We got into Williamsburg a little earlier than expected and decided to go straight to Colonial Williamsburg and check it out, so we would know where to go the next day. There were clear signs from the highway to the Visitors Center and we had the address programmed into Waze as a backup. I typically use Google Maps but we are trying out Waze on this trip. Like Maps and Garmin, none of the travel apps are perfect and Waze has some interesting features and some not-so-interesting quirks. The most annoying of which is repeatedly telling you that you will be turning in 1000 feet, 950 feet, etc. until the last 100 feet when it seems that it forgot to mention that you just passed your turn. I will say that trait, along with confusing a goat path with a highway did not endear itself to Miss Mercy (more on that later).
The Colonial Williamsburg parking lot is easy to get around in and parking was free, perhaps because arrived after 3 pm. Once inside we talked to the lady and gentlemen at the information booth. The first thing the lady attendant said to the Mad Farmer was “How can we not help you”? The Farmer, smart-ass that he can be replied “Don’t want to ruin your record, so we’ll be leaving” and turned around and headed back to the front door. Info Lady started laughing herself silly, Info Dude actually laughed out loud and then the Duo from Kansas was able to ask the questions they came to ask. We were informed that if we purchased tickets after 3 pm that they would be good for either the following day (if a single day pass) or good for that evening and the next three days (if purchasing a multi-day pass). Sounded good to us so we purchased our multi-day pass, looked around the visitors center for a bit and then went to find lodging.
Coming into the park (is it a park? it’s at least a historical site) we had seen signs for “Anvil Camping”. Because Miss Mercy and the Farmer love to camp, and because we haven’t been camping in a while, our gear was in the back of the Truckster. Our thought being if we ran into camping space near something we wanted to see we would save a few bucks and enjoy nature at the same time. A camp ground right near Historical Williamsburg sounded like a match made in heaven so we went to check it out. I admit to wondering what our faithful readers consider to be “camping”? We would love to actually hear from you about this, so please feel free to let us know what you consider “camping” in the comments.
The Mad Farmer thinks of camping as being somewhere secluded, or at least semi-secluded, under some trees, quiet, and, in a perfect scenario, with a brook nearby. A privy or National Forest Service bathroom of some kind is a plus when Miss Mercy or other females are around and the Mad Farmer won’t turn a toilet down out of spite. So, thinking idealistic thoughts, we went to view the Anvil Campgrounds. First, the sign was a bit misleading. The campground is actually several miles away from the historic site. Second, when we turned into the place it looked like an RV park. I don’t mean a wide, sprawling place with plenty of space like some KOA camping parks, I mean it looked like a gravel parking lot for RV’s with about nine trees scattered about, and not a really big parking lot either. You could fit the entire park into the West lot of Sam’s Club back in Kansas. Because we were trying to be adventuresome the Mad Farmer went in and asked about “tent camping”. He was told “of course, we have five sites!” After confirming that some of the sites were actually available I took the brochure and rate sheet I was handed and went out to the vehicle to inform Miss Mercy of our fantastic luck.
According to the rate sheet, in season camping (which starts in April) would cost us $39.95 per night for a camp site. We slowly followed the map (and a happy, but elderly couple, out for an evening stroll with their walkers – there but for the Grace….) and found the five camping slots. The camp sites were approximately ten feet wide and about fifteen-twenty feet deep. Roughly twice the size of a standard parking spot. They were all at one end of the park, sandwiched in between RV slots on both sides with clearances of about two feet. Flashbacks to Christmas Vacation immediately came to mind – you know the scene, where Eddie is emptying the RV septic system into the storm drain and waves? Yeah, you know it. It may have been a fine campground, the fellow campers may have all been upstanding and virtuous citizens (contrary to first impressions) but the concern must have shown on the Farmers face because Miss Mercy suggested we go get gas and take a moment to consider our options.
Miss Mercy and the Farmer gassed up the vehicle then moved off to a shady spot in the parking lot to discuss options. It was decided that for the price, the distance away from the historical site, the number of highways to cross and the overall thought that “camping” in that place was not really camping to us we decided to acquire lodgings at the local La Quinta. We called La Quinta. They had open rooms at a very reasonable rate. We got the address, prepared to go find the place and Miss Mercy tapped the Mad Farmer and bade him to look over his shoulder. The hotel was directly behind the gas station, less than 150 feet from us. Literally the fastest I have ever arrived at a location after making a reservation.
Once in the air conditioning, having a well deserved adult beverage we had a peaceful night and prepared for our visit to Colonial Williamsburg the next day.
Next UP: Colonial Williamsburg Day 2