Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up - December 13

I'm a couple days late, but close enough . . . last week was a BUSY week!!! The big girls were at Mama & Papa's all week, Mama & Papa picked them up on Friday and took them home with them. So Little Bit and I were on our own while Daddy was at work the first part of the week.  We enjoyed more relaxed mornings without school for the big girls, though I greatly missed being able to say "watch Little Bit while I go put the laundry in" since I don't like taking Little Bit down our steep concrete basement steps. And afternoons getting some shopping done that I wanted to do without the big girls around.

Meanwhile the big girls

  • Got their C&O Canal Junior Ranger
  • Did a bunch of biking
  • Went to the Baltimore B&O Railroad Museum and saw their Christmas Hobby Train display
  • Went to our favorite Chinese restaurant
  • Went to Ford Theatre and did that Jr. Ranger program
  • Went to their favorite frozen yogurt place (I think, I know they were planning to) 
  • Saw the National Christmas Tree and state trees
  • Helped Papa on the playhouse
  • Did Christmas crafts
  • Probably other things I'm forgetting, or didn't hear about
Wednesday Little Bit and I headed to Mama and Papa's to join the big girls for more fun. 

While we were all there we:

Went to Mt Vernon. In addition to the normal mansion tour and viewing the grounds we got to:
  • Met Aladdin the Christmas camel (apparently one year Washington rented a camel for the entertainment of his guests)
  • Saw how 18th century chocolate was made, and tasted 18th century drinking chocolate (since the girls had it in Williamsburg last year and have learned my love of very dark chocolate, they disappointed the people handing it out, by loving it instead of making funny faces like most kids do)
  • Toured the 3rd floor of the mansion, only open for tours at Christmas time
  • Met with an "in character" gentleman who talked about Christmas in the 1700s as if he lived in the 1700s, he gave the girls a hard time about how silly it sounded to cut down a tree and drag it in the house LOL.
  • Went on an "Adventure Map" tour of the grounds, answering the questions.
  • Enjoyed the new Education Center/Museum, including a video about the war, but we didn't have NEARLY long enough there to see it all.
We also enjoyed the blacksmith apprentice who was more than happy to answer the girls' countless questions and seemed to be truly enjoying himself in doing it. As we left he proclaimed them "the most inquisitive guests I've met today" hee hee.

Drove through the Seneca Creek Park light display. The big girls didn't remember it (we went every year when we lived closer, but it's been a couple years) and Little Bit had never been, so they all enjoyed that.

Went to Monocacy Battlefield and the girls did the Junior Ranger program there and we enjoyed that museum. The girls were able to try on a soldier's coat and hat, and try to lift his pack, although it didn't have any kind of a strap, not sure if it would have been a backpack or what, but I'm pretty sure they didn't just carry them in their arms, so that frustrated the girls abit. There's also an interactive map of the battle, which was a great visual way to understand what happened there (kind of like what they used to have at Gettysburg (I haven't been to Gettysburg since all the renovations, so not sure if it's still there) only smaller.

While we were at the battlefield, the girls also got the "Civil War trading cards" that the civil war related national parks are giving out right now in honor of the 150th anniversary of the war. The park volunteer who gave them to the girls was great and discussed each card with them in detail, they got a pretty good summary of the civil war from him, and he was good with their many questions as well.

Visited a C&O Lockhouse that has been renovated to be like it was during the Civil War, and is currently decorated for Christmas. The girls met a 19th Century Santa and Mrs. Claus, played with period toys, decorated Christmas cookies, played checkers, and tested out a rope bed, and a trundle bed.

Went to the Museum of Civil War Medicine. While there, in addition to the normal exhibits, we met a Civil War era Santa, played with period toys, made cards for (current) wounded soldiers, talked to a lovely lady who had her collection of Civil War era nursing supplies there and was dressed in period dress. She patiently answered the girls' questions, not only about each and every thing she had on display, but her clothes, and many other aspects of life in that era. The girls LOVED it, and she seemed to enjoy answering their questions.

So, needless to say, it was a BUSY week. I'm going to try to get the pictures I took into a Picaso album soon, and will post when I do. I forgot to get dad's off his camera so those will have to wait until I see him again at Christmas.

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