Monday, August 21, 2017

Things You Must Do In Gettysburg, PA

"Hey look, it's Abraham Lincoln!" Natalie said, pointing as we walked up to the Gettysburg National Park. "I'm sorry you got shot," she added as we walked by.






We recently returned from a trip to Gettysburg, and let me tell you, it's a gorgeous town. The grass was emerald green. The sky was robin blue. Fluffy white clouds dotted the sky. The temperature was pleasant in the 80s, a welcome reprieve from the 100 degree temperatures we've been having in Texas.



My husband has always been intrigued by Gettysburg. His Dad was too, but unfortunately his Dad has passed away and never got to visit Gettysburg. So I knew his Dad was on my husband's thoughts. I was also eager to explore Gettysburg--I've always been fascinated with history. If you've never been to Gettysburg, well, I have ideas on what you must do if you go.





1. Check out the Gettysburg National Military Park first before heading for the battlefields. 




You learn different ways to explore the battlefields. You can take a bus tour. You can hire your own tour guide to ride with you. Or you can do as we did and take the auto tour. They'll give you a map on how to drive around and you get to go at your own pace. There's also a museum there, and active duty military members are free.



2. Take the time to read about the battles. There are usually signs out at each spot explaining exactly what went on.


This was helpful for me, because my knowledge of Gettysburg is a tad rusty.



3. Check out the Soldiers' National Cemetery and see the Lincoln Address Memorial.


"So this is where he went 'Four Score and Seven Years ago?' Natalie asked. "Oh and look, it was dedicated in 1912. That's when the Titanic went down."



4. Eat at an old house! We decided to check out the Dobbin House Tavern. There are several in the area, but this was closest to our hotel.





The French Onion soup is AMAZING. Get it!



5. Check out the Sachs Covered Bridge. It's gorgeous. It's about two miles from the battlefields.


Yes, it's historic. Civil War armies marched on it.





6. Do a ghost tour at night. There are lots of options, and we went with Gettysburg Ghost Tours because they had fabulous reviews on Facebook.



It didn't disappoint. We did the Battlecry Tour. It wasn't too spooky, it was mostly stories about ghosts. My daughter is 10 and wasn't frightened at all. I saw kids younger than her as well. You get to walk to various places in town and hear spooky tales about where ghosts have been spotted.


7. Go to the museum at the Gettysburg National Park.





There are many interesting exhibits and it goes into the entire Civil War, not just Gettysburg.



8. Check out the town of Gettysburg. There are cool stores, and you can get a photo like this done:



I know. My husband SO has the face for that era. Natalie's all, "I just loved my hat. I felt like a lady!"



9. Take it all in. At first you'll marvel at the beauty. But then you'll remember what happened there. You'll remember that there were bodies all over the fields. There were people screaming in pain. People who mattered.





Have you ever been to Gettysburg before?



Hey, It's Okay

I got this idea from Glamour magazine. You can link up any day of the week. All you have to do is make a list of what you're okay about. Simple! Please do not link up a post that has nothing to do with Hey, It's Okay. It's rude.





Hey, It's Okay....



....to have not really care about the eclipse. I mean, it's cool, but....meh. More concerned with Game of Thrones.


....to actually be driving when the eclipse is supposed to happen. Eek! But my son has a check up today.


.....to still be unpacking from our vacation.


....to be ready for my kids to go back to school on the 28th. Waking up early is tough, but the quiet is pleasant. I can get so much accomplished.


....to still need to get some school supplies! I've been procrastinating. Plus it's hard when one kid is in high school--you don't really know what they'll need until they bring home the teacher's syllabus.


....to think my daughter picked out a strange backpack. This is Gudetama.









Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Heart Of Gettysburg

In the beginning she didn't get it. She thought it was a place to practice cartwheels. To jump from rock to rock. And I couldn't blame her. Everything was so green. So inviting.









But she needed to know the meaning of Gettysburg. And so I told her.





"Thousands of people died in these fields. They fought doing what they believed was right. Can you imagine racing straight towards cannons?"





We saw rows and rows of cannons and yes, soldiers bravely ran towards them.

"That would be scary," Natalie said.

"But they did it. They were someone's son. Brother. Uncle. They mattered. So it's not really appropriate to play around. Do you understand?"



Natalie nodded solemnly. "They gave their lives for their country. Like my Daddy would."




After that I think she understood. The cartwheels stopped.



She actually started reading the placards and memorials about the battles:



Of course we had fun moments. Pretending to fire cannons. A family photo. It didn't have to be completely serious.

But. My daughter said it best.

"They deserve our respect."





She got it.

The heart of Gettysburg.



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