Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Last Week

The past week has been busy but fun! Tuesday we went to Chocolate World in Hershey. Pretty fun tour and a gift shop with LOTS of chocolate and candy. There was a lot to see! That night we ate at Plain and Fancy Farm. We had the "family stlye" meal which was all you could eat food brought right to the table. It was a little weird that we had to eat with other people (there was a family from Dallas and a couple from Lancaster at the table with us), but there was plenty of good food ... fried chicken, sausage, roast beef, corn, mashed potatoes, buttered noodles, carrots, pie, ice cream ... YUM!!

Wednesday we dodged the rain as we did a walking tour of Philly. We toured the building where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed as well as several other historic buildings. We ended the day at the National Constitution Center. Thursday we went to a Phillies game and then drove through New Jersey and Delaware (to add two more states to the list of places we've traveled!).

Friday we had a "down" day in Lancaster. We did a lot of driving and shopping. There were some outlet stores and of course a lot of Amish stores. We ended the day by taking a buggy ride. The ride went through an Amish farm so we were able to see the men working in the fields making hay bales. The children were selling homeade cookies and pretzels. We went to a local pretzel factory but missed being able to take a tour and twist our own pretzels.

Today we left our nice little campsite and headed for Indiana. We figured if we could get that far then the drive to St. Louis on Sunday wouldn't be so bad. We stopped near Shanksville, PA to see the Flight 93 Memorial. This was the flight that crashed in the field on September 11th.

We are almost in Indiana. Unfortunately there was a HORRIBLE rainstorm and so we decided to stop and stay the night in Brookville, Ohio. We are only 20 miles from Indiana so tomorrow won't be too bad. We can get back on the road after church tomorrow.

We are planning on visiting the Arch in St. Louis and then we will be home on Monday!! We have had a great time but we are ready to be back. Monty is not looking forward to work on Wednesday. I'm sure the rest of my week will be doing laundry and unpacking! :)

You can check out our photos on our Flickr site!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Adventures in Gettysburg

We had a great time in Gettysburg. After our two BUSY days in D.C. it was nice to just lay back and relax a little. The first day we were there (Saturday) it rained quite a bit. We got some laundry done and plugged in everything in the laundry room to charge. I was not really impressed with our campsite. Unlike our others with trees and a private site, this was just a big field with a bunch of tents. The sites were separated with spray paint lines and there were no trees!

Sunday we actually got to do some sight seeing. After church we went and ate at Boyds Bear Country. This is a big outlet with all kinds of Boyds Bears for sale. It also had a great restaurant with country style cookin'. It was basically like a three-story Cracker Barrel. Then we went and did a driving tour of the Battlefield. The total tour covered about 20 miles and took us step by step through the three day battle. I was amazed at all the monuments, plaques, and memorials. We found the Arkansas, Florida, and Alabama memorials. The Visitor Center at the park was really nice and had a very informative museum about the battle. Today we went to the Gettysburg National Cemetary where Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address. We are calling this our Lincoln Vacation as we have now seen his birthplace, where he died (in D.C.), and several other places that were significant in his life.
This is the memorial for Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

This memorial stands on the site where he actually gave his famous speech.

We are now in Lancaster, PA. It was only about an hour drive from Gettysburg. It took us a little longer because we had to stop at Sam's on the way and get a new car battery. Luckily we could tell that it was dying and we didn't get stranded anywhere! The car starts much better now!

The Lancaster campsite is much nicer! We are next to a stream and we can look out the tent window and see farms and cows. There are actually trees and we have electric and water at our site. The bathrooms are much cleaner too and they are air-conditioned!

Here is the view from our new campsite. You can't see it in the pic, but there were A LOT of fireflies glowing in the field.

Tomorrow we are going to Hershey to visit Chocolate World. Any place with that much chocolate is bound to be fun!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

More Pictures

We are now in Gettysburg, PA. Yesterday we enjoyed watching the fireworks in D.C. The weather was less than cooperative and we spent much of the afternoon and early evening under our ponchos. However, the rain cleared in time for the fireworks and they were awesome!! We'll post a video clip soon. We sat in the National Mall area between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It was pretty cool to be in the capital for our nation's birthday!

Monty has updated our Flickr site so you can enjoy more pics of our vacation.

Tomorrow we are going to tour the Gettysburg battlefield after church and then we will tour the Boyds Bear Factory.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Driving and Walking

Driving and walking are the best words to describe the activities of the last four days. We certainly have done a lot of both and honestly I have enjoyed every minute of it! Monday morning we left Monty's grandparents at about 5:30. We traveled through the eastern part of Kentucky, part of West Virginia, and then into Virginia and the Shenendoah National Park.

Our time in Shenendoah was peaceful and relaxing. There were hardly any other campers in our campground. Also, being in a national park made the nights quiet and still. Tuesday we did some hiking and driving within the park. In the morning we hiked two miles to see the highest waterfall in the park and then hiked two (uphill and steep) miles back to camp. We drove about 30 miles to see another waterfall and to enjoy some of the gorgeous overlooks. Monty was able to capture some breathtaking photos of Tuesday's sunset.

Wednesday we left our peaceful oasis to enter the craziness that is D.C. On our way to the next campsite we stopped off to visit Mt. Vernon, which was once George Washington's home. We both enjoyed touring the mansion and the surrounding buildings, farmland, gardens, and memorials. Our campsite is on the Maryland side of D.C. We chose this once because of its close proximity to the capital. However, the highways run right by our site and the people of D.C. apparently never sleep because we could hear traffic all night long. That didn't stop us from sleeping though. Our days are so busy that we are ready to go bed each night!! We drove to Baltimore Wednesday night to see an Orioles game.

Thursday morning Monty was so glad that he didn't have to get back out and drive on the crowded interstates! The Metro bus came right to our campground and we were then able to take the Metro Rail into D.C. All day we walked and saw monuments, buildings, and memorials. We stayed in D.C. From 8:00 to 5:30 and our feet were ready to come back to the campsite. We covered most of the major sites and are going back today to see some more!! Since it is the Fourth of July we are sleeping in a little and then staying in the city late to see fireworks.

Here's me at the WWII Memorial!

Monty got this cool shot at the Vietnam Memorial.