Friday, August 27, 2010

Our Week With George, Abe, and Their Furry Friends

Our school year started out with a long string of field trips. We accompanied Ted on a TDY to Northern Virginia, and the kids and I spent the days sightseeing in Washington, D.C., while Ted learned all about being an Inspector General and what his new job will entail.

We spent a day at the National Zoo, and I didn't lose any children. This is significant because on one occasion at this zoo many years ago we did lose Mary Beth for fifteen minutes or so. Riley specifically requested a trip to the zoo, and I think we all had a blast. They loved the misters throughout the zoo. Lucy called them sparklers since they came out of them with little sparkly droplets of water. Of course the animals were a big hit, too, particularly the giant pandas, the giant anteater and the giant sloth bear (that's a lot of giants).

The Museum of American History was our second stop. We especially enjoyed seeing the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner and helping "Mary Pickersgill" unfurl one of the 43 foot lengths of red for the stripes.

Mary Beth was excited to see the display of First Ladies' dresses. I think she gets that from her Grandma Gatlin.

We spent the third day in and around some of the monuments along the Mall. We picnicked near the Washington Monument, visited the World War II Memorial, where Cory personally thanked a veteran for serving, and took some silly pictures at the Lincoln Memorial.

Then we found an ice cream vendor, which could very well have been the highlight of the day.

Our last day was at Mt Vernon, George Washington's home.

This was one of Cory's special requests since he had studied Washington last school year. We had an adventure filled day there. The kids all had a map with clues to use and discover more about the life and times of Washington. I thought it was engaging and well thought out. We also liked the indoor museum and education center, which showcased many of Washington's personal items, to include his false teeth.

We are glad for adventures like this ... It's one of the many reasons we wanted to homeschool, and is one of the best parts of living this crazy military life that we love.

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