Tuesday, April 28, 2009

GETTYSBURG AND DWIGHT EISENHOWER'S HOME









We were told the best way to see Gettysburg would be to get on the double decker bus tour, so about 9:30am we boarded what turned out to be an incredible 2 hour tour of Gettysburg, the hallowed Battlefields, and a history lesson I had never heard. The entire trip was a mix of tour operator narration and dramatic presentation you heard from earphones at your seat. The weather was beautiful which really helped. The whole perspective was not from the idea of who was right - these thousands of men lost their lives for what they believed in - but in the end what was important was that they were Americans. In 3 days in 1863, 165,000 soldiers met on Gettysburg Battlefield. More than 51,000 soldiers became casualties. I hate to show my pictures because they just don't do justice to what you see - the enormity of everything. In many ways, it wasn't anything like what I had in my mind - it was so much greater.


We decided we would have lunch - an old restaurant called Dunlap's. Delicious. Just a hint of my southern cook came out in me. I ordered Chicken Pot Pie, which came out and was chicken and dumplings. Must be a Pennsylvania thing....but it was delicious. RV had a delicious Pennsylvania Dutch chicken caesar salad.

After lunch, we decided to go to the National Park Visitor's Center where we can get our NPS Passport stamped, and discovered that Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower's only home they ever owned is a National Park property. Hmm, another stamp in our book, so we go to this treasure about 5 miles down the road. DDE loved showing the property to international politicians and celebrities so that he could discuss important matters away from D.C. Everything, I mean everything, is in the house just like they left it. You would have thought they had left town and would be back shortly. You have the feeling of age, yes, but interesting to say the least. Gifts that had received from every country you can imagine. Especially from countries who appreciated all he did in NATO, Allied countries, and even countries he kept from the enemies in WWII - and Korea. Trivia: What other classmate besides DDE had no demerits in West Point, and graduated #1, while DDE graduated #2 in his class? Answer: George Mason (the founder of George Mason University in VA) By the way, the farm is still a working farm. Prized black angus are still being raised as are crops. You can understand why they loved this farm so much - a picture postcard. Again, our photos do not do it justice.

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