Wednesday, March 23, 2011

back from d.c.........and what a trip it was

i never knew how much fun being a chaperone could be....
i never knew how little sleep i would get in an 84 hour period....(my best estimate is about 18 hours) and still be able to function!!
the trip to our nation's capital was fantastic...
11 hours on a motorcoach one way with 50 boys?  i'll reserve judgement on that one. looks nice, right?  big and roomy, right?
it is first and foremost a bus.  a tight and cramped bus.
but i survived the ride as did everyone else.  with very little sleep.
i'm estimating that i got an hour and a half of sleep that first 36 hours...
we left friday night at about 8:30 and drove through the night and pulled into gettysburg, pennsylvania at 7:20 the next morning...we stopped 3 times at rest stops, the third time for the bus to refuel at 5:00 am.  apparently there is some weird law that no one can be on the bus while it is refueling so all 300 kids and chaperones piled into a rest area and had to wait about 45 minutes for the buses to finish.  
that was hard!!!  up to that point, i had a total of 0 hours of sleep due to the fact that 50 boys and their cell phones couldn't quite grasp the concept of "quiet time".  until their teacher threatened at 3:00 am that she was going to call their parents right then and explain to them why she needed to...
it got pretty quiet after that. but the bus was cramped and it was hard sleep.  i think i finally fell asleep after we made our last rest area stop at 5:00 am.  morning came pretty quickly after that.  
our first stop was breakfast at the dobbin house
the oldest building in gettysburg.
we then travelled to the site of the civil war battlefield. it was very cool and our tour guide totally played to the boy factor of our group by explaining the war in a very blood and guts way and comparing the war strategies to sports...the boys were fascinated and he was able to keep their attention for every aspect of the tour.  i am not the history buff my husband is but it kept me riveted as well and i learned things i never knew (or remembered from school).
who fights a war in an open field??? wonder they lost 58,000 men in 3 days!!!
men...i swear if women ruled the country, and if we had to go to war, 
we would pick a place where you could hide behind something....
totally open field...tsk!
we headed into dc after half a day in gettysburg and headed to the 
american history museum on the mall.  
it was great but the boys in my group really wanted to go to the air and space museum...they didn't get their wish but we had fun anyway....
at least i got to see julia child's kitchen. 
and dumbo
and the ruby slippers...
for dinner the first night, we went to a mall near the pentagon where everyone was given a voucher for the food court. 
it was a beautiful 3 story mall.
we had lots of choices for food and the kids had a chance to wander the mall for about 2 hours before going to the pentagon 9/11 memorial.  
although these pictures aren't the greatest, the memorial was really beautiful.  and sobering. 
the kids were very respectful and quiet while wandering around the grounds
 the sculptures were really pretty, illuminated benches with little pools under each of them. 
i realized while walking through there that these kids would not have remembered 9/11, they were just three years old at the time...
by the time we were done with this tour, we finally walked back to our bus to head to our hotel room (which we had not checked into yet) at about 10:00 pm.  
our bus wouldn't start and we had to divide our 50 kids into each of the other five buses so we could get to the hotel 40 minutes away.  that was a fun ride.....
i think i finally got to sleep at about 12:30 am. 
and had to be on the bus the next morning (or should i say "that" morning)
at 7:00 am. 
 watch for part ll of our adventure tomorrow....i have lots more stories and lots more pictures to share!


Musings Of A Gem said...

Wow that sounds nice but stressful! I hate traveling.

The mall looks amazing..wish I could have wondered around for a few hours : )

Privet and Holly said...

YOU are a great
sport. My daughter
went to DC with her
class at the end of
8th grade and she
loved Gettysburg. I
also have to always
see Julia's kitchen
when I go!!! I'm lucky
because my brother
lives in a suburb of
DC, so we get there
at least once a year.
I absolutely adore all
the history and always
return home feeling
super patriotic : )
Get some sleep!!!
xx Suzanne

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