Labor Day heralds summer’s end in Williamsburg

For many children in the area, Labor Day means the opportunity for one last taste of summer freedom. Some Williamsburg area adults may find themselves eager to see the students back in school and the summer tourist crowds wane. It’s time of endings and beginnings as fall festivities approach.

Pam and Bob Orley travel from Ellicott City, Maryland two or three times a year to visit the Williamsburg area. They spent the holiday weekend celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary, which falls on Tuesday.

“We just came down to enjoy it,” Bob Orley said. “We just like the environment.”

Williamsburg brings back the fondest of memories for the couple, who spent their honeymoon here.

The couple refused to let increased gas prices discourage them. The state’s average price per gallon has increased to $2.52 from $2.16 a week ago, according to AAA.

“It’s a beautiful day,” said Pam Orley, whose parents live in Williamsburg. The couple spent Monday walking around the historic area. “We don’t get in our car at all.”

Jay Moore, a Newport News resident and former graduate student at the College of William and Mary, shared a similar sentiment.

“It’s a favorite thing to do on an afternoon,” he said. “It’s a beautiful town and we’re really lucky to have it in our backyard.”

Moore and his husband, Bryan Hess, enjoy activities like the Williamsburg Farmers Market and various concerts around town. But serendipity plays a role in their time spent in Williamsburg as well, adding to the excitement.

Moore said they opted to stay at home more than they would have preferred this summer, a decision driven by costly airfare and frequently damp weather that doesn’t complement their interest in camping. Luckily, enjoying a beer at Dog Street Pub is immune to such nuisances.

Looking forward, the potential impact of hurricane season is under consideration, Hess said.

That potential impact is fresh in the minds of Stewart and Anne Monroe, a Scottish couple who came to check out Williamsburg after visiting family in Houston as Hurricane Harvey began its assault on Texas. They got on one of the last flights leaving the city. The street flooded, but not the house in which they were staying, and their relatives remain safe.

Now, the husband and wife are enjoying the Colonial scene, its history and its residents.

“It’s a lovely part of the world,” Stewart Monroe said. “People are very friendly.”

He added that the warm, sunny weather provided a nice change of pace from cold, damp Scotland. Later in the week, they plan to see Jamestown and Yorktown while soaking in the area’s many sights.

“We just like driving around,” he said.

Birkenmeyer can be reached by phone at 757-790-3029.

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