Surprise Summer Trip || Historic Gettysburg, PA

Gettysburg, PA
was our original destination on this trip and the way my schedule worked out 
we had an extra day (that is when we added our day in Washington, DC)!
We knew the historic town and battlefields would be a sight to see for our young history buffs.
After our full day in DC, our drive north left us with a bit of energy to explore 

This is much of what the town looks like..
there are so many historic buildings.

When I booked the hotel, I found this one with a view of the battlefields and our room was
no exception.  The battlefield is just under the canopy in front of the hotel
and above Joe is standing in that spot.
It was so easy to imagine the battles playing out just in front of us in this historic places.
We learned that the battlefield encompasses
 over 3,000 acres and DH was quick to point out that many things in Gettysburg have a view of the battlefields with that sort of acreage!

Our Quality Inn was older with outdoor entrances but it was right in the heart of town and we loved that, we could walk many places and tours moved down the road right in front of us.
The little cottage behind Joe was original to the time of the battles, it was right outside our hotel room.

We sought out the Dobbin House for our 1st meal.

It was right up our alley, we ate in the pub area in the basement
and it felt very historic eating by candlelight.  We loved the wait staff's period costumes
This had been a home where slaves were hid in crawl spaces and there were a couple of areas to tour.

I got a philly steak flatbread and baked potato, delicious!

We walked back to our hotel exploring a  little gift shop. 
We returned there later the next day because it was our favorite!

This is where our breakfast was each morning in Gettysburg
It was a quaint cottage beside the hotel.  It was pretty busy but everyone was friendly! 
We headed over to the visitor museum in the photo above.

And we saw much of this, when you are in the midst of so much history
you find yourself wanting to know more.
Reading and learning about our country's history, love!

Shortly after, we set our on a tour with our guide.
He was so informative and it lasted 2.5 hours.  
we learned about each of the 3 days of the battle and much about the park.
He was a vivid talker and made you feel like you could have been there.

The park has built so many original fences that they can tell were there from pictures.
They have worked to recreate the area the way it would have been.
And I have said so many times since we have been back that we LOVED how
we were able to be in the exact spot where thing occurred. They were not roped off
our behind a barrier.  We climbed on top of Devils Den and Little Round Top
and out in the Bloody Wheatfield.  Those are the thing we learned about so many years ago - brought to life, very cool!

This guy took notes at every stop.
He soaked every detail in.  
So worth it.

And the trees, they have become fondly known as witness trees as so many of them would have been there to witness the battles.
A few years ago, one fell and when it was being cut up an taken away they found several bullets and fragments inside.  

We took a break for lunch and found Sam's favorite...pizza.
He ordered the 2 slice special, we did not know it was 1/2 a pizza. But he ate it!

We enjoyed a giant diorama (or diagram as Joe kept calling it).
It included a neat narrated film and light up the areas on the diorama that the film was referring to, so it was easy to get an overall view of the war and what those 3 days must have been like for locals and soldiers alike.  They also took us thru a live area where the story was told and I had two shrieking boys who crawled out when they shot at us at the end. 
 The lady working and I had a very good belly laugh.

So many of the houses had damage left from the war, just above the window.

We drove back around to our favorite spots to spend more time.
This included Little Round Top

The view from the top of the monument

Devil's Den is down in the middle of the picture just where the road curves.

Devil's Den down below
It was Sam's favorite, he explored a while here!

He was fascinated by the infantry's division markers.
The cemetery right behind out hotel
We took some time to cool off in the pool

And wrapped up our night in the hotel playing some Crazy 8
this stop is a must if you are near Gettysburg. 

I loved every bit of it  - so happy we were able to bring the boys to see it and enrich their learning!