On to Philly... our first day in Philly was great. We had a tour of Independence Hall. The tour guide was great and passionate. He made us really feel the history that went on in the buildings we visited. I couldn't believe we were standing in the same rooms where the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederacy, and finally the Constitution of the United States had been!!! You could almost hear the debates and the huzzahs. After the tour we did a quick geocache on our way to get a Cheese Steak... the sandwich was good, though, not much different than a really good Subway sandwich... I keep wondering if I had gotten it with Cheese Whiz if it would have been better... oh, well, next time.
|Where the Declaration of Independence was signed!!!|
|The family outside of Independence Hall with our first President!|
After filling our bellies with cheese steaks, we came back to see the Liberty Bell. Overall, it was another great day, though a little hot.
|The Liberty Bell - |
now inside and unable to be touched because some people didn't treat it with respect!
|City Tavern - frequented by George Washington & Thomas Jefferson|
|Three buildings that are all different heights?|
Nope, an optical illusion specifically designed to do so by the architect!
We got up early the next day and drove to Gettysburg. We saw a great movie that was narrated by Morgan Freeman. This was an excellent way to introduce us to the events that occurred during this 3 day battle. After the movie we continued into the Cyclorama, a huge painting that was painted in the 1890's (not too long after the War) and was restored in 1996 at a cost of several million dollars. When the restored it, they placed it as it was intended... on a curved surface in a circular room. The painting encircled the viewers as if we were standing on Little Round Top. It had a diorama that blended perfectly into the painting. It was beautiful and majestic. My only wish is that we had more time to spend looking at the details. We then had time to view the museum... which was excellently done. I especially loved the videos and touch screen computers that let you zoom in and out of an aerial view of the various times throughout the three days.
|Gettysburg...the start of a long, but great day!|
|The whole family|
|Although you can't get the full affect, this is one of the areas of the cyclorama.|
We then got to meet our tour guide, Joanne. We had hired her to give us a personal tour of the battlefield in our own car. She was incredible!!! Her little stories of the civilians of the town was a nice touch. It was very interesting to hear about the battle from the perspective of the townsfolk... as well as the men that fought, of course. She pointed out little details that having do it on our own, would have never known about... for example, there were several homes with cannon balls stuck in the walls, Joanne pointed these out. You could tell that she really loved the history knew her stuff. She made the whole thing come to life. On top of that, even though we only paid for 2 hours, she toured us for 5 hours!!! The time just flew by, she enraptured the kids and kept our attention the entire time. Should any of you ever visit Gettysburg, you have to hire a guide! I can't imagine the day going any better. In fact, the skies rewarded us with a beautiful sunset as we finished our tour at the location of where Picket's Charge failed...
|Thank you, Joanne, for a GREAT day!!|
Today (Wednesday the 27th), then, we got up a little later than we intended... Ruth was awesome in that she stayed up very late doing much needed laundry. (Thank you, Sweetie!!!) We then drove south towards Washington D.C. stopping at Antietam National Battlefield. This park was the site of the single most bloody day of the entire Civil War, where there were over 5,000 casualties. We were all very tired and didn't spend too much time here, but we did stop at a few of the locations along the tour to take pictures and read some plaques. We even had time to do a virtual cache towards the end of the tour. Oh, and did I mention we got a geocache along the highway on our way to Antietam?
|Memorial tower at Antietam - great view of much of the battle area|
We then checked into our hotel in D.C. and called it a night. We were all beat.
PS - this post is even later than normal because I (Ruth) did not have the energy/time to proof and add pictures to it until now...sorry! Keep watching for the next update very soon!!! :-)