We've finally come to the last day of our summer vacation. (I know you probably thought I'd never get to it.) We could have driven straight home from Pittsburgh, like my parents did, but we decided to take one extra day and make it two easy days of driving. We pricelined a hotel in Dayton, OH and stopped early in the afternoon. We spent the evening in the pool and eating ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery. It was a nice relaxing way to wrap up our trip.
The next morning Brian and the boys headed out to the Airforce Museum on Wright-Patterson Airforce Base. We've been there several times before and the boys always love it. It is a terrific free museum full of full sized planes from every era of the history of flight....including the space program. (As a matter of fact some of the things we saw in the Smithsonian we had already seen before when they had been on exhibit at Wright-Patterson.)
One area of the museum is in a separate hangar, however, and we had never taken the boys over to that section before. So Brian decided to only tour that and the space section. The special section houses all of the previous Air Force One planes. You can walk through them and see exactly what kind of accommodations each president has had. You can stand in the spot where Johnson was sworn in and see the cargo hold that transported JFK's body. Of course the boys loved it. They were full of stories when they got back to the hotel around noon. It was a fun end to our great vacation. We packed up and headed home....arriving in Greenville around 7 pm. Home at last!
Looking back on this year's vacation I can see that it was a lot of fun and VERY educational, but VERY different from our normal vacations. Most of our vacations are all about nature and exploring God's awesome creation. We spend a lot of time hiking and climbing and swimming and observing wildlife. We enjoy experiencing scenery and climate much different from our own.
This time we were in urban settings almost 100% of the time. The scenery and climate were almost exactly like ours at home (except for the beach). And while we did "hike" for miles and miles around DC we only spent a few brief hours in nature (aside from sleeping at the campground each night) when we went to the state park near Pittsburgh. However, we really saw a lot of interesting and unique structures.....they just happened to be built by man instead of by God. We learned so much about colonial and Civil War history and modern day engineering. We were able to expose our kids (and my parents) to some of our nation's greatest man made monuments and show them the center of our government.
With that said, I think we are all ready to get back to our more typical vacation next year. Somewhere sparsely populated with miles of wilderness to explore. The kids are already talking about Michigan, or Colorado, or Yellowstone. After all, half the fun of vacationing is the planning.
To read about Day One traveling and Day Two in Gettysburg go here.
To read about Day Three in Baltimore go here and here.
To read about Day Four in Washington D.C. go here.
To read about Day Five in Washington D.C. go here. and here.
To read about Day Six on Assateague Island go here.
To read about Day Seven on Chincoteague Island go here.
To read about Day Eight at Antietam go here.
To read about Day Nine in Pittsburgh go here. and here.