It’s Cold. Stay Inside and Read.

As much as I love to encourage people to get out and explore the area, and as many things as there are to do here even in the winter . . . . I get it. It’s cold, and you want to stay inside. Fair enough. As long as you’re staying inside, though, why not read a book? And as long as you’re going to read a book, why not meet with people to talk about it?


My friend Janelle is a member of The New Williamsburg Book Club and she was kind enough to write up a description of the group and the kind of books they read. Here you go!

If you’re anything like me, you love to read. If you’re also like me, you lack motivation. Why spend your time slogging through that classic you’ve been meaning to read for years, or that 400-page new release that you preordered from Amazon when there’s a perfectly good, tried-and-true romance novel hanging out on your bedside table? It’s not that I don’t want to read books with more substance; it’s just easier. It’s kind of like eating McDonald’s when you should be on a diet. You know you should make some chicken and vegetables, but…french fries. Thankfully, in an effort to get out of my apartment and meet new people, I stumbled across The New Williamsburg Book Club. The club meets one Saturday a month at Bob and Lisa’s house here in Williamsburg and has provided the motivation I need to read about more than sexy vampires.

The evening begins with light conversation and snacks in the kitchen. Club members tend to bring goodies, but it’s not required, and eventually everyone moves into the living room to begin the discussion. There are usually about fifteen to twenty people present, and the ages range from mid-twenties to retirees. The conversations are never boring, and topics range from personal opinions to deep analysis, but not that deep. You don’t need to have a degree in English to enjoy the meetings. Before the meeting concludes, the next book is acknowledged, and the following book is voted on. The genres are rotated, and an attempt is made to not repeat authors, making the book selections wide and varied. The evening ends with some more snacks and socialization. Overall, it’s a great group of people, and everyone does their best to make newcomers feel welcome.

I have been attending The New Williamsburg Book club since May 2014, and I look forward to it every month. I finally read (and loved) Jane Eyre, and discovered that sci-fi is not my thing. I admit that I don’t always finish the book-of-the-month (sometimes the sexy vampires win out), but I still enjoy going to hear other opinions and to see who share mine. So, if you enjoy discussing books with a fun group of people, then check out the club on Happy reading!

Janelle is a Williamsburg resident who is a lover of ancient artifacts, Disney movies, and sexy vampire books.

Janelle is a Williamsburg resident who is a lover of ancient artifacts, Disney movies, and sexy vampire books.

Sneak Peek for the Week Ahead: Dec 8-14

Bunches and bunches of Christmas things to do in Williamsburg this week, and more in the calendar

Tuesday and Wednesday

“A Christmas Story” at the Movie Tavern– 7:30pm


I triple-dog-dare you!


Social Networking Lunch at Plaza Azteca 12-1pm

Put on by Young Emerging Professionals of Williamsburg (YEP). I went to one once, it was really nice. At least when I went, there were only three of us, so it was easy to get to know one another. It’s a great way to meet new people. And plus- it’s Plaza Azteca! I have made meals of their guacamole alone. . .



Lessons and Carols at Williamsburg Presbyterian- 7:30 pm

The event is free, and everyone is invited.  Special performances will be provided by William and Mary’s Women’s Chorus and the Westminster Ringers of Williamsburg Presbyterian Church.  Students, faculty, and staff will join campus ministers in reading biblical passages appropriate to the season with carols and hymns sung by the congregation, as well as special music.  The service will conclude with the singing of “Silent Night” by candlelight.

Saturday and Sunday

Afternoon Wine Tunes at Saude Creek 2-5pm


So, I knew that Saude Creek did live music in the summer on Fridays, but apparently they do live music in the winter in the afternoons! This weekend Jocelyn Oldham is playing on Saturday and Dave Pollard is playing on Sunday. A tasting is $7 and BBQ is available for purchase. At least when we went this summer you could bring your own food; I’m not sure if that’s still the case but you could call ahead and ask. Sounds like a great way to escape the holiday bustle!


2nd Sunday Art Festival 11am-5pm


Don’t worry, it won’t be snowing . . .

Sunday’s going to be a great time to be in Merchant’s Square. It’s the holiday art festival, the Christmas Carol in-a-box, Father Christmas strolling (3:30-6:30), carolers, all that stuff. Grab some hot cocoa and get out there!

Featured Event This Week! (I will be there, come join if you’d like!)


It will be just like this! Except with less buildings. And less people. More of them falling.

The icerink is open generally all evenings and all day on weekends. I will be at the Iceburg icerink at Mid County Park at 3pm on Sunday to review it for the blog. If you’d like to join, come along!

If none of this tickles your fancy, of course there are more events on the calendar. Some to consider are another concert of the Messiah, in case you missed the one last week, the lights in Newport News Park, a gingerbread house competition, and non-holiday stuff like $5 yoga, music jams, open mics, movies, and more.

So last Thursday, I got to fly in a spaceship

This is a review of Thursday Adventure Nights, happening every Thursday starting at Martins.

Unexpected Nerdvana at Martins

Unexpected Nerdvana at Martins

I showed up at the Martin’s on Monticello last week not knowing what to expect. I was running late due to having to work late (it was a crazy day). I ran home, changed, and grabbed a can of Glory blackeyed peas for dinner (actually pretty alright and very filling.)

So anyway, I walk into Martins and turn right where their little food court / dining area is. and there are about eight guys at a long table. I think to myself, Oh lord Crystal, what have you gotten yourself into now? But they greet me, and make a seat for me at the table, and are very welcoming and pleasant.

Turns out some of them go (or went) to the same church together and they have been hosting these nights for about a year now. They saw a dearth of free / low cost fun things for people to do around here and so they decided to make their own. The group is organized by a guy named Scott, who comes up with many of the ideas of things to do and posts to the Facebook page. It sounded like some of the more popular events have been:

A couple of girls did eventually show up- they said that in general, the crowd tends to be more “mixed” when the activity is something outdoors, or at least not confined to the Martin’s food court. But I mean, if you are a woman deciding whether or not to go- the gender balance power is in your hands!

So anyway- this particular Thursday was Game Night! We were encouraged to bring a favorite board game, and in my family we have this game we call “the dice game.” But it takes a few minutes to explain, so I picked up some UNO cards instead, thinking that would be simpler. When it came time to start the game, one of the guys pulled out this game he was really jazzed about, but I had never heard of it. Apparently he had just ordered it in the mail after hearing about it from a friend- it was called “Space Cadets.”  And we start unpacking this game, and there are about a billion dice, most of which have weird symbols on them instead of regular dots (I’m thinking, whaaaa. . . ?). After about 45 minutes of figuring out what this symbol meant, and what happens if this happens, and frequent consultation with the rulebook (I thought my game was complicated!), we start playing the game. And y’all- it was awesome.

It was basically like playing Star Trek. Everybody had a panel they were in charge of (navigation, weapons, shield, targeting, power), and then there’s an engineer (essentially a de facto captain) who rolls the dice that dictate what the team is able to do. Then you as the navigation person, or whatever, you get to roll your weird symbol dice as many times as you want until you get the result you want. And there are no turns. So the effect is the constant rattle of dice clattering and shouts of “Give me a torpedo in the side chute!” and “I need threes!” and “Full targeting achieved!” and finally, “Firing!” upon which word everyone stops and you roll to see if you missed, and if not, how much damage was sustained. It ended up being a lot of fun. I felt like Chekov or something. It was cool.

Space Cadets II

So, even if the activity is “board games at the Martins on Monticello,” don’t worry, it will be fun. Oh, and one more thing I forgot to mention. If you get there before 6:30, just be aware that they have  a little devotional with a Bible verse and a reflection. Nothing super-hard-core, just, like, trying to be a better person-type stuff. But at 6:30 that part is over and they don’t bring it up anymore out of respect for those that aren’t in to that. Bottom line, this is a fun group of folks who are very welcoming and I highly recommend checking out a Thursday or two. Here are their upcoming events (meet at 6pm each week at Martins on Monticello):

– Thursday 12/4, Grand IlluminaTAN:
Join us in an evening of Christmas light viewing, culminating in a drive through Newport News Virginia’s “Celebration In Lights.” You won’t want to miss this award-winning display, a two-mile drive-through of spectacular animated scenes!

-Thursday 12/11, Ginger Bread House Competition:
Best Ginger bread house wins! Structural supplies will be provided. Decorative supplies will be purchased by competitors. After dinner, we will set up in the upstairs cafe at Martins. People will divide into teams and purchase supplies. Bartering for supplies with other teams is allowed and encouraged. 3 prizes will be awarded: -Most Adventurous -Best Architecture -Most Likely to Withstand Blizzard Conditions

Thursday 12/18, Christmas Caroling:
We will be heading to Colonial Williamsburg to spread Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear! Bring warm clothing. a flash light, and a few dollars for hot chocolate at the end of the night. Feel free to make any song suggestions at

Thursday 12/25, No Meeting:
Merry Christmas!


Week Peek: Nov 18-23

There is a lot of cool stuff happening this week! But I can’t get to it all here- check out the calendar for even more stuff.


BW3Beer & Wings at Buffalo Wild Wings- Tuesday, 6:30 pm

This is put on by a new Meetup Group, New to Williamsburg. Sounds like a good way to meet new people!

tree_grows_in_brooklyn_xlgA Tree Grows in Brooklyn at the Williamsburg Library – Wednesday, 7pm – FREE

Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s. 

Featured Event this week!

TANThursday Adventure Night

From their Facebook page: “Join other young adults (18-35 years old) for an adventure every Thursday at 6pm in Williamsburg!” From past events, they usually meet at 6pm at the Martins on Monticello for dinner, then head out to wherever they’re going. The last two weeks they had Arcade Game Night at Great Wolf Lodge and a Geocache Dash. They haven’t yet posted what this week’s adventure will be, but I will be there to cover it for the blog, so feel free to join me!

CW Art CraftColonial Williamsburg Employee Arts & Crafts Show– Saturday & Sunday 10am-5pm- Free to browse

There are a lot of talented people that work at CW- you can buy everything here from ornaments to paper crafts to jewelry, just lots of stuff. Think of it like an in-person Etsy! Great for holiday shopping.

Y’all have a GREAT TIME this week! And please check out the calendar for other things going on that I didn’t get to here- free yoga Wednesday night (both vinyasa and laughter yoga), an acoustic jam, State of the City Address, and a free VSO Woodwind Quintet concert, among other things.

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