Monday, May 28, 2012

our anniversary trip

each year since we got married, we have taken a trip to celebrate our anniversary. before davis, we would do long weekend trips to some of our favorite southern towns....ocracoke, charleston (two posts you could check out on charleston), and savannah (there are several savannah posts). last year, with davis only being a few months old, we did a surprise trip to the local zipline course in my hometown. we have done one night away from davis (back during the Christmas holidays) and were hoping to celebrate our 5th anniversary with another trip. 

our plans actually went through quite a progression--we started out thinking we might do a tropical vacation, like to the florida keys or a short cruise. but money-wise and getting help with watching davis for that became obvious that wouldn't work. then we started doing planning for a weekend--maybe back to ocracoke? or atlanta--i actually had a whole itinerary written up for a driving trip to atlanta that included stops along the way and a couple of visits to "top chef" restaurants (kevin and richard blais's places) and the georgia aquarium. but again...a trip that long just wasn't panning out. so we ended up deciding to do a quick trip up to....
busch gardens! i hadn't ridden a roller coaster in over two years, and i knew we wouldn't want to take davis yet (though we saw lots of stuff he would have enjoyed.) i've always been one of those people who saw the family toting around a miserable toddler or baby and would turn to justin and say "that will never be us." we had no clue if davis would even enjoy any of the rides, so this was a good opportunity to do busch gardens "our way" and then we'll revisit in the next couple of years with him.
my mom and grandma came up the night before so we could leave first thing in the morning. davis fussed when we left but had recovered by the time we got out of town (my mom was sending me photos of him smiling and playing as evidence of this.) we got to the park by 11 am and went on in. i had purchased tickets beforehand at a discounted price from our local state employee's credit union which made this pretty affordable (saved us at least $30.) we started at apollo's chariot and made our way around to most of the big rides like the griffin, hitting lochness and alpengheist after lunch. the newest coaster, verbolten, wasn't open yet--maybe next time?
we also enjoyed several shows and rode the train, sending a video to my mom for davis to watch of the train coming into the station. he was (and still is) in a big train phase right now!
it's easy to see why busch gardens is consistently voted the most beautiful theme park--it is so lush and green and makes it enjoyable just walking from one country to another. we stayed well into the evening, going back on some rides after the big groups had cleared out.
i even climbed on the mach tower right before we left (after justin bailed on me--he just wasn't into that particular ride) and got to see the whole park from 240 ft in the sky at night. it was worth it :)
people-watching is always entertaining at the parks, and they were holding a band and choral competition there that day, so we had plenty of high school groups around us. since most of my first theme park experiences were from band trips, it took me back!
we left the park around 9:30 or so, feeling like we got all of our rides in for the day. we had reservations at a hotel just down the rode and crashed for the night. i still don't sleep entirely well when i'm away from davis--maybe it gets easier after the first night? or maybe it's just the strange sounds of a hotel room--the air conditioner shutting on and off and feeling like the pillows aren't quite right...

the next morning we got breakfast and headed home. davis was down for a nap when we got there, so we got to get him from his crib when he woke up and surprised him. he had done really well for my mom and grandma, so maybe we can do another trip soon...? we had bought him some presents from the sesame street area in the park, picking out a pair of sunglasses, an elmo doll and cup that actually had his name on it! (very rare that we find one with his name, which is fine with us--we like that it's unique.)
it was a wonderful way to spend our anniversary together. maybe not the exotic carribean trip we had hoped for, but still one that fits where we are now :)

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