Destination 12: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania


The next morning, we had a scheduled tour of the Capitol building at 9:30 a.m. We woke up very, very early and left the hotel by 8:45 but we were still 30 minutes late. Fortunately, the tour guide was very understanding and because we were our own tour group, no one but the tour guide himself was inconvenienced.

We were told by our guide that because it was 4th of July weekend, lots would be happening on Capitol Hill. Congressmen and senators alike wanted to get lots of work done before their holiday vacation. As a result, we saw a few members of Congress as well as Nancy Pelosi herself rushing through the long halls to get to their next meeting.

[Lungren's office and our tour guide]

[The original supreme courthouse, where the Dred Scott case was decided]

[Under the dome of the Capitol...Robert unable to stand still as usual.]

[I asked our tour guide to take a family picture of us next to Reagan's statue...
so naturally, the head would be cut off.]

During my internship in D.C., I never toured the Capitol so I was just as excited as everyone else to take a look inside and even sit and listen to a Congressmen arguing/voting on a bill. The tour lasted about 2 ½ hours, which the kids didn’t like so much. They did a great job but they made sure to remind us that they were very tired, very hungry and very bored.

Around 12:30 p.m., the tour ended and Dad met with his friend who organized the tour for us. We ended up getting lunch with him and a colleague at one of the cafeterias there. I never felt more like a tourist. Here I was in black shorts and a regular plain top with my rather unsubtle camera, eating amongst Capitol Hill interns and employees (dressed very well, I might add). I was slightly embarrassed.

After lunch, we decided it was a good time to head out of D.C. and onto our next stop, Gettysburg, PA. We got to our hotel a little past 6 or 7 p.m. The kids and I decided to take a dip in the hotel’s bath-sized pool, which was not heated either. None of this would have been a problem had it not been about 67 degrees outside. Out of nowhere, it got a little chilly and the pool definitely didn’t help matters. After a few laps and a failed attempt at warming up, I decided it was time to go in. With blue lips and shivering bodies, the kids followed suit.

The next morning, we woke up early to make our way to “Dad’s Disneyland” as he likes to call it. Dad, being the major history buff that he is, loves Gettysburg because it’s rich in American history and absolutely gorgeous. We watched a movie about the importance of the battle at Gettysburg, went through the museum and ate a not-so-good lunch at their cafeteria.

Around 3 p.m., we got a personal tour guide, who drove our car around Gettysburg, stopping at various places and explaining the battles that took place. The tour lasted about 2 hours and everyone enjoyed it so much! The guide really knew how to appeal to the kids’ interests. At every stop, he assigned the kids a specific duty: shooting a gun, preparing a canon, reporting the enemy’s position, etc. He really brought the battle to life and taught us the importance of this battle in the Civil War.

[Our very interesting, very knowledgeable and very wonderful tour guide]

[Robert leaving a penny with Penny, the dog who fought in the war]

[Gettysburg was absolutely beautiful!]

[Overlooking the battlefield from a tower that was occupied by Union forces]

[Preparing a canon]

I didn’t think we’d have as much fun as we did. But it turned out to be so enriching. I think Mom summed it up well: “It makes me want to learn history all over again!”

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