2 Moms. 5 kids. 1 van. 3 weeks. 3000 miles. Are we amazing or are we crazy? You decide.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Day 9 - Valley Forge

After two long days in Philly, we wanted the last day in Pennsylvania to be more relaxing. So Valley Forge was the only thing on our itinerary. We slept late, and had a slow morning. So slow, in fact, that by the time we got out the door, it was closer to lunchtime. I had read in one of the guidebooks that Valley Forge has a cafe, so we decided to do that for lunch, and then go on the tour. Well, there was a cafe - but it was closed. On to Plan B - which definitely included feeding 5 hungry kids before trying to teach them about history. We relied on the Lady-in-the-box to direct us to a restaurant. The first one she picked was in a convention center. We thought that one might not appreciate the 5 bouncing kids. We decided to continue down the road, which looked promising, and see what we could find. There appeared to our left an oasis, a modern mecca, the destination for consumer therapy. My 10 year old daughter (who sometimes thinks she's 16) said "Let's go to the MALL!" with great glee in her voice. However, dragging five children through the mall also did not fit in with our plans for the day, so we continued on. Then we came upon a Chili's, which was acceptable to all in the car (no minor feat!)
After lunch we went back to Valley Forge. We had the ritual stamping of the passports, and then we went to see the movie, which was pretty good. I especially liked the description of the teams of 12 men building the huts and then living in them all winter (See M - being squished in a car with 6 other people is really not that bad - especially since we let you out to use the bathroom!)
We had some tired kids then, so we drove around the park, hitting the highlights. We did stop at George Washington's headquarters, at which point AtlMom remarked "Everybody take note - it's always better to be the General, not the foot soldier".
C was especially fascinated by where George Washington had stayed. With some of his tickets, he bought a set of plastic Revolutionary Army men. We are assuming that the red ones are British, the blue are American, and the black are the French. There is one white one which C immediately decided was George Washington. There is also a white horse, so that sounded fairly logical. I heard him playing with them this morning as I was getting ready. He was making booming cannon noises, gun shots, and wounded soldier noises. Then he picked up one of the "red guys", and said "I'm Cornwallis, I surrender!". So at least some of all this is sinking in!
At Valley Forge, there is also a cave in which a large number of fossils have been found. M liked the picture showing the relative size of a black bear compared to the lesser short-faced bear.
Back at the KOA, we needed to do laundry before heading on to Boston. M helped me to carry it down to laundry room. As I was feeding lots of quarters into the machines, the gentleman who was also doing his family's laundry stuck up a conversation with M. It turns out that he and his family were also Homeschoolers. They had bought an RV a couple of years ago, and they were on almost the exact same itinerary we were (They were from Texas). They had done the Historic Triangle, were almost done with Philly, and were heading to Boston. I think they were also going to Washington. He was amazed that we were doing it in a minivan. (We had seriously considered renting an RV, but somehow got talked out of it. Hindsight being 20/20, I am regretting not renting the RV. I am getting awfully tired of unpacking and repacking the car).
Tomorrow we will be travelling to Boston, with a stop in Sleepy Hollow on the way. Some of the kids are really excited about that, others are not so sure. I told them the Headless Horseman doesn't come out during the day.


Anonymous said...

I loved Sleepy Hollow and the tour of Washington Irving's house. I didn't see any headless horsemen, hope you missed them as well.

Atlanta Aunt

Katie said...

You met homeschoolers on the road, that's great! So you told them all about the greatest record-keeping program ever, right? LOL Valley Forge is my old stomping ground - I have pictures of me there just about every year from 3 years old to about 15.