When we all go out as a family and everyone has a good time, I feel like I have pulled off the ultimate feat of magic. Done the impossible. Everything goes, perhaps not right, but at least well enough that nobody seems to notice the stuff that doesn’t go well, and the day ends with smiles. That’s probably pretty rare around here, but it certainly isn’t for lack of trying.
I think the best time we all ever had together was the day we went to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. The kids thought we were going there for the rides, but Husband and I had an ulterior motive: the Food and Wine Festival. One day I’d like to do the one at Disney World, but this one is only about an hour and a half away!
The cool thing about this festival is that there are chef demonstrations, which I enjoy. You get samples of the things they make, and it is incredible to see a real professional at work. There are also opportunities to meet the chefs working the festival – an opportunity you don’t often get to experience.
Now, normally at a festival like this, you get food and drink pairings. But at the Busch Gardens festival, you get food and RIDE pairings. Only those with iron stomachs should go for the Jamaican Jerk Chicken and then go on the Alpengeist as they suggested, but there are other options. We did the beignets and the Skyride as well as the mini cannoli trio and the Italy Gardens, both of which we all enjoyed.
Then, because it’s a Food and Wine festival, there’s wine tastings in the different “country” areas of the park. There’s French, Niagara Region, German, Argentinian, and Italian wines available for you to try. And if wine’s not your thing, there’s a Scotch tasting over in the Scotland area. Of course, the Oktoberfest neighborhood behind Germany is there all the time, so you have that as an option as well. Alcohol and heat and an amusement park might not be for everyone, though, just an FYI.
So the kids thought we were superheroes because we took them to an amusement park. I couldn’t believe these were the same kids that complain about waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store with me or the ones who complain about how far they have to walk from the store to the car. They ran around and got on rides. They never once complained if there was a line. It made being at a crowded park in the hot weather more than bearable—it was downright pleasant. I even found myself wondering why we don’t take them here more often and considered buying a season pass. I was smart enough not to open my mouth, because once we got home, some sanity returned and I was glad I didn’t make any actual promises.
This Food and Wine festival has something for everyone, even those who aren’t old enough to drink and who aren’t adventurous eaters. Plus, the kids were so worn out by the time we got home, they went to bed without complaining. All three of my kids! I think this is going to be a yearly thing.