Residents Gift Community with Governor’s Palace Gingerbread House

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia - Among the holiday splendor of Two Rivers Country Club at Governor's Land shines a meticulously detailed gingerbread replica of the stately Governor's Palace. As a signature exhibit of Colonial Williamsburg, the historic residence is one of the most photographed, videoed and painted buildings in town. Gingerbread house enthusiasts Kris and John Costa had a different take.

"I wanted the challenge," says Kris Costa, resident of Governor's Land at Two Rivers. "I have always been crafty so creating these gingerbread houses lets John and me contribute some of our favorite skills to making something beautiful that many people can enjoy."

For 22 years, Costa and her retired Air Force husband, John, have teamed up to create elaborate gingerbread houses during the holidays. Once they select their subject, John designs plans with exacting detail. This year's plans were so precise that Kris had only one-and-a-half inches of clearance in her car to transport the Governor's Palace gingerbread house to Two Rivers Country Club.

The hobby-turned-passion began simply by reading a how-to book about building gingerbread houses. Her first creation was a flower-covered spring-themed house for her daughter's eighth birthday. As a military family stationed in Germany, Turkey and at U.S. bases, the Costa's annual creations have often been inspired by wherever they were calling home. She's been asked to design a replica of a three-star general's home in Alabama, they've created the Governor's Land Foundation House, last year they created Bruton Parish. While their children, Brittnay, 30, and Anthony, 27, now live in Los Angeles and Houston, respectively, the collaborations remain a family affair with the children still sharing tips and new ideas with their parents. Fun tip: The trees outside of the Governor's Palace are dried grape stems dipped in chocolate.

New for this year, the husband and wife team shared their talents with budding gingerbread enthusiasts. They held classes at Two Rivers Country Club where they enjoyed helping newcomers discover the joy of gingerbread artistry.

"The Costas have been a welcomed addition to the Governor's Land community for four years, and every year they amaze us with one of their intricate gingerbread creations," says Ken Underwood, CCM, general manager of Two Rivers Country Club. "Our Two Rivers Country Club members and their guests marvel at the detailed beauty."

This year's Governor's Palace replica began taking creation in early November. Taking more than 100 hours to make, the Costa's wove it into their busy schedules including Kris' work as a long-term substitute teacher in WJCC Schools and a member of both Sweet Adelines quartet and chorus.

The Costas have their sights set on 2018 with either another Colonial Williamsburg-inspired building or a creation inspired by their neighborhood. Plans will commence in early October.

For community information, visit or call (757) 258-4610.

This item was posted by a community contributor.

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