Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July 6, 2009 (Washington, DC)

On July 6 it was finally time to head home. Not that we wanted to. Our plane left in the evening so we got up and visited the Library of Congress, which is a beautiful building. Isaac did ask what was up with all the naked pictures and statues. I said "art".

Craig took this cool picture from the Library of Congress looking all the way down the mall.:
Outside picture of the Library of Congress:
Icky's face was definitely icky after we ate lunch at the ESPN Zone. He had a full order of ribs and ate every bite (except for the stuff he wore).
The last thing we did before leaving for the airport was visit Ford's Theater and the house across the street where President Lincoln died:

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 5, 2009 (Washington, DC)

Sunday was a beautiful day in the nation's capital. We started our day at the Smithsonian American History Museum. The museum was closed last time we were here for renovation. It is beautiful now. We kind of wished we had stayed at the hotel to watch Roddick and Federer play the longest match in Wimbledon history, but we followed it on our phone. The museum has an amazing cafeteria in the basement where we had lunch.
We then went to the "Newseum". A brand new museum in DC that shows the history of news. It was amazing and almost every one of us wanted to stay longer. We all loved the room with the Pulitzer Prize winning photographs and the room with all the old newspapers. This is an amazing view from the roof of the Newseum of the capitol building. Then we walked up the mall past the Washington monument, past the WWII Memorial and ended up at the Lincoln Memorial.

We ended up in Georgetown for dinner at "The Tombs". Craig used to eat at the Tombs when he spent part of a summer here debating when he was in high school. Good pizza. We met our friends Krysta and Eric Crane there for dinner.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 4, 2009 (Washington, D.C.)

On July 4 we got up early in Philadelphia and headed for our nation's capital to celebrate Indepencence Day. When we got to our hotel our rooms weren't ready, so mom and the boys headed for batting practice before the Nationals game and Craig, Grandma and Caroline went to the National Art Museum. Batting practice was fun. Isaac got a ball tossed up to him from the bullpen by the Braves best starting pitcher. The Nationals have a beautiful new stadium.

We got to see Adam Dunn hit his 300th career home run. It was very exciting.
After the game we had a fun dinner at Chef Geoff's and then walked over to the mall to watch the July 4th fireworks. The kids entertained us before the show by playing "Ninja", a game Jake learned at his leadership conference this summer.
The mall was really crowded:
And the fireworks show was magnificent:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 3, 2009 (Philadelphia)

Another great day of vacation! We began our day at Independence Hall in downtown Philadelphia. What a great time of year to visit here: The next obligatory stop in Philly is the Liberty Bell, cracked the first time it was used: On our walking tour of downtown, we passed Betsy Ross's house:

We next visited Elfreth's Alley, the oldest continuously inhabitated street in America. It's a beautiful old Colonial street with cobblestones running down the middle, door knockers on every door, painted shutters and colorful flowers. I loved it. I even called a realtor listed on one house to see how much they were. It wasn't a bad price, but I don't know what I would do in Philadelphia by myself.

We happened upon "Campo's" around lunch time. We had THE BEST Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches and later learned that Campo's is indeed a famous eatery in Philadelphia. I recomend "The Works" sandwich!
A visit to Philly is not complete without visiting the famous art museum steps where Rocky trained in Rocky I. Of course, my kids all had to run up the stairs and then pump their arms. It was fun. We didn't go inside and see art because we ran out of time:
The most important part of our day was the Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park. It is a beautiful park and significantly our 27th ballpark (three to go). We watched a great game between the Phillies and their rival Mets. The Phillies won 7-2. Jimmy Rollins had three hits on three pitches and Jayson Werth hit a home run. The Mets didn't play too well. Jake caught a batting practice home run hit by David Wright. This is a picture of the boys when they went early to batting practice:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 2, 2009 (Valley Forge, Philadelphia)

This is one of my favorite pictures from our trip. We were having a nice dinner in Lancaster and Isaac asked Jake to write, "I love the Red Sox" on his forehead. Of course, Jake wrote, "I am a dunce" and then we all laughed until Icky cried.
On our way out of Lancaster we took this picture of an old church that was once a stop on the Underground Slave Railroad. We didn't stay long though because it didn't seem to be in a great part of town.

We made our way to Valley Forge where General George Washington camped with his troops in the winter of 1777. These are replica cabins.
Beautiful landscape at Valley Forge:
This home was at Valley Forge when the encampment started. George Washington rented it for his winter headquarters. Martha came to stay with him for four months during the winter. It is a beautiful colonial house. I wanted to pick it up and move it to Utah.
We then visited the George Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge:
After leaving Valley Forge, we drove 20 more miles for our destination of the day: Philadelphia. We stayed in a hotel right across from this beautiful city/county building:
Philadelphia is the "City of Brotherly Love" because that is what Philadelphia means in Greek.
A city shot we took while we were looking for H&M. Philly was a little dirtier and less charming than the kids thought it would be.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 1, 2009 (Lancaster County, Amish Country)

We started our day on July 1 by visiting the beautiful capitol building in Harrisburg. The building was truly a work of art.

We then made our way to Amish Country. We visited towns like Bird-in-Hand and Intercourse. I loved the clothes drying from lines in the yards.
We also saw a lot of horses and buggies.
This was a really cute store with a quilt museum upstairs. Mom and Grandma spent a lot of time shopping there, so the boys took advantage of the candy and the checkers. Boys happy and Mama happy!
We probably weren't supposed to take this picture of a little Amish man in his fields, but it was irresistable.
I loved the brick art we saw all over the area. This is a great example:
We spent the night in this brand spanking new Marriott in Lancaster. It had only been open for about two weeks. They integrated the hotel into a historic building. They also built the hotel right around an old brick home which had ties to the Underground Railroad.

Friday, July 3, 2009

June 30, 2009 (Gettysburg, Hershey)

We left Baltimore early Tuesday morning and drove 1 1/2 hours to Gettysburg. We hired a private guide who drove our car around for three hours and pointed out the many interesting things at the battlefield. There are 1,400 different monuments at Gettysburg. I thought the tour would be too long for the kids, but they loved it. Jake even wanted to stay all day. This is a picture of Little Round Top, a hill taken by the north, which helped ensure their victory in the battle. We happened to be there around the time of the anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg, which took place July 1-3, 1863. It was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

Here we are fascinated by our guide's explanation of events:

Monuments at Gettysburg:

It rained briefly while we were at Little Round Top. It was beautiful.

This is the monument erected by the State of Pennsylvania commemorating their human losses at the battle. After the names of the soldiers who fought in Gettysburg were engraved on the side of the monument, some were scratched off by other soldiers. The scratched off names were those who were judged to be deserters or soldiers who did not fight honorably at Gettysburg:

After leaving Gettysburg, we went to Hershey, Pennsylvania. We took a short trolley ride around town (the tackiest trolley ride EVER.) It was interesting through to learn about what a great person Mr. Hershey was. We also loved seeing the street lights that look like chocolate kisses.