S: Our Adventure
FC: Our Adventure
1: It all began with talk of a trip to Pennsylvania. Then there was talk of visiting the WW2 Memorial in Washington DC. Before too long, we, the Four Musketeers, were off on an unforgettable adventure together...an adventure that we could never have guessed at the beginning would be such a wonderful few days traveling and learning.
2: The bags are packed. The plans are all made. The itineraries are printed out and in the book. The reservations are all made. Let's GO!
3: After a few false starts or rather false starters, and a quick trip to Winder, we were really ready to hit the road on our adventure North.
4: George Washington made Mount Vernon his home from 1754 until his death in 1799. He enlarged the house and expanded his estate from 2100 to 8000 acres and experimented with dozens of crops, ornamental plants and trees. Today, visitors to Mount Vernon may view the mansion, outbuildings, museum, the tomb of George and Martha Washington and more than 60 acres of gardens and grounds as it is maintained by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.
6: "No estate in United America is more pleasantly situated than this..." George Washington | Mount Vernon
8: "I want a Man that will labour hard, knowing at the same time how to keep a Garden in good Order and Sow Seed in their proper Seasons in ground that he has prepared well..." George Washington, November 22, 1771
9: "I have no lust after power but wish with as much fervency as any Man upon this wide extended Continent, for an opportunity of turning the Sword into a plow share." George Washington | Washington hired gardeners that had been trained in Europe and were skilled in cultivating the wide varieties of plants and seeds that he received from around the world.
12: Our visit to our First President's home was a very enlightening experience. We learned that he preferred home to the battlefield but also knew that winning our freedom was worth his long absences from his beloved Mount Vernon and Martha. I doubt any of us will ever think of Washington the same way after walking the grounds of his beautiful home.
13: From the simple, elegant life of Mount Vernon to the chaos and confusion of the Metro Station. We appreciated the convenience but never really figured out how that pay system worked. Made us really miss our cars and trucks!
14: The Washington Monument is the tallest structure in Washington DC as well as the tallest stone structure in the world and the world's tallest obelisk. It stands 555 feet 5 1/8 inches and is made of marble, granite, and sandstone. The cornerstone was laid July 4, 1848 and the aluminum capstone was set on December 6, 1884.
16: The views, albeit a bit foggy, were well worth the cold marble waiting bench outside, the long lines, and the risk the boys took leaving their contraband pocket knives in a nearby trashcan for "safekeeping".
17: First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life; pious, just, human, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding; his example was as edifying to all around him, as were the effects of that example lasting. Henry Lee
19: "J Only D Only Willis" Joined the Army Air Corp in October 1942 and spent most of his war time in Orly Field, France. He returned stateside Thanksgiving Day 1945 on the Queen Mary on its last trip made as a GI carrier and his DD214 was signed by Harry S. Truman. "J Only D Only" as he was often called tells great war stories. It's a joy to listen to them and experience history first hand and was a true honor to share the WWII Memorial with him.
23: Arlington National Cemetery A military cemetery established during the Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Custis Lee, a great grand-daughter of Martha Washington, Arlington Cemetery is situated directly across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial. The cemetery encompasses an area of 624 acres and serves as the final resting place for veterans and military casualties from each of the nation's wars.
26: The 3rd US Infantry Regiment of the United States Army that is also known as The Old Guard serves a special role at Arlington National Cemetery as sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknowns, maintaining a twenty-four hour watch over one of the nation's most sacred sites.
28: The Lincoln Memorial
32: The George Washington Masonic National Memorial
34: With animated cows singing about milk chocolate and the promise of a bar of that same chocolaty goodness, a visit to Hershey's Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania was a must first stop on the tour. Too bad Papa couldn't partake of any of the samples!
36: Our ride on the Strasburg Train took us on a journey through Pennsylvania Amish country and included a "real" robbery. We were safe from harm and thoroughly entertained.
37: Waiting on the train | Mom is all ready to play her part in the robbery.
38: I'm not certain what we were all expecting, but Pennsylvania Amish Country was certainly something to experience. To drive down a country road and have to share it with a horse and buggy was an abrupt change to the fast pace of DC. We later read that it was ill advised to take pictures of these quiet people as this is their way of life and not meant to be a spectacle, but before then we snapped away as much to capture the moment as to remind ourselves later that a world free of all our "necessities" is very possible.
40: Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, was the last stop before we headed back to our own homes and it didn't disappoint. With Jefferson's attention to every detail, the house is a treasure of many of his own designs including his own copy machine, a fresh fish holding pond, and of course his clock with Saturday showing only in the basement.
42: We got a lot of use out of the wheelchair, and, no, Papa didn't actually push me around. I just couldn't resist a photo op!
43: We are family and more than likely got on each other's nerves spending all our time in the same truck, bus, tram, and hotel room together, but we ended the trip still liking one another and ready for the next adventure...after we recover from all the wounds from this one that is!