Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gettysburg

Our final weekend in Pennsylvania. We talked about using it to do a lot of different things. In the end, we chose Gettysburg. It was on our original list waaaaay back when we first moved here, but it had fallen by the wayside at some point and wasn't even on our "top five things to do before we move" list that came about two months ago or so. It ended up being a great decision.

Gettysburg is about two-and-a-half hours away, so by the time we got there and figured out where our major areas were (the historic center and the outlet mall), it was time to locate our lunch locale. This was of major importance because it was the first Seminole football game of the season. I called a couple of places, and got turned down (the game was being carried on ESPNU, which is not a standard channel). We went to TGIFriday's and, while they were glad to try to accommodate, they eventually realized that they didn't carry the channel, either. At the waitress's suggestion, I phoned The Pike, who acknowledged that not only did they have the channel, but it the game was already being shown on it.

We hopped back in the car and dashed across town to find the restaurant/lounge rather busy for noon on a Saturday. The lounge had the game on, which meant there was a bit of smoke in the air. But, it worked. We had a great view of the television, and watched until almost the end of the third quarter, when we needed to be on our way to see the sights. I had the chicken quesadillas. They were a bit plain, and the guacamole isn't worth the extra 50 cents (I inquired and was even told it was fresh), but I ate a little more than 3/4 while we sat there. Jonathan went with chicken fingers and cheese fries - an excellent choice. It came with honey mustard and barbecue, both of which were scrumptious. He also asked for ranch. The smokers also left after a while, so the experience improved as a whole.

We headed over to the Visitors' Center, and bought tickets for the 3pm film. It was a very nice history of the Civil War, of course with an emphasis on the Battle of Gettysburg. After the film we were led upstairs and marveled at the "Cyclorama," an enormous painting of Pickett's Charge. It was astounding - truly a work of art. Hundreds of feet long, arranged to completely circle you, 360 degrees. Sadly, there were no replicas or anything of the like in the gift shop, as we were both taken with the artist's beautiful work. Turns out, he's done eight Cyclorama paintings, including one of Niagara Falls!
Then we went through the museum. Very informative, but very long. I thought we were just about finished when we were just crossing the 2/3 mark. It was rather fascinating, and we both learned a lot. It was also interesting to hear bits of information that we learned in Mr. Gray's and Mr. Perry's classes from 8th and 11th grades, respectively. It wasn't the most exciting museum ever, but there was a ton of information and quite a few artifacts

The entire town of Gettysburg is really part of the attraction. There's a driving route that takes 2.5-3 hours and you go by all of the sights and monuments. You can do it yourself (with or without the accompanying CD), in a bus, or even hire an individual tour guide for your car. We weren't swimming with time, but the rates for a personal tour guide were very reasonable, and we would have done that. However, we chose to just use our map and hit a few sites that popped out - Little Round Top, the Pennsylvania Memorial, and the National Cemetery.
view from Little Round Topcanons were everyplaceoriginal fences! Pennsylvania Memorial

We bid the historical stuff farewell and drove back across the city to do some shopping at the outlet mall (and enjoy tax-free PA just a bit longer). No super-great deals to speak of, but we were carrying 5 or 6 bags by the end. I'm probably most excited about my garnet gym pants, hehe. And, as a final note of interest, there was a Pepperidge Farms outlet... I had never seen one of these before! Bags of goldfish were only $1 (5 for $4), boxes of croutons were just 69 cents, and even loaves of bread were discounted - how neat!

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