We've had a field trip filled week! Last weekend we headed out with Rodney to travel around western PA while he caught up on work that had to wait while he was off for surgery. While there were numerous times when I muttered under my breath about how much better it is to do trips like this during the school year (I like empty hotel breakfast rooms and pools!), over-all we had a great trip!
Sunday we were in Erie, PA so we headed to the Maritime Museum. I'd looked online and the "Niagara" (reproduction of one of the ships that fought on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812) was supposed to be gone, but they had had some delays so it was in port and we got to tour it while we were there. woo-hoo!
Monday we stayed at the hotel, did schoolwork, and spent lots of time in the hotel pool :) Little Bit is tall enough now to stand in the 3 foot water, so she doesn't need her floaties anymore, which she loved! Meanwhile, this hotel's pool was larger than most and went all the way to 10 feet deep. So the big girls enjoyed having more deep water than usual to play in.
Tuesday we toured Old Economy Village, a religious commune in the 1800s. It was an interesting tour, and also included some hands-on "life in the 1800s" stuff that all the girls enjoyed.
Wednesday our PLAN was another day of school in the hotel room and lots of swimming, but when we got to the pool, it was closed for maintenance. Needless to say I had a very disappointed little girl! And some rather disappointed bigger girls but they were more ok with just doing lots of history and such. Thursday I had ALSO planned to just hang out at the hotel, but when we asked at the desk they told us the pool would be closed at least until 5pm. So another whole day of JUST sitting in a hotel room didn't seem like a good choice. I did some quick googling to find something to do near where Rodney would be working that day and came across a gem we would have otherwise missed!
Friendship Hill is a national historic site that was Albert Gallatin's house. Gallatin was the Secretary of the Treasury during Jefferson and Madison's presidencies, so he was the one who figured out the money stuff for the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark's Expedition, among other things. We would have loved to have lots longer to spend at Friendship Hill, it looked like there were lots of great hiking trails and such, but we just had time to do the Junior Rangers and tour his house. Still a very cool site! I had to roll my eyes abit though. When we got there I asked the ranger for Junior Ranger books for 1 five year old and 2 eleven year olds, since every site designs their own books, some sites have different books for different ages, others just have different requirements within the same book. Her response was "5 is too young" which kind of surprised me because most places, even when she was 3, they'd say "well, she might not be able to do everything, but see what she can do". And most places the Junior Rangers start at age 5 or 6, so I was surprised that at age 5, she was still "too young". This one started at age 6 (so she's not THAT much too young) and she was perfectly capable of doing all of it that I'd expect a 6 or 7 year old to do. There were a couple places where it expected the 6-8 yr olds to write things out that I had her draw lines instead, and a couple of the activities *I* couldn't figure out but overall I could see a huge difference in how well she could "really" earn a Junior Ranger compared to the last one we did, about a year ago! My baby's growing up.
Friday we were in a tiny town without much nearby, and Rodney didn't think he'd be there long enough for us to drive farther to find something "field-trip-ish" so we just found a cute little playground area with goats and a big slide and the girls played and we ate our picnic lunches and such. You can see pictures from that in my "First Day of August" post.
Friday afternoon we visited friends near where Rodney was working, and that evening we headed to my parents' house for Sabbath.
I'll wrap up the post by sharing the picture I couldn't resist snapping of the girls sleeping one night in the hotel, I loved how they both have their elbows bent under them :)