Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Road Trip Part 3

click HERE to read part 1

click HERE to read part 2

One of our first major stops of the trip was the Gettysburg Battlefield
I had mixed feelings about taking the kids to see a war site. 
We are trying our best to pass down our nonviolent values to our children so I was a bit nervous about introducing them to the fact that people kill one another.

I want them to remain small innocent children for as long as possible

Children that believe that everyone in the world works and lives together in a pleasant little community.

That everything is sunshine and butterflies!

But that isn't the REAL world now is it?

When I was little the civil war was a big part of my raising.
My Dad, the history buff that he is, was part of a group of Civil War reenactors.
I remember, as a little girl, getting all dressed up to go to a reenactment.
I didn't care much for the fighting part like my brothers but I loved getting all dressed up in my old fashioned dresses and walking around looking at all the women in their camp sites.
I can still smell the gun power and horse crap!

My favorite reenactment was at Shaker Village.
We got to spend the whole weekend pretending to be mid 19th century town folks!
That year was the first year I experienced a thing called "Blackface"
Dad snuck me into an underground gathering of the Confederate Army.
It wasn't until college that I finally figured out what in the world they were doing.

OH MY!  ***** GASP*****

Back to the road trip......
Our initial plan  was to pull up, hop out, look around, then get back on the road.
When we got to the battlefield we were amazed (not sure why) at how touristy it was.
I had in my mind this big old farm with a few historical markers.
Instead we were greeted with a MASSIVE museum and an ungodly amount of people.

As we were walking up the path to the main entrance we were pushed along by the crowds of school children participating in class field trips, slowed down by the older people with canes and wheelchairs and in a total panic trying not to lose Paul and Anna.

It was NUTTS.
My claustrophobia and the anti social part of my personality began to flare up.

In the main lobby of the museum we spent a small amount of time trying to decide what to do.
We didn't want to spend any money (wow that place is EXPENSIVE) and we didn't want to take a whole lot of time at the battle field (WOW that is a LONG tour), so we opted to ask for driving directions to Pickett's Charge.

Roger and I grabbed a quick coffee.  I needed it after the stampede of people.

On the way out we bumped into Honest Abe!

Abe thought Anna was adorable and said YES for a quick photo!
Paul thought Abe was creepy. He insulted good ol' Abe by refusing to take a photo with him.

When we finally found Pickett's Charge I was stunned at its beauty.  
The day was foggy, overcast, with a small mist falling from the sky.  
I couldn't help but stand there thinking that "THIS is what it must of looked like on the day that SO MANY people lost their lives."  
The fog could have easily been gun smoke.  

Brother against Brother. Father against Son. Friend against Friend.

I couldn't stop asking myself "why do people do such awful things to one another?"

Anna made sure to bring her Dora the Explorer map and Princess Camera!

We took the kids to the top of the hill and explained to them the awfulness of war.
Anna had no clue what we were talking about.
Paul however, was very moved "why Dad?  why do people kill each other? That is just so sad."

After spending a lot more time than we had anticipated, staring out over the field, taking in its beauty, imagining the horrible scene that once played out on the very spot we were standing, we hopped back in the car.

Roger, the map king, looked at me with a big smile "we are super close to Amish country."
"Are you kidding me?!?!?
"We HAVE to go!"
"We HAVE to go!"
 "I have always DREAMED of going!"

  Lancaster County, PA here we come!

Check back next monday for Road Trip Part 4

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