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In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Reflections and Pictures of Our Trip to Gettysburg



Four score and seven years ago....

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I can't believe it is July already!  We feel like our summer just started because of Hurricane Sandy, my kids did not get out of school until the 21st of June. Ugh! To kick off our summer vacation The Husband and I decided to take the girls to Gettysburg, PA last week.

The town of Gettysburg is going all out to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the historic battle fought there. There are so many things to do, places to see, monuments to look at and learn about we could have stayed another two weeks and still not have had the time to see it all.  We had a ton of fun and did a bunch of diverse things in and around the town of Gettysburg, but for those of you who know me, you have to know, I cried A LOT on this trip. How can you not be moved by what transpired there? Learning about all the men (and women) who gave their lives and fought so fiercely on that battlefield is sorrowful and to be perfectly honest, in my opinion the cemetery should be viewed in a somber, reflective state of mind. While we were standing in those sacred places I did not feel it was appropriate to be my usual ridiculous self and did not joke around or act stupid like I  normally would. My girls are very sensitive like me and were having a hard time keeping it together too.

A couple of places that had my girls and I in tears was the Jenny Wade House. Jenny was sitting in her home early in the morning, just kneading some dough, making loaves of bread while her mother and  sister sat in the other room taking care of her newborn niece. A stray bullet went through the wall and killed her instantly! The other story that got to us was the story of a dog named Sallie. She was the mascot of a  regiment of Union soldiers. After one particularly fierce skirmish the men lost sight of Sallie amidst all the chaos and thought their dog was lost to them for good. Only to discover her weeks later, exhausted, hungry and thirsty but unwilling to leave the side of the bodies of the fallen men from her beloved regiment.  Sallie sat there loyally protecting their bodies and simply would not move until the rest of the regiment members came to recover the bodies. After taking the audio tour, going through the visitor's center and touring the battlefield, I told The Husband the girls and I needed to make a few happy detour stops to break up some of the sadness that was threatening to overtake us.

If you plan to go to Gettysburg with young kids or if  even if you are older but have a sensitive, soft heart like me, I strongly suggest throwing in some non-war related things into your itinerary to break it up. It really helped the girls and me make it through the rough stuff.

PS: The Husband took a whopping 850 pictures in Gettysburg.  I am posting only a select few of that number. He took so many great pictures it's going to be so hard for me to choose!

PSS: It was hot, humid and in the high 90's the entire trip. As far as the girls and my hair in these pictures, FRIZ happens :)
Frankie, Jaybird and Faith out on the Gettysburg Battlefield.




One of our much needed "breaks" from the battlefield. The girls took a stained glass work shop and made sun catchers!



Frankie was convinced this knot had to be a portal to Fairie Land!



 

The statue of  Sallie!

My girls petting the little  statue of Sallie. Oh my gosh, heart-breaking!



Watching Frankie cruise around town in her favorite moustache glasses is always fun!

View from Little Round Top




Faith taking in the views.



 
 
My little foodie highly recommends stopping at this French Bistro for breakfast- the croissants and crepes are fabulous!!

Farrah climbing some serious steps!

Frankie  couldn't help herself from doing what the sign said :)

We stayed at The Lodges at Gettysburg- amazing views and hiking trails!

View in the morning from our back deck :)
Dressing up and taking a picture at the Victorian Picture Studio! So fun.
My girls went nuts for all of the baby bunnies we encountered while hiking at the Lodges

The Lodges have a great pond to fish in too!







 

Me and my girls

 

41 comments:

  1. That's a lot of photos! Thanks for sharing some of them. And that was one loyal dog to remain with the bodies.

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    1. My girls lost it when they heard the story of Sallie. You hear so many moving stories, but animals, especially loyal pets like that, really got to them. In the visitor's center there is a whole area where it tells about different key figures and recounts what they liked to eat, their dislikes, their hobbies and what pets they had. My girls loved learning about Clara Barton and that she had a cat who lived for seventeen years :)

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    1. Hi Kyra! Thanks so much. I stink at taking pictures-these are all from The Husband.

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  3. Great photos! Your girls are adorable! I especially love the one from the Victorian picture studio! So fun! :)

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    1. Thanks Rach! Frankie has her eyes closed in this shot, but in the one of our whole family, (I made The Husband dress up too, LOL) they are open. We all had a really good time dressing up. The clothes are amazing and the people in the studio were wonderful. This was a great choice and family activity for us.

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  4. Wow, this trip looks like so much fun!!! I can't believe your girls had to stay in school for so long. But at least they got to go on a great trip with their cool parents. And I think you guys had perfect hair!

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    1. We had a great time, thanks! And our hair-ugh. We were so hot and frizzed out Dani- I can't even begin to tell you how many showers we took while we were in Gettysburg (or how much product we put into our hair, LOL). Every time we came back to the Lodges we all felt so sticky and sweaty we had to take yet another shower just to feel human again.

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  5. I think today is the actual anniversary. To think, Gettysburg becoming a battlefield was a complete accident practically. Just a chance encounter between a few soldiers would escalate to cost 160,000 lives. Just blows my mind.

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    1. Yep- you are right Jay. July 1st is the actual anniversary. We went a week early because we heard the crowds were going to be insane (like over 200,000) which is too much for me. I don't do well in that kind of cramped situation. Although it was already crowded when we were there, it was still very manageable. I have no idea how they are going to accommodate so many people this week-parking is a huge issue already-as well as limited restroom facilities. I did not want to have to deal with any of that, having three little girls and myself who are always in need of potty breaks. LOL

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  6. History can be draining both physically and emotionally. Glad you guys had a good time despite the heat and spiritual depression one can feel at places like Gettysburg. So many lives lost, there has got to be an echo of sadness remaining at that spot forever.

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    1. It really got to me- I am sensitive to begin with but the history and events surrounding Gettysburg are absolutely overwhelming! So many people died there. It is very hard to dwell on such hard facts. Breaking up the trip with some silliness was the only way I could handle it.

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  7. Such a cool vacation. I love that your girls were emotionally effected by it. It shows how empathetic you all are! :)

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    1. Thanks Johanna. But oh my gosh you'd have to have a heart of stone to not be effected. The numbers of people who died there is just staggering. I'm so glad we went and the girls are too.

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  8. So glad you had a good time. I love Gettysburg. I'm in my home town of York, PA right now which is only 40 minutes from Gettysburg and there sure is lots of historical events going on in the area. There was a re-enactment of the bridge burning the other night here. WAY COOL!!!!!!

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    1. Hey Deb! I didn't know you live in York. That's just a hop, skip and a jump from where we were. There were a lot of cool things planned for this week. The re-enactors were amazing. I can't believe the lengths of what they will go through to make things authentic. Before we even left Gettysburg, we were already talking about going back. There was just too much to see and we didn't hit half of the stuff we wanted to see. Although next time, I think we'll go in the fall or spring, cause it was dang hot to walk around as much as we did. I felt like a frizzy-haired version of the Wicked Witch, "I'm melting! Melting!"

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    2. I live in Wilmington, NC now, but born and bred in York. I was home visiting family for the week and it sure was hot!

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  9. It looks like you had a great vacation! I've never been to Gettysburg, but it is on my list of places to see. I love visiting Washington DC because of all the memorials and how emotionally affecting it is. I like that your girls responded in an emotional way and understand what took place there. I have to say those mustache glasses are very funny!

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    1. Hi Krista! Oh my gosh I can't tell you how many people stopped us on the street and said, "I LOVE your glasses" to Frankie. She was eating up all the attention, of course. One dude came running out of a tattoo/piercing shop and stopped her just to say, "Cool mustache glasses kid". She was thrilled.

      If you do get the chance, go to Gettysburg. It really is worth the trip.

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  10. Looks like an awesome time and I never realized the town could be so emotion jarring. I'll have to put Gettysburg on my 'to go' list.

    Great pics! :)

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    1. If you are ever in the area- go! If you care about history, Gettysburg is simply a must see. SO much history there.

      I'll tell The Husband you liked his pics. I had a hard time decided which to put up, there are so many. The buildings and architecture around town is beautiful too. So much to see and take in!

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  11. Awesome pictures! I love the girls all dressed up, and the 'butt' pic, haha. My husband went on a 4 day campout with the young men in our church group and came back with over a thousand pictures. What is wrong with these men? Haha. :)

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    1. Thanks Ilima- Oh my gosh at first we were happy and smiling in all of the pictures but then we were like, "AGAIN!" He kept stopping the car. We would go ten feet, then stop. Stop, go, stop, go. Plus, it was Africa hot. Getting in and out of the car from air-conditioning to heat, I came VERY close to barfing on the Battlefield! He did capture a lot of nice shots, but oh my gosh, after picture 300, we were so done! LOL

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  12. Love the butts picture. Classic. I have not been to Gettysburg, but it's on my list. We did go to Antietam and that was sad too. Such loss and hardship. Makes me feel like a whiner, but still I whine!

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    1. No one in my family smokes, so Frankie was all serious when she saw the sign and asked us, "Uh, why should I put my butt here?" The rest of us went hysterical and she was like, "What? What did I say? Tell me!!" But we could barely stop laughing long enough to explain to the poor kid what the sign really meant. HA!

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  13. We spent sooooo much time there and at Antietam. It is a somber place for certain. We even bought the CD that shows how the battle progressed and watched it again here on the computer. It's a fascinating time in history, a sad time, families torn apart. We're planning to go again. So much to absorb.

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    1. Hi Sandy- Oh my gosh is it ever sad. Just thinking about whole regiments getting wiped out at once, that would be the equivalent of every husband, uncle, father, brother and male in your entire town being killed-all at at once. It is mind-blowing. Not sure how anyone survived that kind of devastation and grief. My heart was breaking for most of the trip. Finding a balance there is key.

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  14. I so want to see Gettysburg. Thank you for posting pictures.

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    1. Hi Michael- You are very welcome. I had to throw in some silly shots with all of the somber ones. That kind of sadness can be overwhelming.

      Oh, please go find a way to see Gettysburg if you can. I highly recommend seeing it!!!

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  15. What a fun trip! I've never been to Gettysburg, though I've always wanted to. We have some Civil War related memorials here since a few battles took place nearby. They are indeed very somber places to be.

    So glad your girls got to experience an important part of American history. I remember being 8 years old and visiting Thomas Jefferson's house in Virginia. It's still one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I guarantee your girls will never forget it :)

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    1. Hey Sam! I hope they do remember it. I know it is something I won't ever forget. Believe it or not, it was my girls who asked to go visit in the first place. I'm ashamed to admit I did not think of it on my own. I have kids that are smarter than me, and really into American History, which is a very cool thing. My girls never cease to amaze me! I'm a lucky momma.

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  16. Sounds like an awesome trip! My hubby and I did a road trip in 2007 stopping at Gettysburg and then Hershey's. We did a bus tour during the day of Gettysburg and a walking ghost tour at night. We didn't see any ghosts, though.

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    1. We didn't make any ghost tours, we were too wiped out at night to go back out. The heat took a toll on the kids and The Husband, big time! I'd love to go back again, there is just so much we never got a chance to do!

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  17. It looks like you had a great time. Still laughing at the put butt here picture. Oh I stopped by Faith's blog so cool she has her goals set out.

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    1. Hey Brandon! My Frankie is a nutter isn't she? She really had no idea what "butts" they were talking about, because no one in my family smokes. She didn't understand why we were all laughing at the poor kid.

      Thanks for stopping by Faith's blog- I have to tell her to get posting again now that school's out for summer. She doesn't have much more time than me to blog, she keeps very busy. But I really enjoy getting to eat the fruits of her "test" kitchen!

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  18. Looks like a great trip!!!
    I can imagine Gettysburg being a tough, but meaningful place to visit.

    Cool pics!

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    1. It was for sure! Very teachable mom"ments" for me to share there. And that's the kind of vacation I like.

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  19. Ohhhh... Gettysburg is magical!!!! I love the pics! And what a perfect time of year to go! :D

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    1. It was a little hot, but at least we didn't have to pull the girls out of school. My kids are very serious about their school work and that doesn't fly well with them. IT was a nice kick-off for summer.

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  20. Wow, so many fantastic photos! I can't imagine what it must be like to visit such a historic place like that. So very cool, despite how sad the stories could be. (As a dog-lover, the Sallie one especially gets to me.)

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    1. My girls and I are animal lovers in every sense and it just about killed us hearing the story of the dog! We were sobbing. I know that sounds ridiculous but it was so touching and unexpected, it just got to us. After that, we needed a break. We went to Friendly's to cool off and eat us some ice cream sundaes! LOL.

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