03/13/2013 07:33 am ET Updated May 13, 2013

An Old-Fashioned Williamsburg Love Affair

Rebecca Dolan is the Associate Editor of Huffington Post Travel. Though she's a lover of all things French, Rebecca inevitably returns home to Virginia. She just can't help it.


Dear Williamsburg,

I've lived in a great many fabulous places -- New York, Paris, Chicago, D.C., Miami -- but bustling cities wear me down, making me wish only to be back in your quiet corner of Virginia.

Since my elementary school days, I knew there was no other place I would study than within the hallowed halls of William and Mary, an alma mater I gladly share with the likes of Thomas Jefferson, John Tyler and James Monroe. And since I took my first walk through the historic Wren building, I've known a different side of you.

Williamsburg is more than Busch Gardens or confused tourists dressed like Felicity the American Girl. It's late nights spent downing cheese fries at Paul's or drinking celebratory beers from embarrassingly large plastic mugs at the Green Leafe. It's drowning your feelings in a pint of the Cheese Shop's house dressing, plus trying not to get hit by a car in Confusion Corner trying to procure it. It's getting a chance to eat at big city-worthy restaurants (The Fat Canary, Le Yaca, the Blue Talon) without the big-city crowds and prices. It's driving unknown miles down the deserted end of Richmond Road because Taco Mexicali has The. Best. Burritos. Period.

Now, that's not to say Colonial Williamsburg isn't without it's fun. But, we know that the best way to really get to know CW is to run the boxwood hedges or jump the Governor's Palace wall -- tresspassing schmespassing -- hoping to see a ghost. That, and how many places in the U.S. do you know where you can you go on a tavern crawl like it's 1774?

In Williamsburg I found lots of love -- new best friends, Tri Delta sisters, professors -- and lost my first love. It's where I got my first D, busted the bumper on my first car and where I made the archaeological find of the summer. Oh, and my nose will never be quite right after that cheerleading accident. For all of that, a part of me will always daydream of sitting on the Sunken Gardens, soaking up the sun, with a good book in hand.

It's only a matter of time before we meet again. Save some bread ends and house dressing for me, will you?


P.S. It's just not the same shopping for groceries without the Thomas Jefferson impersonator behind me in the checkout line.