I voiced this to Hubby and he looked kind of shocked and said that it was absolutely worth the trip.
I knew about Gettysburg. It was a famous, bloody battle during the civil war. But that pretty much all I knew.
I envisioned getting there and looking at a field that was maybe about 5 acres and that was it. I thought it would take an hour tops. Hardly worth a 2+ hr drive in one direction.
Are you already chuckling at my ignorance?
Imagine my surprise when I learned that it's not 5 acres but 6,000 acres!
It took the entire day and we didn't even go to the museum or get out at every monument.
When we were talking about going to Gettysburg, Little Miss proclaimed,"We're going to Spaghetti Burger?!"
So it became known as Spaghetti Burger in our family from then on.
( On a total side note there is another funny thing Little Miss said. I was giving her a bath in the trailer and all of a sudden she said,"Shot of a gun!" I asked her about it and she said,"You know, like daddy says, 'Shot of a gun'." What daddy says is "Son of a gun!" She still goes around saying this when something goes wrong.)
We decided to do the Audio Tour available int he book store for about $35. They had a slightly cheaper one without a field guide but we had heard really great things about the $35 tour so we went with that.
So glad we did!!
We would have really been lost and the battle wouldn't have had as much of an impact on us as it did.
You just pop the CD in and they direct you to sign all around the town. You can get out and look around if you want or keep going to the next stop.
Some places we looked around at, some we didn't. The Audio Tour says it will last 2 1/2-3 hours but we were there for 6 I believe.
I was worried that the CD was going to be a bust though because we had already driven so much to get to 'Spaghetti Burger' and then we were looking at hours more in the car.
I don't know if you have ever driven with a toddler but they get very volatile after being strapped in to a car seat after a certain point.
And I thought we would be on little roads going a few miles an hour so I would be able to hold Baby Girl on my lap( she hates her car seat) and nurse her when I needed to, but you go on major roads around the town. I am sure my misconception was due to my whole 5 acres of battlefield mindset.
But after about 15- 20 minutes everyone settled down.
Our next issue was lunch. I had read reviews that there were "plenty" of beautiful spots to have a picnic. So I packed up some food and shortly after we got there it was time to grab a bite.
But where exactly?
As we began the tour we saw beautiful countryside for sure, but it was sacred ground. It seemed disrespectful to plop down on the ground to enjoy a bite where thousands had died.
But as time ticked on and our toddler was getting 'hangry'(hungry/angry) we had to do something and quick!
There was one site that wasn't quite as sacred and was bigger. We saw a tree way over to the side out of the way and decided to eat quickly there. We asked the kids not to be laughing or boisterous given the nature of the area we were in.
Low and Behold a tour bus pulls up right across from us and everyone gets off. And then another double decker bus goes by us with people staring!
And here we were, making peanut butter and jellies. Sheesh
We felt like we were at the zoo and envisioned the tour guides dialogue,"And over to the left you will see a group called a family with many offspring. Watch how they chew their food. Peculiar isn't it?"
On and on it went, hypothesizing what the shpeel would be about us.
We quickly finished and got back on the way needless to say.
This is the monument by where we ate. It has an eternal flame.
There was soooo much to see as we drove around. I had no idea the scope of the battle. So much going on during those few days.
The sculptor of this one was the same guy who did Mount Rushmore
View from Little Round Top
Such gorgeous land. It's hard to imagine something so terrible happened here.
Blood literally ran down the sides of this hill.
This was one of the neatest things we saw. These rocks were placed there exactly like this during the battle on Little Round Top by the Union Soldiers. You can see it in the picture below taken from that time:
Note the rocks to the right of the picture
Where the Confederates were during the battle of Little Round Top
This was another amazing one! There is a hole from a cannon ball in this barn. The cannon ball is in the museum which we did not go in because of the additional cost. We had done a lot of museums previous to this and the kids were getting 'museum-ed out'.
Imagine our surprise when we came upon this monument!
Do you see that last line?
He became the president at Notre Dame!
(for those of you unaware, we are big ND fans)
So everyone got out of the car in their Irish gear to take a picture.
Up to the top left is our crew
Soldiers from Indiana Monument
View of Gettysburg from a tower
Soldiers reported that this field was so covered with bodies that you could walk from one end to the other without ever touching the ground. Heartbreaking.
This is where the last battle took place. The trees behind it were there during that time. What sights they have seen and stories they could tell...
Last battlefield of Gettysburg
This is where President Lincoln made his famous Gettysburg Address at the cemetery.
We have so many more pictures and there are so many stories.
All the way home we talked about Gettysburg and even the days after. Its just something you think about and mull over after going to it. It really impacts you and the Audio Tour really brings the battle to life. You could just see it all happening.
Even as I type I get chills and tear up thinking about it.
So glad we went.