Thursday, November 13, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The path from royal subjects to citizens of a self-governing
nation is a difficult and precarious journey, as Revolutionary City® so effectively dramatizes.
Modern audiences are enthralled by daily performances and provoked to explore their own roles
as 21st-century citizens. The issues surrounding the American Revolution present timeless
parallels for today’s citizen: royal subjects voice outrage as the government takes away their
rights. Families are torn apart by war. Businesses are accused of wartime profiteering. Enemy
combatants—imprisoned for years without formal charges—are suspected of war crimes. These
challenges and more are explored during the highly successful and compelling interactive
dramatic presentation, Revolutionary City in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area.

Begun in 2006, Revolutionary City has been enthusiastically received by Colonial
Williamsburg guests. “This was the best history lesson I’ve ever had—I was part of it, I was a
first-hand witness,” said a summer guest. “It made history so real and enabled you to see
similarities to issues that exist today,” said another. “I felt I was ‘eyewitness’ to our nation’s
history and I understood the impact on ordinary and not-so-ordinary citizens.”
As a two-day event, Revolutionary City connects guests to the emotional and
philosophical climates of the period by presenting the stories of Williamsburg residents from
1774 to 1781 in two alternating two-hour outdoor dramas that take place in their original
“The Collapse of Royal Government: 1774–1776” chronicles developments from May
- 2 -1774 to May 1776 as Great Britain’s King George III and Parliament attempt to tighten control of their unruly colonies in North America but only succeed in offending them further and driving the colonies to rebellion. The Collapse of Royal Government is presented from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

“Citizens At War: 1776–1781” details the trials, tribulations and sacrifices that citizens
endured during the American Revolution from July 1776 to October 1781 as they transformed
their society from one of royal subjects to citizens of an independent Virginia. Citizens At War is
presented from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

In 2008, the Revolutionary City experience is even more entwined with other Historic
Area programming. Revolutionary Stories provides context to scenes in Revolutionary City and
encourages guests to explore other sites in the Historic Area—the Governor’s Palace, the George
Wythe House and the Peyton Randolph House, for example—to expand and enrich their
experience and understanding of Williamsburg’s role as Virginia’s capital city in tumultuous
“Many of the challenges we face today are paralleled in the lives of colonial
Americans—families were torn by war, parents and children argued about what’s right and
wrong and political debates were a daily occurrence,” said Rex Ellis, Colonial Williamsburg’s
vice president of the Historic Area. “By presenting our ancestors’ personal struggles for freedom,
we hope guests will reflect on the liberties we’ve been granted and develop newfound respect for
the benefits of citizenship as well as the responsibility to actively participate in the democratic
Guests are encouraged to follow the lives of the famous and not-so-famous, including the
frustrations of Barbry Hoy as she tries to learn the fate of her husband, Alexander, captured by
the British at Charleston, or Eve, a slave of the Randolphs, or Baptist preacher Gowan Pamphlet
who finds hope for freedom in biblical passages for himself and his fellow enslaved Africans.
“Revolutionary City: Nation Builders,” is presented on Mondays. The weekly program
will explore the lives and individual residents of Williamsburg and their contributions to the
18th-century foundations of the nation.

All Revolutionary City programs activities take place in Colonial Williamsburg’s
Historic Area, where the adventure continues as guests explore the restored and reconstructed
18th-century gardens, trade shops, homes, and public buildings. Admission to Revolutionary
City programs is included with the Colonial Williamsburg general admission ticket.

Williamsburg VA Golf Reviews


“A great golf course is a superb blend of shot values, an artistic flow of lines and a blending
of masses to satisfy all golfers. The Golden Horseshoe is more–a natural arboretum upon which a great golf course has been built. The overall result is perfection.”
Robert Trent Jones Sr.

“This is a wonderful golf fine a Trent Jones course as I’ve ever seen. Trent has
done a beautiful job here, that is, he has made great strategic use of the terrain. There is plenty of trouble and it’s not a course you can get careless with.”
Jack Nicklaus

Upon completion of his record-setting round of 67
“The perfection of the Williamsburg Inn, a noble edifice of white-washed brick
modeled after the region's 19th-century spa resorts, is no accident. Beyond the Inn's
flagstone patio and well-kept greenswards lies the Golden Horseshoe's Gold Course, a
Robert Trent Jones layout debuted in 1963 and reopened in 1998 after a $4.5 million
makeover by his son, Rees. The layout's quartet of watery par threes is especially memorable.
The Golden Horseshoe's second venue, the Green Course, is a Rees Jones design carved
from a virgin parcel of towering beech, oak, and pine trees, with water in play at six holes.
Site of the 1998 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, the Green, larger in scale than the Gold, fits
its setting hand-in-glove.”
Brian McCallen
GOLF Magazine

“God has heaven and Virginia has the Golden Horseshoe. God wants to renegotiate. If
there is a stronger set of par-threes than those on the Gold Course, it’s not on this planet.
Jim Pettit
Fayetteville Observer-Times

“The most memorable element of the Gold Course is a true island hole, one of the first
anywhere, with a fully bunkered green playing to 169 yards from the championship tee. The view of
the green from the elevated tee is stunning, but then you have to play the shot.”
Fred Behringer
Philadelphia Golfer

“It’s very pleasing to the eye, very pretty and very playable. The par-3s are on a par
with any I’ve seen.”
Justin Leonard

“When course architect Robert Trent Jones died, he left behind a legacy of more than 350
courses in 45 states and 35 countries. We present our favorite, six must-play masterpieces:
Ballybunion (Cashen Course) County Kerry, Ireland; Club de Golf Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain; The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Golden Horseshoe Golf Club (Gold Course), Williamsburg, Va.; Mauna Kea Beach Golf Club, Kamuela, Hawaii; Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Pebble Beach, Calif.”

The Editors
Golf Digest

“Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia has a virtually unparalleled golf and tourist destination–one
that compares favorably with the elite of American golf…”
Jeffrey A. Rendall

Referring to the toughest hole on the Gold Course: “For good players, the par-four 18th, which
swings left off the tee and then proceeds downhill to a well-bunkered green perched above a pond, can be ruinous. Duffers struggle at the par-five 15th, which measures 600 yards from the white tees.
…Rare in this day and age, both courses at the 'Shoe are devoid of housing. Occasionally, however, players may hear the sound of musket volleys or a fife-and-drum corps, or even a latter-day Patrick Henry bellowing his defiance of King George III as the fevered events leading up to the American Revolution unfold daily in the streets of a town in the throes of democracy. Not to worry: The outcome is assured.”
Brian McCallen
Golf Magazine

“Built on the site of a former plantation, the Gold seems to barely interrupt the rolling
terrain from which it is carved, offering stunning panoramas from almost every tee.”
Charles Siebert
T&L Golf

“The Gold Course at Golden Horseshoe is a marvelous venue, complete with all the
necessities of a top-100 layout.”
Phil Sokol

Colonial Williamsburg VA Golf History Timeline

Virginia death inventories from Northampton and Norfolk counties list “goff
clubs, golfe sticks, balls” as items included in estates. Quantities in one Norfolk
County inventory are large enough to suggest the deceased was a golf equipment
retailer. In addition, it is likely that Scottish and Irish immigrants to the colonies
brought their favorite recreation to the New World.

1774 –1776
The last British colonial governor, John Murray, the Earl of Dunmore, was a Scot.
Informal records indicate he played or practiced golf on the grounds of the
Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg.

The management of the Williamsburg Inn begins consideration of the addition of
a golf course adjacent to the hotel, opened in 1937. Plans are shelved in 1941
when the United States enters World War II.

Design and construction begins on a nine-hole course at the Williamsburg Inn.
Fred Findlay, a greenskeeper at the Country Club of Virginia’s James River
Course, is the designer who lays out the course.

June 15, 1947
The nine-hole golf course opens to play for guests of the Williamsburg Inn. The
first tee is located approximately 15 yards from the present first tee of the Golden
Horseshoe Gold Course.

September 11, 1963
The Golden Horseshoe golf course, an 18-hole championship layout designed by
Robert Trent Jones Sr., opens to the public. Jones refers to the Golden Horseshoe
course as “my finest design.” After completing the Golden Horseshoe course, Jones
reconfigures the original nine-hole course, incorporating many of the existing tees
and greens, as an executive-length course named the Spotswood Course.

October 31, 1964
The Spotswood Course opens to the public.

September 19, 1967
Touring golf professionals Jack Nicklaus and Mason Rudolph play an exhibition
match against U.S. Amateur champion Marvin “Vinny” Giles and Sam Wallace Sr.,
the 1967 Virginia State Amateur champion. Nicklaus shot 67, a course record that
stands today. Nicklaus birdied three of the last four holes to beat Giles by one
stroke. Giles’ 68 that day remained the amateur course record until October 2006,
when Brigham Young University student Daniel Summerhays shot a 60 from the
back tees on a par-70 layout for the Golfweek/PING Preview tournament.

August 1989
Construction begins on a second 18-hole championship course. Rees Jones,
second son of Robert Trent Jones Sr., is the course architect.

October 24, 1991
Grand opening at the Golden Horseshoe Green Course.

May 19, 1997
The Golden Horseshoe Gold Course closes for renovation and restoration.

October 4, 1997
Restoration and renovation work on Gold Course complete.

July 1, 1998
Grand re-opening of the Golden Horseshoe Gold Course.

September 14-20, 1998
USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship is played on the Golden
Horseshoe Green Course.

September 7-9, 1999
The Golden Horseshoe Golf Courses are the sites for the USGA State Team
Championships, featuring amateur teams from the 50 states and Puerto Rico.
The men’s teams play the Gold Course and the women’s teams compete on
the Green Course.

Summer 2002 – 2005
U.S. Kids Golf World Championship played on the Gold, Green and Spotswood

September 12, 2003
Gold Course tees off 40th Anniversary Celebration.

June 22-27, 2004

U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship played on the Green Course.

May 30 – June 2, 2007
NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship played on the Gold Course.

The Legend of The Golden Horsehoe Williamsburg VA

Daring adventures are a staple of Virginia history, but few are as significant as the 1716
expedition to explore the Virginia colony.
Determined to encourage westward settlement and secure the natives’ trade against the
French, Colonial Governor Alexander Spotswood organized a party of 63 men to explore the far
western reaches of the colony. Spotswood, who lived in the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg, was
the first colonial governor to appreciate the economic value of the western frontier and was intrigued
by the words of Francis Makemie, written 10 years earlier in “A Plain and Friendly Perswasive:”

“The best, richest, and most healthy part of your Country is yet to be inhabited, above the Falls of
every River, to the Mountains, where are sundry Advantages not yet generally known.”
The journal of John Fontaine, a participant in the 1716 expedition, offers a detailed first-hand
account of the expedition, noting an abundance of wildlife: “We see several bears and deer, and killed some wild turkies.” Fontaine’s best-known journal passage describes the explorers’ celebration upon their arrival at the crest of the Blue Ridge:

“We drunk the King’s health in Champagne, and fired a volley; the Prince’s health in Burgundy,
and fired a volley; and all the rest of the Royal Family in Claret, and fired a volley. We had
several sorts of Liquors, namely Virginia Red Wine and White Wine, Irish Usquebaugh, Brandy,
Shrub, two sort of Rum, Champagne, Canary, Cherry punch, Cider, Water, etc.”

In 1724, Hugh Jones offered his account of the adventure in “The Present State of Virginia,”
published in London, describing the toll taken on the expedition by the rocky soil of the Piedmont, the Blue Ridge, the Shenandoah Valley and the Allegheny Mountains:

“For this expedition they were obliged to provide a great Quantity of Horse-Shoes; (Things seldom
used in the lower Parts of the Country, where there are few Stones) Upon which Account the
Governor upon their Return presented each of his Companions with a Golden Horse-Shoe, (some of which I have seen studded with valuable Stones resembling the Heads of Nails) with this Inscription
on the one Side:
‘Sic Juvat Transcendere Montes’ [How delightful it is to cross mountains!]: And
on the other is written ‘Tramontane Order.’”

Although several people in the 19th century claimed to have seen them, none of the small,
golden horseshoes described by Jones has been found.

The legend of the Golden Horseshoe has undoubtedly suffered some embellishment through
the centuries. In 1845, William Alexander Caruthers penned a novel, “The Knights of the Golden
Horseshoe: A Traditionary Tale of the Cocked Hat Gentry in the Old Dominion.” Based loosely on the journal of John Fontaine, Caruthers’ novel exaggerates the size of the expedition, introduces a love story and invents an Indian fight to bring his tale to a climax.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Golden Horseshoe Golf Courses epitomize the tradition of Governor
Spotswood’s expedition: the challenge of daring adventure, the enjoyment of a peaceful and
spectacular environment, and the reward of completing a test of skill and perseverance.

Dining in Colonial Williamsburg VA


Eighteenth-century patriots savored their meals and hoisted pints of ale as they contemplated
revolution at taverns in Virginia’s colonial capital. Today, Colonial Williamsburg serves select
favorites from the period at four unique historic dining taverns with distinctive menus and authentic
colonial atmosphere. Staff in 18th-century dress serve guests and enhance the dining experience
with explanations of colonial dining habits and food preferences, lively exchanges with character
interpreters and music of the era played on period instruments. At King’s Arms, Shields, Christiana
Campbell’s and Chowning’s taverns, guests enjoy dining experiences similar to those of patrons
who frequented these establishments in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Colonial Williamsburg’s taverns are located in the heart of the Historic Area and are open to the public.

King’s Arms Tavern recalls an 18th-century chop house and continues the tradition of
fine tavern dining as guests feast on such colonial delicacies as roast prime rib of beef,
collops of pork, roast young duckling, game pie and traditional King’s Arms favorites of
peanut soup and the grand mushroom. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., and
dinner is served from 5 p.m. until closing. Reservations are recommended for dinner.
Guests may order à la carte or try a complete meal of colonial favorites—Mrs.
Vobe’s Tavern Dinner, named after the tavern’s 18th-century proprietress Jane Vobe. This
fixed-price sampler starts with the tavern’s trademark peanut soup followed by a main
course of boneless breast of chicken with ham accompanied by potatoes, meadow
mushrooms and tarragon sauce. Dinner includes Sally Lunn bread and finishes with a
choice of Southern favorites, rice pudding or Williamsburg pecan pie.
In conjunction with Revolutionary City® programming, King’s Arms Tavern offers
Breakfast with Citizens of the Revolution. Guests enjoy a hot breakfast buffet while
engaging in conversation with revolutionaries who helped shape the future of our country.
The breakfast is offered seasonally Friday through Monday, with seatings at 8:45 and 9

King’s Arms Tavern originally catered to Virginia’s gentry and the politically
influential before, during and after the Revolution. Today, Queen Anne-style tables, paired
with Sarah Richardson (a colonial resident) chairs, are set with yard-square linen napkins,
brass candlesticks and china stamped with the king’s coat of arms. Original and
reproduction colonial prints and paintings adorn the walls and windows are hung with
hand-woven English linens. In the Purdie House annex, a section of the tavern that
originally existed as the neighboring home of 18th-century Virginia Gazette publisher
Alexander Purdie, the furniture and elegant décor represent a level of wealth and style
associated with a prosperous gentry-class Williamsburg home. The home features not only
the fine carpeting, wallpaper and wall hangings of a wealthy merchant, but also artifacts
that tell the story of the Purdie family – including Purdie’s tobacco pipe on the mantel in
the former study and three small tricorn hats on pegs in his sons’ former bedroom.
Waitstaff are glad to share the story of the family, gleaned from ongoing Colonial
Williamsburg historical research.
King’s Arms Tavern is located on the south side of Duke of Gloucester Street
between Botetourt and Blair streets, near the Capitol. Free parking is available for tavern
patrons across Frances Street. Wheelchair accessible restrooms are located in the newly
remodeled Purdie Kitchen behind the tavern.

Shields Tavern® The restored 18th-century capital of Virginia has brewed a unique flavor at its
successful Shields Tavern and transformed the establishment into an 18th-century
coffeehouse. Remember, tea was out of fashion in the pre-Revolutionary colonies, and
coffee was quite the rage in Europe and Great Britain. The first English “coffee house”
opened in Oxford in 1650. Fifty years later, there were 2,000 coffeehouses in London
alone. Williamsburg’s historical records reveal that when tavernkeeper Daniel Fisher took
over Shields Tavern in 1751, he recorded in his journal that the locals called the building
“the English Coffee House.” By 1767, the exotic, dark brew was being sipped at Richard
Charlton’s popular Coffee House located next to the Capitol in the area of Williamsburg
called the Exchange, “where all money business (was) transacted” and the governor and his
council were frequent patrons. Today the Charlton site is an archaeological dig across the
street from Shields Tavern.
James Shields Tavern operates in the spirit of an 18th-century coffeehouse, providing
a venue for interaction between guests, costumed historic character interpreters and
research staff. Served all day, the tavern’s light fare menu offers recipes representative of
the 18th-century food similar to that served by proprietor James Shields in the 1740s for the
lesser gentry and upper middling ranks of locals and travelers.
Over a cold beverage, hot chocolate or coffee and good eats, guests might discuss
18th-century “events of the day” and other topics with the interpreters or simply enjoy a
quiet drink and snack in one of the dining rooms or in the outdoor garden behind the
In the evening, a portion of the warm, rustic and historically accurate tavern will
operate as a lounge, where guests may enjoy a quiet beverage before or after dining in one of
Colonial Williamsburg’s others taverns—or any time. Costumed servers continue in the
tradition of interpreting the 18th-century tavern experience amidst period tavern furnishings
and decoration.
Shields Tavern is open daily from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Mr. Shields is pleased to offer
a seasonal feast on Friday and Saturday evenings with seatings at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Costumed servers continue in the tradition of interpreting the 18th-century tavern experience
amidst period tavern furnishings and decoration while guests savor a three-course colonial
The lower level tavern room is available for banquets for up to 100, and the covered
garden area behind the tavern offers an ideal outdoor space for group functions with 18thcentury
entertainment, weather permitting. Shields Tavern is located on Duke of Gloucester
Street just east of King’s Arms Tavern, near the Capitol.

Christiana Campbell’s Tavern tempts guests with traditional seafood from the rest of
the British colonies of North America. Christiana Campbell’s Tavern serves dinner from
Tuesday through Saturday (reservations are recommended), providing guests with ample
opportunity to savor Mrs. Campbell’s favorite dishes of sherried shrimp, scallops and
lobster, as well as the Waterman’s Supper and lump crab cakes, the tavern’s signature dish.
The entrées are complemented by long-time tavern favorites of Campbell’s cabbage slaw,
spoon bread and sweet potato muffins.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, the tavern hosts tea with Mrs. Campbell. Guests are
welcome to experience 18th-century hospitality while their hostess regales them with
accounts of her contemporaries and the quaint customs of the period.
Christiana Campbell’s Tavern was a favorite of well-known colonial Virginians such
as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Servers of the tavern are on hand to recount
stories of George Washington’s favorable diary entries about Mrs. Campbell’s
establishment and other noteworthy tales about the colonial tavern. Free parking is
available behind the tavern, located today on the east side of Waller Street across from the

Chowning’s (pronounced “chewnings”) Tavern, located near Market Square on Duke
of Gloucester Street, offers guests a popular menu—traditional pit barbecue. References to
“barbecued hog” date back to the late 1700s. The Chowning’s menu features sumptuous
entrées such as beef brisket, pulled pork barbecue, turkey legs and grilled chicken
Chowning’s offers casual quick fare from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily in the tavern
garden. Guests may enjoy their meal at tables set under grape arbors or inside the tavern.
From 5 to 8 p.m., Chowning’s caters to families with the music, magic and colonial
games of gambols while serving light fare. Beginning at 8 p.m., gambols takes on the
rollicking atmosphere of an 18th-century ale house featuring beverages such as stout rum
drinks, a variety of hearty ales and wine by the glass. The same light fare is offered along
with baskets of fresh-roasted Virginia peanuts on every table.
Mary Randolph, reputed to be the best cook in Richmond by the 1790s, published
“The Virginia House-Wife” in 1824. She included recipes for fried chicken, Spanish
gazpacho, Italian polenta and East Indian curry. The tradition of this cookbook continues
at Colonial Williamsburg taverns with special themed dinners held throughout the year.
Guests have the opportunity to engage in unique tavern programming such as the 18thcentury
Chocolate Dinner, Colonial Chef’s Table, dinner with George Washington and
Thomas Jefferson wine dinners.

Colonial Williamsburg’s historic tavern guests experience the hearty and distinctive fare that
sustained the Founding Fathers, served with Southern hospitality in authentic surroundings.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Gardening Workshops

From the Daily Press:

April 19–20 and April 26–27 2008

This all–new event for 2008 features gardening workshops, demonstrations and how–to workshops presented by experts from both Spectrum® and the National Wildlife Federation. Admission to is included with your season pass or park admission.

Ready, Set, GROW! is sponsored by Sta-Green®

-->Busch Gardens is planning its largest-ever event to honor the second half of its name — the gardens, that is.Held during the weekends of April 19-20 and April 26-27, "Ready, Set, GROW!" will include children's activities, talks by landscape experts and tours of the park's greenhouses and gardens.There's no extra cost beyond your season pass or single-day ticket (prices for adults start at $56.95). But call ahead for tour times and reservations — 800-343-7946."

In many ways, "Ready, Set, GROW!" celebrates the park's roots (pardon the pun).How did the park get its garden theme? August A. Busch Jr., chairman of Anheuser-Busch's executive committee, picked it for the company's first park in Tampa in the 1950s after observing that the gardens and exotic birds at the nearby Busch brewery in Florida was popular with guests. Later, the Busch park here in Virginia followed suit when it opened in the 1970s."Mr. Busch has a huge interest in landscaping," Weldon says. The local park's 100 acres of gardens include 100 flower beds, 300 hanging baskets and 700 container gardens. That amounts to 80,000 tulips and 4,000 chrysanthemums.

Visitors to Busch Gardens during the "Ready, Set, GROW!" weekends can take advantage of Busch's colorful past-time by exploring several exhibits throughout the park. A children's tent near the Fest-haus building in the park's Germany area will give kids a chance to get dirty by transplanting seedlings into pots that they can take home with them. In the same area, Willem van den Akker, a tulip expert from the Netherlands, will talk about the flowers grown in the Kingsmill community of James City County. Weldon says tulips are her favorite flower grown at Busch Gardens."When the tulips are up — even though they're short-lived — they're just really magical," Weldon says.Also near the Festhaus, Busch Gardens' expert landscapers will lead "how-to" clinics on a variety of gardening topics.

During the event's two weekends in April, three 20-person groups each day will depart from the Italy and the New France areas of the park for tours of the Italy gardens and the park's greenhouses, respectively.Also during the two weekends, National Wildlife Federation experts provide tips on gardening with native plants at the Backyard Habitat Garden found in Jack Hanna's Wild Reserve inside the park

To top it all off, on April 19 Busch Gardens opens a permanent open-air shop called "The Garden Gate" in the England area of the park. There, guests can buy seeds, pots and live plants grown inside the park. Master Gardeners at the shop will show guests how to arrange plants.Weldon promises "Ready, Set, GROW!" will make Busch Gardens look more alive than ever."There will be a lot of activity throughout the park," she says.
Events/Times : 11:45 Am 1:45 Pm 3:45 Pm

Meet at “Caribou Pottery” in New France

Take a tour through Busch Gardens Europe's greenhouses, guided by members of our award-winning landscaping department. These tours have limited availability. 20 people per tour. Reservations are required. Please call (800) 343-7946 to make a reservation.

Tour the Italy Gardens 12:00 Pm 2:00 Pm 4:00 Pm Meet at the“Wine Stomping” display in San Marco

Join us for this informative and educational tour through the park’s expertly-designed Italy Gardens. These tours have limited availability. 20 people per tour. Reservations are required. Please call (800) 343-7946 to make a reservation.

Busch Gardens Expert Landscaping Tips
11:00 Am -6:00 Pm
Festhaus Park

These "how-to" clinics will cover a wide array of gardening topics to get you ready for the spring planting season.

Kingsmill Tulip Expert
11:00 Am -6:00 Pm
Festhaus Park

Learn more about the famous Kingsmill Tulip from a special tulip expert from the Netherlands.
“Backyard Habitat Garden”

11:00 Am -4:00 Pm
Jack Hanna’s Wild Reserve

National Wildlife Federation experts will provide tips on gardening with native plants. You'll also learn how to turnyour own backyard into one that’s suitable for wildlife.

Kidz Zone

11:00 Am -6:00 Pm
Festhaus ParkCourtyard

Bring your kids for fun craft activities

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Busch Gardens Update

Busch Gardens has now opened for the season. If you are military you can get a complimentary one day pass for you and your dependents by registering on this website .

If you plan on going to Busch Gardens and Water Country fairly often it will pay to buy season passes. If you buy four or more passes they are only $116.00 each. You can even pay for them thru 3 payments. Check here for more information :

Remember these passes are good through Oct 31 of 2008 so you will be able to attend Howl O Scream one of the best Halloween Haunted areas ever....

Monday, March 10, 2008

See Colonial Williamsburg in the HBO miniseries " John Adams"

From the Daily Press

"John Adams" executive producer Tom Hanks and writer David McCullough praised Richmond and Williamsburg for helping bring the historical epic to reality when it debuts on HBO next week.
Curious onlookers crowded the exterior of the tent-enclosed red carpet media gauntlet to get a look at the stars, including an unplanned appearance by Paul Giamatti, who played Adams. He had never been to Williamsburg before the shoot, and said Colonial Williamsburg was fantastic. Colonial Williamsburg lent its experts to help the production nail historic details, from sets to mannerisms."Those guys were all over us," said Giamati. "Those guys were unbelievable."
Attracting interest .
After a brief power outage left the Byrd Theater in the dark — and Hanks shined a light into the crowd and implored them in a vintage Hanks comedic fashion not to panic — the key players in the series explained what it meant to them.
McCullough, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the book, said he was proud of the final product."This great work of art is going to reach more Americans with greater effect than anything that's ever been done on our founding time, on our revolution," said McCullough.Executives from HBO and Hanks' production company, Playtone, said the help of Colonial Williamsburg was crucial.
Director Tom Hooper loved that they didn't need to build sets at CW."The joy of Williamsburg is that it has been so beautifully preserved, and we were so lucky to have filmed there," said Hooper.
Historic sites like Colonial Williamsburg have struggled to maintain their peak visitation levels, and attention of tourists. McCullough, known for writing about history in an accessible way, believes the television epic can stoke interest in history."I would be very surprised if it doesn't have a huge impact, and on Williamsburg specifically," said McCullough.

McCullough stressed that parents and the education system have failed to properly emphasize history. Last spring, McCullough brought 24 family members on a trip to Williamsburg for five days."It was one of the best times we've ever had, for the kids and the parents," he said.It was great for the actors to feel the colonial era in Williamsburg, as opposed to the sets built for most of the production, said Hooper."Williamsburg was the one place you could go to where it was completely a 360-degree, three-dimensional experience of the 18th century," said Hooper, who recently won an Emmy for directing the " Elizabeth I" miniseries for HBO
.Hanks said Colonial Williamsburg recognized that the story, and Colonial Williamsburg's role in bringing it to life, would benefit tourism efforts."There's a possibility that people might want to say, 'Hey, let's go see where they shot John Adams, and that's Colonial Williamsburg,' " said Hanks. "I had never been to Colonial Williamsburg, and I immediately said, 'I want to come back here on vacation.' "

Shooting in Williamsburg helped Giamatti feel more immersed in the era. Giamatti said Colonial Williamsburg helped with other details, like how to properly hold a fork and bow correctly. He worked with dialect coaches, and would ask Colonial Williamsburg experts if certain lines would have been said in colonial times."I wanted to swear sometimes and didn't know which ones were the appropriate ones to say," said Giamatti, "and they would say, 'Yeah, you can call the guy that if you want because they would have said that.' "Hanks said there is a fairly easy formula for doing a history movie well. But it's hard to do right unless there is enough time, a luxury he said is available only on HBO."You don't editorialize motivations. You don't turn people into bad guys to move along an antagonist-protagonist dynamic. What you need is time. You need 8 1/2 hours to really understand everybody, and that only happens on HBO."McCullough said studios had optioned his movie before, and he always quickly learned they hadn't read the book. When he first met Hanks, the book was dog-eared, had Post-it notes, underlined, and Hanks was firing questions about obscure details."I've never seen such commitment to doing it right as I saw with this film," said McCullough.
McCullough's book "1776," about the days when Washington was leading the troops — and losing battles — has also been optioned by Playtone. Kirk Ellis, the screenwriter and co-executive producer of "John Adams," said "1776" is a great companion piece to John Adams and would be an "epic war movie." He said shooting it in Virginia is "very much in everyone's mind.""I think all of that we could do here," said Cooper.
Ellis gave an outline to HBO before the recent writers strike, and now it is in full development. He hopes to see it out by 2010. But there still is a question of whether Virginia will have the incentives available to lure the production, which was done with $1.25 million for "John Adams."The Virginia Film Office estimated the economic impact of "Adams" at $80 million in Virginia. The General Assembly is now debating whether the final budget should include incentive money.Gov. Timothy M. Kaine recommended $200,000 the next two years, but the Virginia film industry said the state needs millions to attract some big films where Virginia is a front-runner.Ellis said productions are done somewhere other than the ideal location "all the time" because of financial constraints, making the incentives offered by 42 states important. Ellis said his home state of New Mexico just won the new "Terminator" movie from Hungary — where the last part of "John Adams" was shot — because of the state's very generous program.
"Incentives are very important, because you're always looking to maximize your dollars in the state," said Ellis. "We would love to be back if the incentives are in place and we can maximize our production costs the way we did when we were shooting 'John Adams.' ""It was really about the physical possibilities of what we could do," said Hanks

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Hiring a contractor in Hampton Roads Virginia

These are some great tips to observe when looking to hire a contractor for any home repairs or construction. They are courtesy of our law partner Lytle Law.
The single most important thing you can do when hiring a builder or contractor is
to hire one with a good reputation for quality, honesty and pride in his or her work.
Everything else below is really an attempt to determine whether you are getting that at a
price you can afford and to protect you should you not. So:
2. Get at least two bids, three is better. Get one of those bids from a contractor with
the best reputation – one that is known for being expensive but known for doing quality
work – it will give you a yard stick to truly measure the cheap one. As in most things,
you get what you pay for.
3. Hire only licensed contractors. Note that Virginia has different classes for scope
and value of job – so verify the contractor has the proper license. You may check the
contractor’s license at or (804) 367-8511. Frankly, you ought to
require proof of insurance as well.
4. Evaluate the contractor:
a. ask the contractor for references and check with former customers to see
if they were satisfied with the quality of work performed. Actually call them.
Since most contractors aren’t going to give you bad references you need
to actually look at the work.
b. Doesn’t hurt to check with the Better Business Bureau. You can also
check DPOR for Board complaints.
c. Ask how long the contractor has been in business and where. Also ask
for a local phone number where the contractor can be reached during
normal business hours. Call that number and see who answers and how
long it takes. If a receptionist or someone answers professionally, great.
If instead a girlfriend answers “Hello” and then says he’s sleeping, well,
that might tell you something else.
d. Avoid hiring any contractor who:
i. wants to do the work under someone else’s license
ii. arrives in an unmarked truck or van;
iii. appears to be willing to do the job at an unusually low price;
iv. requires full or substantial payment before work begins (note the
10% rule discussed below);
v. refuses to provide you with a written estimate or contract;
vi. refuses to provide you with a license number issued by Virginia;
vii. refuses to provide you with references;
viii. shows up at your door unsolicited; or
ix. uses high-pressure sales tactics.
5. Get a written contract that at a minimum states (these are the Board’s of
Contractor’s requirements: see
a. When work is to begin and the estimated completion date;

b. A statement of the total cost of the contract and the amounts and
schedule for progress payments including a specific statement on the
amount of the down payment;
c. A listing of specified materials and work to be performed, which is
specifically requested by the consumer;
d. A "plain-language" exculpatory clause concerning events beyond the
control of the contractor and a statement explaining that delays caused by
such events do not constitute abandonment and are not included in
calculating time frames for payment or performance;
e. A statement of assurance that the contractor will comply with all local
requirements for building permits, inspections, and zoning;
f. Disclosure of the cancellation rights of the parties;
g. For contracts resulting from a door-to-door solicitation, a signed
acknowledgment by the consumer that he has been provided with and
read the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
statement of protection available to him through the Board for Contractors;
h. Contractor's name, address, license number, class of license, and
classifications or specialty services; and
i. Statement providing that any modification to the contract (i.e. a change
order), which changes the cost, materials, work to be performed, or
estimated completion date, must be in writing and signed by all parties
j. Not required but recommended: specific time lines and provisions that
address what will happen if the contractor fails to meet the contractual
6. Pay 10% down, or $1,000, whichever is less. If the contractor says he needs
more to buy materials and get started then consider having the materials purchased and
controlled by you, delivered to you. An excess amount to start is a red flag that
something is awry or the contractor will be robbing Peter to pay Paul. Typically
reputable and sound contractors have accounts at supply houses and don’t need to pay
cash for materials.
7. Don’t make any further payments until you see a building permit. If the
contractor says one isn’t needed then call the City or County and verify that information.
8. Don’t let payments get ahead of work. Keep record of payments. Require a
mechanic’s lien waiver not only from your contractor but from any subs and supply
houses before you make a payment. You can get a suitable form on line or contact me and I will put you in touch with our law firm.
9. Don’t make final payment until you’re satisfied with the job.
10. Don’t pay cash. Again, never pay cash (first, they are cheating us by not paying
taxes, second, you have no good record)
11. Keep a job file of all papers relating to your project.
12. Warning signs of a scam:
a. Provides a credential or reference that can't be verified.

b. Offers a special price only if you sign today, or use other high-pressure
sales techniques.
c. Only accepts cash, require large deposits or the entire costs up front, or
asks you to make the payment in their name.
d. Does not provide a written contract or complete bid.
e. Asks you to get the building permit. In most instances, if you have hired a
contractor, the contractor is required to take out the permits. Permits are
your protection and help ensure that work will meet local building codes.
f. Offers exceptionally long warranties.
g. Wants to do most or all the work on weekends and after hours
h. Gives you an offer that sounds "too good to be true."
Lastly, please know that Virginia has a contractor recovery fund if you are
defrauded by a contractor. See a lawyer for help on that or call the Board of

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Mr Williamsburg Real Estate Update New Town. Say it's not so .Wal Mart Coming to New Town Williamsburg VA ?

Daily Press 3/6/2008

JAMES CITY County/ Williamsburg Virginia - Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, is coming to James City's growing New Town development, according to plans filed with county planning staff. The store of about 40,000square feet, while only about a fifth of the size of the other Wal-Mart in the area, still dominates plans for the Settler's Market section of New Town and sits at the junction of Route 199 and Monticello Avenue along with a planned Circuit City. Designs for both businesses have been carefully reviewed to make sure they keep to a countrified flavor, with brick facades and arched windows. Circuit City's 20,706 square foot store includes a cupola atop the building.

The Wal-Mart proposal is only a few administrative OKs away from final approval, including one pending from the James City Service Authority. But the approaching finish line comes after more than a year of work by county planners, with six to eight months spent on building elevations, said planner Matt Smolnik."This will not be your typical Wal-Mart," Smolnik said. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman declined to comment because the plans are not yet finalized.Settler's Market will also include dozens of other smaller businesses, but most of those tenants have yet to be publicly named. Trader Joe's grocery chain has been confirmed, however, and will be placed down Monticello Road. The upscale California-based grocery will take up roughly 12,000 square feet, or about the same area as the Trader Joe's that opened in Newport News in December 2005.All told, Settler's Market is expected to include 2,167 parking spaces and more than 200 homes. Construction is expected to be completed later this year.Though there is already a Wal-Mart in the Williamsburg area — the store farther north in York County's Lightfoot area ( near the Lowes, Home Depot, Ukrops and across from the new Hospital) is roughly 205,000 square feet — the retailer's arrival in New Town is expected to make the combined development of retail and homes even more of a popular destination.

New Town is currently home to local eateries such as Green Leafe Gourmet, Center Street Griil, Opus 9, and major chains including Panera Bread, Bonefish Grill, and Barnes and Noble Booksellers. When Circuit City sets up shop here, it will create a Williamsburg-area version of the national clash between the Richmond-based consumer electronics retailer and Best Buy, which is slated for The Marquis development in upper York County.( near Water Country) Best Buy is the country's top consumer electronics retailer; Circuit City is No. 2.Settler's Market, developed by Birmingham, Ala.-based AIG Baker Development, will ultimately include 350,000 square feet of retail and office combined with 210 residential flats and townhouses.