Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Amelia's brother Adam has been out here visiting us since Friday. It's been a lot of fun for us, though I always worry when guests come over that they're just totally bored to be here. Especially Adam, because he has a girlfriend at home and is getting ready to leave for Haiti on his mission, so I always wonder if he's thinking What a waste of time this is. But I think he's having fun, so it's all good.

Yesterday we took our first of two road trips. We left around eight in the morning and drove down to Gettysburg. It was really neat. At the visitor's center they have a floor map with a little presentation that shows how all the troops would moved, where things happened, and so on. After watching that we went out and drove to some of the key spots in the battle. They sell audio tours that you can buy (2, 3, or 4 hours long--or you can hire a guide) but because we didn't have all day we just drove ourselves and read the signs at the places we stopped. It's really interesting, because it's a national park now, and all throughout there are big granite markers in memorium of different divisions and batallions and so on. We had a picnic in one area, then went to another end and climbed an observation tower to get a view of the whole battlefield. Then we drove to the other end and went up the hill (the "key site" in the battle) that the Union held onto for two days despite massive pushes by the confederacy. It was a really cool visit, and I'd like to go back and spend the whole day there, including doing an audio guide or even hiring one of the guides to take us around. We walked by a couple of groups that had individual guides, and they're just old guys who are obviously big Civil War buffs and want the battle to come alive for their customers like it is for them. I'd also like to go back sometime when they're doing a re-enactment. That'd be neat.

We only spent a couple hours there all together, though, and then we drove up to Hershey and went to Chocolate world. It was actually smaller than I expected, because it's the off season so HersheyPark (the attached amusement park) was closed. But we hadn't been planning to go to that anyway, so it was fine. Anyway, there's a little guided tour where they showed us how Hershey's chocolate is made, which was fun. Then we walked around the shops and packeged our own Hershey's kisses (it sounds cooler than it was. The process involved pressing one button. I think it was designed for very small children) and bought some Hershey's ice cream. It was a fun little trip, I guess. I'm sure we'll go back when other people come visit. Next time I'd like to travel in the summer, spend a day in Gettysburg, stay overnight in Hershey or Harrisburg, and then spend a day at HersheyPark and the free Chocolate world.

Tomorrow we'll take another trip and head out to Washington, D.C. I think we'll visit the mall again, and then probably head to the Botanical Gardens (Adam's a photographer, and plants are kind of his specialty). We're also going to visit our friend Becca again, and I think eat dinner at her house. It'll be a long day (it's like a four hour drive each way) but I think it'll be fun.

Whoa, this is getting long. I'll stop for now, but I'll post a picture or two later when Adam downloads his pictures to our computer.

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