Thursday, October 24, 2013

Daddy Daughter Double Dating: In Which They Venure Out on the Last Leg of Their Journey

EEK...long time no see...but instead of filling these pages with excuses that you will just roll your eyes at, I shall go directly to my final installment of Daddy Daughter Double Dating....I shall not tell you the details of our trying to process 1,800 pounds of apples into pie filling, applesauce, and cider, or the routine of keeping three lively students focused on their school work. No, I will not even tell you about the crazy cleaning that goes on after the above mentioned projects. Instead, you shall remain ignorant as to my absence, and instead, be filled in on past happenings in my life.

Presenting the last installment of DADDY DAUGHTER DOUBLE DATING....*drum roll*

Well our time in D.C. was over, and though Rachael and I would never have admitted it to anyone, it went by without the excitement of ever getting lost in the busy streets of D.C...We'd gotten to catch one last glimpse of Washington's glorious streets, lit up with the magical street lights that night as we strolled back to our Hotel.

But it was time to leave. After listening to a Paul Washer sermon in one of our hotel rooms that next Sunday morning, we headed to Mt. Vernon. Rachel and I entertained ourselves in the car with competitive games of hangman...but, I shall not give the final tally scoring :) 

There we were, standing on George Washington's lawn, walking through the house that had been his home for many years...our very first President, and we were there. You'll have to take my word as to the beauty of the inside of the house as no photography was me, it was amazing!

I thought to myself as we strolled through the manicured gardens of healthily growing plants that I would have to get some tips from the master hands behind all of this....Cause whatever they are doing to produce such effects, our pitiful garden of weeds is missing :)

That day, Mt. Vernon was putting on a Colonial fair, complete with old fashioned craft demonstrations, a Punch and Judy show, and plenty of lovely merchandise booths set out for the express purpose of wheasling money from the wallets of innocent passers (it proved successful for some)

We took our abode that night in probably the most memorable places of them all, Econo Lodge. To say the least, we didn't get our flavored water and cookies. But it made for some wonderful memories :) The next day, we said a very "tearful" goodbye to our lodgings there :)

Next was our stay at the lovely town of Gettysburg...

It was strange to think how at this very place, our own men had fought together not very long ago, brother against brother and father against son. Even more sobering was the fact that neither side was really right or wrong...but each man was fighting for what he believed to be right...though I secretly side with the south ;)

Though our tour guide (CD) was a little dry, we enjoyed getting to read the different informative signs...Civil War is an especially favorite subject for me to study. And my students are now suffering from my accumulated knowledge.

Upon that single battlefield rested a total of 1,328 monuments.
Rachel and I figured that if daddy kept up with his three shots a photo, and we took a picture by every monument, it would add up to a total of 3,984 shots just of the monuments.

There was much history scattered throughout the different signs...this was an especially interesting story.

The land was beautiful, but I imagine at one time in history, it was a very sad scene with much blood and hatred filling the land.

We agreed that were we ever to return to Gettysburg, we would take the tour on bicycles.

Such amazing views, and yet I cannot begin to describe its beauty! One cannot simply capture it with a simple must go there themselves :)

And yes, we did run into a Union soldier during our stay there.

Between walking from sight to sight, and strenuous climbs up the tour lookouts (trust me, I'm sure there were at least a couple hundred steps :), along with an adventurous climb to the top of the Devil's Den, we tried to convince ourselves that we were amply working off those different packages of cookies that we were consuming!

Now here, my reader is a story that can only be described by those that were actually present...the comicality of the whole situation, the complete hilarity and near fatality of the climb up the Devil's Den, one just cannot describe...

...but it is definitely quite some tale; as it took both dads, much struggling, climbing on a rather smooth rock, and even a hard fall for one of our members :)

Surprisingly, Pennsylvania had the largest monument of them all, being visible throughout the many miles of the battlefield.

This particular spot is where Lee gathered his men on one of the major attacks during the battle of Gettysburg.

Then, returning to the beautiful town of Gettysburg, viewing the different houses with the copper plaques that marked them as Civil War originals. Shopping by moonlight, and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of small towns. Yes, Gettysburg town was AMAZING!!!

This lovely little Blue and Gray Bar and Grill had the loveliest little burgers ever, complete with confederate or Union flags a top the burger, depending on which one you ordered. Even though the burger I fancied came from the Union side, I was debating whether to sacrifice my preference for a confederate flagged burger :) 

Then returning to Gettysburg's lovely streets by the light of the morning and finding the town awake and in full function by 7:00 A.M...Visiting one of the local coffee shop for a wake-me-up coffee...(few things can compare!

Then to add to the enchanting experience, we ran into the absolute most adorable truck ever!...yeppers, my dream car :)

Our very last day, and these once eager travelers are eager still...that fire of enthusiasm still burns hot...but one cannot call home and tell the mothers we are keeping the dads an extra week (that just wouldn't go over big :) So with a little less enthusiasm then before, we packed up and headed for our last stop: Fort McHenry.

Yet another amazing sight. Fort McHenry was spectacular! The flag flown at there was the only flag that bore 15 stars, adding on Kentucky and Vermont.

And here was the very last Daddy Daughter pictures taken on this amazing date/trip!!!!

And so, though a bit unwillingly, we returned to our awaiting families...

Though we'd laughed at the time about the many pictures taken over and over again, it was very beneficial, I found, to have the whole of 850 pictures to cry over when I got home.

  • Due to my extreme negligence through the month of October in regards to posting, I will be posting a video soon after this for those of you who are following Ania Spafford on her channel, The Art of Being Korean...oops, I forgot that I shouldn't be promising these projected dates.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Daddy Daughter Double Dating: In Which the Adventure takes us through the streets of D.C and beyond

Another day was here in D.C, and we managed to maneuver our way around the metro a little better this morning. This little shop was our breakfast stop in downtown D.C...the cutest little town ever! The lady at the counter remembered our orders and what time we had been there the previous day.

The adventure continued. Ah, the sites of D.C...they could never grow old. Each building had some extroardinary design that set it apart from all the rest. I could have spent the whole time just in D.C. with so much to see!I found I did feel a little out of place there in my shorts and jeans as a great many of the ladies wore lovely skirts and high heels. I determined that, were I to come here again, I should change this and look less like the tourist that I was :)

When walking down the streets, we passed so many people we immediately assumed to be American, but when they began speaking, we'd hear anything from French to German.

Ford's Theater was fascinating to me with so much history to take away from it. I was scratching down notes the whole time of things I wanted to remember for school, as we are studying the Civil War this year.

In one of the displays, they had a collection of weapons, (brass knuckles, a knife, etc,) that had been given to the President for his protection. He had refused to take them with him on the grounds that he would not be found sneaking into his own house as a thief in the night...

Oops, Dad caught us both again being the crazy redheads we are :)

Unfortunately, the theater was under construction we didn't get to see it in it's full glory.

By day two, we found our smiles already beginning to wear thin, lacking that natural freshness that we'd begun with :) For as we'd discovered over time that for every picture taken, it took at least three shots before it was considered good enough.

 Of course we HAD to get our picture taken in front of the Theater...and we just couldn't miss the opportunity of one with Lincoln...and one more picture in the actual theater...and just maybe...that might do it :)

What do ya know, we actually passed up the opportunity for a photo in front of the house where Lincoln died... :)

If'n you hadn't seen enough pictures of this lovely sight, I decided to put one more in....It was just so breathtaking!

The National Archives was amazing. As we discovered later, they actually allowed those above the age of 14 to enter the library and hold any original document that they wanted. Looking at the Declaration and Constitution lying there behind the dimly lit glass, faded to the point that only a few words were then decipherable (one could just make out Hancock's signature), you almost felt like you should be placing your hand on your heart. (And no, we did not look for a treasure map on the back of the Declaration :)

Our lunch stop was one of great "controversy" as we discussed whether the place had derived it's title, Potbelly, from the shape in which it leaves one after eating there, or perhaps, as we found to be the case, it was due to the shape of the oven in which the sandwiches were cooked.

Arlington was spectacular, with it's 624 acres of graves...I would not like to be the one that cared for the lawn.

We ended up making it in time for the changing of the guard. I was sitting there wondering what a serious job he had, and how very hard it would be to walk back and forth, keeping time like clock work, and  maintaining such a serious face, with cameras flashing pictures of you all day long. And then I saw it, when his head was turned form the crowds, and he thought that nobody else could see him, his face turned from calm composure to a screwed up nose, wrinkling in a most unsoldierly manner ...I think he had an itch  :)

A popular attraction was the everlasting flame, though I preferred the memorials to our real heroes...and was not altogether impressed with whom the tomb was honoring.

 I did not end up finding any of Easy Company buried in Arlington as I had originally least no one that I wanted to look for.

And so we returned to our old stomping grounds that had once proved a place of confusion for these lost travelers. They now felt confident that they could walk it blindfolded...cept for a little trouble getting the entrance cards to work:)

We used our time waiting for the metro, writing postcards home to family....:)
Till we returned to the comfort of our hotel where our flavored water and cookies awaited us (Yes, it would prove to be very hard getting used to the reality of life again after being so spoiled :)

To Be Continued...