Busch Garden’s Williamsburg: The day I turned the camera off!

The Lost Vlog of 2021!

Many people who know me know that Busch Gardens Williamsburg is my place of spiritual affinity. Yes, you heard that correctly! Not my grandmothers house, or a cozy cabin in the Pocono mountains. BGW is the one place on earth I feel the most loved. It is mainly because of the many fond memories I have visiting the park over the years.

The first time I visited was in the year 2000. It was fourth of July weekend I was ten and a half years old and experimenting with a bald haircut. It was an interesting and bold summer choice I shaved my entire head got my left ear pierced and rocked AND1 head bands all summer long. But I digress…. My Aunt Donna (The Fun Aunt) packed me and my younger cousin Marcus up and we rode AMTRAK all the way from Philadelphia to Williamsburg. The train was an interesting choice, but in hindsight it made the trip even more memorable.

We visited BGW and Water Country USA. I was in love with the atmosphere, food, and of course, the rides! It was my first real experience with theming. We rode Escape from Pompeii and Le Scoot as a family. Unfortunately, I was not quite ready for the larger coasters, my aunt was afraid, my cousin was four so I was on my own. Regardless, I made the flat rides my b*tch!

Aaron in 2014

I would not get to return for about 14 years. This time the circumstances were completely different. I returned to BGW on September, 20th 2014 for an impromptu honeymoon with my husband Aaron. We did not have much money left over after the wedding and I found a Groupon, so we decided to do Virginia beach/BGW to celebrate the union.

Another stellar trip. The whole five hours in the car I told my new spouse how awesome of a place we were heading for. The 2014 visit did not disappoint! With just one day we ended up riding all of the coasters, we watched all of the shows, rode all of the transports (train, boat, and skyway), and experienced all of the Haunt mazes! This was the unofficial start of our Cheapthusiast journey and man did we set the bar high!

Howl-O-Scream in its full form circa 2014

Unfortunately, circumstances both within and beyond our control prevented us from returning for another seven years. In October of 2020 to celebrate my Covid-19 birthday (we have all had one at this point) we decided to return. We had a great evening full of haunts and treats, that further cemented the love we have for BGW.

Vlog from the October 2020 Visit!

In 2021 we decided to purchase Fun Cards. We intend to get our fill this year especially with PANTHEON’s “anticipated” opening. We had an impromptu visit on Easter weekend for the limited admission event food and wine festival. On Saturday night we got to hang out with some friends and enjoyed a Virginia local experience. On Sunday I planned to return to shoot a VLOG for Cheapthusiast on YouTube.

The only problem was that my head could not keep up with the ambition of my heart. I filmed some offride footage and just before I began my opening blurb I thought, “You know what…? Turn the camera off and enjoy your place with your love.” And I did. That weekend also marked the one year anniversary of the passing of my mother. She was a key figure in my love for rollercoasters (the only thing she rode).

I had kind of realized that the past 12 months of vlogging and exploring were both therapeutic, and detrimental to my mental health. While I enjoyed doing what I loved and basked in the escapism (especially during a pandemic), I had not really sat with myself to explore the full range of grief that comes with losing a close family member.

Screenshot from Pantheon offride test footage filmed as part of “lost vlog”

I did not shoot a vlog, and that is ok! I did experience happiness. I think that happiness is the ultimate goal especially when so many of us cant quite find something that brings true unequivocal joy. I was not sad at one of my favorite parks, I felt comfort in the memories. The inner child in me who experienced a spiritual void had a tiny bit of his need to be nurtured filled.

The park itself does not have any magical properties, it is the security feel in knowing some of the best days of my life were spent there.

Love and Respect.

Published by Josh K.

Just your average broke thoosie with expensive taste.

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