Friday, August 2, 2013

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

Gettysburg is practically in our backyard and so we go there often. Naturally! :) They have an awesome outlet mall, and there is also a Rita's Custard stand in the cute downtown area. It is our Sunday evening tradition to go and get Rita's. If you've never had it, you need to. It is the best custard you will ever have. 

But aside from those two things, it kind of happens to be the site of one of the most historic battles in the history of our nation. 

And this year was the 150th Anniversary. We have been through the Smithsonian-esque (read: amazing) Visitors Center museum and on tours of the battlefields multiple times since living in this area. Whenever people come to visit us, it is probably the first place we take them. Luke has become quite the capable tour guide himself. So when the big anniversary rolled around at the beginning of July, I was on the website, checking out events and figuring out what we were going to try and go to. Luke was like, "we go all the time, it's mobbed over there right now!" I told him, yes, but this is actually when it is more exciting to me! The place was coming to life with re-enactments, there were so many special things going on. So on July 3rd we headed over, hoping to see the memorial walk across the field where Picket's Charge took place. It was for tourists to participate in, you could either be on the Confederate or Union side. I knew we wouldn't make it in time to join in, the kids were napping late despite my best efforts, so I figured we would just watch and it would still be cool. 

Wellllll, we were not prepared for the number of people in Gettysburg. I knew it would be bad when we started seeing signs a couple exits out saying stuff like, "exit here for parking for Gettysburg." But we forged ahead and after crawling at the slowest pace ever, we finally made it into town. And Picket's Charge was well over. I was super disappointed. It had been the last major event of the day and I had really wanted to make it to it. So instead we got dinner at one of our favorite Irish restaurants in town. (I should also mention we go on most of our dates in Gettysburg and always find new fun places.) 

After dinner we headed over to one of the battlefields where a daily evening program was held called "Voices of the Day." Actors and actresses narrated the events of that day, and what it was like for them - women who lived in town, a union and a confederate soldier. I really enjoyed it and the best part about it was the kids could run around. 

I am glad we went and got to do one small thing. Just being there in and of itself was cool. And we are still learning what we can reasonably do with such small children. In the end, it was just right.

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