Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gettysburg - Day Two

[This, and subsequent posts about our week in Gettysburg, are being made after we returned home due to connectivity issues at our motel. :-( I simply couldn't stay connected to the internet long enough to finish a post.]

We have survived our first full day in Gettysburg, although my legs may disagree a bit come tomorrow morning. Thanks to my back, I haven't been able to walk all that much until lately. And boy did we walk. I even climbed the stairs inside the Pennsylvania memorial - did you know you can go all the way up to the top in that thing? The view is spectacular and there are arrows along the upper wall pointing to major battlefield sites, complete with how far away they are located.

Perhaps I should back up and start at the beginning of our day. We did indeed go back and watch the diorama show, which covered the entire three days of fighting. It was nice to see it all played out on a field where you could watch it all without having to drive around to the different sites on the battlefield. I think it will help when we take the actual driving tour of the battlefield later in the week. After that we walked around a little bit, had lunch at the Avenue Restaurant and the went next door to a hat shop that Drama Queen wanted to visit. I'm not sure I'd recommend the restaurant unless you have plenty of time - the service is that slow. I think it was that bad last year as well.

The hat shop was a nice find. Mr. Incredible thought the prices compared favorably to the ones he's been seeing online. If they would have had the fedora that he wanted in a dark grey, he would have gone for it. Drama Queen snagged a couple of pairs of driving gloves - the kind with the fingers cut out. Monkey Girl found a beautiful little "dream pouch" leather bag and went for a silver ring depicting a peace sign in a heart. It's very much her.

We had been going to do the driving tour this afternoon, but worried about being rushed and running out of time. Our ghost hunt started at 7, but we needed to be there a little early to pick up our tickets. So instead
we opted to just drive around and stop at any monuments or sites that we thought were cool. We meant to head for Little Round Top and Devil's Den, but I turned too soon. With all of the one-way roads, I needed to loop back up around to head the right way. And that's when Drama Queen spotted the Pennsylvania Memorial. Well, actually, she'd already spotted it since there's no easy way to miss it. It's huge. Add in the statue on the top and you'd have to work not to see it.

It's a beautiful monument, erected just before the 50th anniversary of the battle. Drama Queen was completely fascinated by the Goddess of Victory and Peace located on the very tip top of the memorial. She thought it looked like an angel. One of the coolest parts of it all is that the statue is made of cannons from the battlefield that were melted down.

We walked around there for a bit and then drove on, stopping next at the area known as the High Water Mark, which is the farthest the Confederates got during the battle. It's also known as a turning point in the Civil War because it was pretty much downhill for the South from there on out in the war.

We walked around a good bit at both sites. Combine that in with the walking from the morning and we were all kinda beat, so it was back to the motel for a bit of a cool down and a rest. (The weather was beautiful today!) After a bit, we walked to a nearby Chinese buffet, which I will not name. (I guess we're just spoiled for Asian food in Athens.) I got to hit the gift shop at the wax museum next door (YES!) and have some great books to help me work up the background story for my novel.

And then, oh yes, we were off for our ghost hunting experience. But I think I'll leave that for another post. ;-)

Overall, we're having a great time and are really enjoying ourselves. It's nice to run into folks here in town who don't mind talking a little bit about history and their experiences. It makes it all so much richer. The hardest part for me is imagining the horror of those three days in July 150 years ago. The battlefield seems so rested and peaceful that I have to work at remembering why this place is so famous and why it is sacred ground.

No comments: