Days 24-25

Published: October 11th 2010
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The Half Yearly Flea Market in downtown Gettysburg
From Gettysburg to Williamsburg

We spent the morning paying our respects to those who lost their lives in the Civil War. Visiting the National Gettysburg Cemetery was a truly humbling experience. I was glad that we were there early in the morning with those visitors who were quiet and respectful of the sacrifices for those who were buried there. We then went to Downtown Gettysburg to tour the Shriver House. This was a tour about the lives of the civilians who continued to live in Gettysburg as the troops from both sides gathered within their cities and in their houses. It was truly a fascinating tour and a wonderful glimpse into what happens to civillians when an invading army occupies your town.

A long drive to Williamsburg: Did I tell you all that my Triptik program got overwhelmed by all of our stops and started making mileage and time errors? This has played havoc with the end of our trip, ie: Washington DC is not 10 miles from Williamsburg, but 230 miles.... So now we are about a half day behind on our itinerary. So, we got into Williamsburg late and tired. We skipped an end of the day visit to Williamsburg in favor of naps, an earlly dinner, and a walk through Williamsburg after dinner. We discovered a wonderful restaurant, Food for Thought--a great combination of upscale home cooked food and literature. There were wonderful murals of quotations from great writers all over the walls. A great concept for a restaurant.

From Williamsburg to Washington DC

We spent the early morning taking a walk through Historic Williamsburg. We chose not to buy the $28 to $48 dollar per person tickets because we had only a few hours to spend. That decison led us to feeling like 2nd class citizens--we could look from the outside, but not enter most of the historic (sort of) sites, and re-enactment sites. So, next time if we should choose to return (we couldn't even buy breakfast because we didn't have tickets, so we are not truly enamored of the whole Williamsburgy thing) we would probably buy the tickets and do the whole touristy thing. However, it was highly enjoyable to walk around the district as it was waking up. I was really, really envious of the young ones who spent their Sunday mornings running through an 18th century village. And, it
Gettysburg National CemeteryGettysburg National CemeteryGettysburg National Cemetery

Memorial to the Soldiers
was quite nice to take a 90 minute mid 1800 century walk before we hopped into the car and endeavored to make our way to Washington DC. The weather changed, as we walked, from lovely 70 degrees to overcast and muggy....time to get into the car.....And as I said, endevor to drive to DC. First thing, a 45 minute delay....but it did give us time to think about how a vacation to Virgina would be a great thing: beach, history (Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorkville) and a base to Maryland.

Starting out with Jane, our GPS, confidently tellilng us that we would be in DC after only 2 hours, we blitheley set out....and within a few minutes got a notice of a delay and a subsequent detour through back roads in Virginina. Despite the ongoing Dueling Banjoes theme song in my head, it was just beautiful country. As we travelled I was setting up a Cousin Reunion with Cousin Richard. Richard and I e-met about 5 years ago as we were doing family history. So, I was very excited about meeting up with him in after so many emails.

John and I battled our way into DC, settled into
Memorial of Lincoln's Gettysburg AddressMemorial of Lincoln's Gettysburg AddressMemorial of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

A memorial from Kentucky to commemorate the site of Lincoln's Gettysburg address
our room, grabbed a map and set out to learn how to use the Metro System. We met up up with Cousin Richard and his wife Moninca and spent a wonderful few hours over drinks, dinner and conversation getting to know each other. They live in Maryland and have had great experiences in DC, so they gave us wonderful suggestions for our full day, Monday, in DC. Then, they dropped us at Union Station and we set out to grab out seats on the Monuments by Moonlight trolley tour. Almost 4 hours later, we had been by or visited most all of the monuments in DC. Of all, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was perhaps the most moving; the Lincoln Memorial the most awe-inspiring, and the Jefferson Memorial the most reverential. Unfortunately, many of the visitors to these Memorials are not there to pay their respects. The top of the list of most disrespectful are the Japenese--the young girls laughing, shrieking, and posing suggestively in front of the statues, young couples shouting to each other and making out against the pillars, and the adults yelling over guides and ignoring the "Please be Quiet and Respectful" signs. Europeans in general would be

Paying our respects to those who have died in the service of our country
the second most disrespectful group, followed by Americans with small children, ( "Hey, don't hit that old lady...I said stop hitting that old lady....If you don't stop hitting that old lady I am going to have to hang up my cell phone and come over there.....") But even with the distractions of an incredibly rude populace, it was amazing and awe-inpisiring, to see the many wonderful memorials that are such icons of American history We were also quite proud that, even with a several block lost detour, we were able to master the tube to get around on our first night in DC. Maybe we are not such country bumpins, after all.

Max and John

Additional photos below
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A few pictures before the sun goes down.

28th September 2010

Max and John, Sounds like you two are having a fun and memorable time together! I've always wanted to visit Gettysburg...thanks for the travel tips. Jila

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