Saturday, October 8, 2011

Trip to Washington DC - Day One

This was one of the trips I dreamed we would be able to take with our kids someday.  I was so excited to go with my family to Washington DC!  Mark's sister had lived in Maryland, so Mark had been when he was in high school, but I had never been.  The history there is just so exciting!  It was so fun to actually be somewhere and see things I had only seen in history books or on the news before!  I feel even more blessed to live in this country after going on this trip.  I was in awe, and at times emotional as we visited and saw sites and places so important to our country and it's amazing history.

We flew to Washington DC on a Friday and got in really late.  We had to rent a car, and drive quite a ways to our hotel in Alexandria.  By the time we got to the hotel it was 1:00am Saturday morning.

Saturday morning we drove a couple hours north to Gettysburg National Park.

This was a humbling and emotional day.  This battle where brother fought against brother really came to life as we drove around to the different sites.  We did a car tour where we listened to a CD that told the stories of what happened here.

We got out and walked around quite a bit.  The surrounding countryside is BEAUTIFUL.

The trees were just beginning to change color...

The Pennsylvania Memorial

This is the Gettysburg Address Memorial at the Soldier's National Cemetery.

Just a little ways from the Memorial is the site pictured below, where Lincoln actually gave his famous Gettysburg Address: 

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

At the end of our day we drove 3 hours east to a restaurant called "Good and Plenty".  It is located in Lancaster County and our purpose in going was to see Amish country.  The restaurant itself is very large, is run by the Amish, and caters to tourists (as evidenced by the myriad of tour buses we saw as we went to park).  You sit on long benches at tables where you are seated with about 10 other people you don't know - family style.  They bring out each course separately, and keep it coming until you say you're full.  It was a fun experience!

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