Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Washington DC - Day 3/4

Good morning from Washington DC. Today I type this post as I lazily lay in my bed. Since we will spend the last part of our trip in DC, we do not have to move out of the hotel today like we have been doing the first of the trip; therefore I can veg in bed a little longer :)

So, here is what we did and learned yesterday...

Monday, April 1, 2013
Our day started off like the last...a wake up call at 6:30am, breakfast at 7:30am and departure from the hotel at 8:30am. Today we were leaving Gettysburg and heading to Baltimore, MD. With travel time to be approximately 2 hours, the movie of the morning was: Remembering the Titans.

We arrived at our first stop - Fort McHenry - a little earlier than expected and was able to catch the first showing of a movie about the Battle of Baltimore (which was part of the War of 1812) and the birth of our national anthem: The Star Spangled Banner. After the movie and a little walk through the museum, we headed out to the fort.
It was a nice walk out to the fort - sunshine, blue sky...with just a little breeze. Once inside the fort we participated in the flag ceremony...

After forming two lines, we started pulling out a replica of the Fort McHenry Flag. A flag that was 42x30 feet - had 15 stars and 15 stripes. The kids held onto each side of the flag and unrolled a "stripe" of it as the Park Ranger talked about the battle again and the fort - he would ask a question and we would give an answer and then unroll a stripe

We heard about the battle again...how the town of Baltimore was worried that they would be destroyed...that the ships on the water were afraid that the fort would fall...but "by the dawns early light" our flag...the McHenry Flag...was still standing. We Won! When Francis Scott Key say the flag and feelings started to flow into his head about the awesome moments, he jotted down some notes and a little later the national anthem was born.

After the flag ceremony, we all got an opportunity to walk around the entire fort...

Next it was time to board the bus and take a little driving tour around Baltimore. One of the major stopping grounds was Federal Hill which over looked Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
Here is the group, listening to our guide Jeff on top of the hill

A photo of Baltimore's Inner Harbor

A photo of the 3 female chaperones (left to right: Bambi, Terri and ME)
Afterwards we did a little more driving around, taking in the row houses of Baltimore which included the a drive by Edgar Allen Poe's house. Then it was off to the inner harbor for lunch. There was a lot to choose from - the other two chaperones and I headed to Noodles & Company (a favorite place for lunch and/or dinner when I go on hockey trips with my boys). After a perfect bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup, it was time to head to the USS Constellation for the "Powder MonkeyProgram".

What is the "Powder Monkey Program" you ask...well, first you get a couple of navy "drill sergeants" and then you take 40 eighth graders. The kids are told to get single file with their toes lined up on a line and shoulders touching.

Then you divide up the kids into 2 lines - single file and have them march inside the USS Constellation.
And then you march down to the Gun Deck to get ready to shoot your gun...

First you line up on either side of the gun
Then two people come forward, toward the opening. They are incharge of sponging the inside of the gun and  pushing down the powder and the shell.

Here is the "drill sergeant" barking the orders: "Sponge", "Powder", etc

Here is Matthew and his classmate in action, carrying out the orders

The kids really had fun doing this drill. As I mentioned, they were broken up into two groups. During the exercise of getting the gun ready to fire and firing it (they really didn't fire it, only made the sound effects - "BOOM") the two groups competed against each other to see who could go through the whole process the fastest. By the way...the "Powder Monkey" was one of the soldiers who was in charge for bringing the gun powder bag and the heavy shell to the opening of the gun.

After the "Powder Monkey" Presentation, our sailor gave us a tour of the ship as well as some history.
Captain's Quarters
Hammocks - where the sailors slept
Once the tour of the USS Constellation was complete, we left Baltimore and headed to our final destination of the trip...to Washington DC! We arrived in DC right around the drive home traffic, nevertheless we were still 10-15 minutes early for our dinner reservations at Phillips Flagship...this great restaurant with the largest buffet I have ever seen. It has a seafood buffet...a salad buffet...a soup buffet...a carving station with roast beef and rotisserie chicken...pizza buffet...and of course a dessert buffet.

And then we were off running again...to the MONUMENTS...

 First up was the Vietnam War Memorial...

 Next, the Lincoln Monuments...

Photo taken from atop the Lincoln Monument
 After the Lincoln, a decision was made to head on to the hotel. The wind was really blowing and many of the kids' teeth were chattering. So off to the hotel to check in and unpack and go to bed!

Well, until next time...remember,

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

1 comment:

Paul David said...

Love your blog. Nice to see what our kids are doing. Thanks for posting!