at least 5 times. Once she was the only passenger!
We stayed until closing and dragged our tails to the bus stop.
We were exhausted but we had so much fun!!
I wasn’t thinking about work deadlines, life issues, or anything else besides having fun with my baby girl!!
We truly had a blast!! Sunshine thanked me the entire weekend! She was so excited and so grateful, it was amazing.
We are planning to do it again before schools’ back in session.
Besides preparation and intentionally going with the flow of the day, the 10 Must Haves for An Epic Mommy & Me Adventure are:
- water shoes
- kid Kindle
- travel table
- crossbody bag
I’d love to hear about one of your Mommy & Me (or family) trips! What tips do you have to make it an epic adventure?