On To Gettysburg and Washington D.C.

Week of July 11, 1999
The next day we drove south to Gettysburg. We took the auto tour and saw many markers and monuments. The park wrapped around the city of Gettysburg. It was hard to believe that the soldiers had fought on the large open fields with no cover from the battle. A speaker dressed as a confederate soldier told us stories of the hardships experienced. This battle marked the turning point for the South in the war. We then went to a wax museum where wax figures representing each American president talked briefly to us. There was also a room of small first lady figures wearing their inaugural gowns. A section was dedicated to President Eisenhower with many photos and a large collection of paintings by the president. We saw the farmhouse of Eisenhower on the grounds of Gettysburg National Park. Also we saw where Lincoln made his famous Gettysburg Address at the Gettysburg National Park Cemetery.
On the following day we visited Hershey's Chocolate World in Hershey, PA. We took a free tour of a simulated chocolate factory. They traced the making of chocolate from the cacao trees in Central America to Hershey's kisses and chocolate bars. There was a huge gift shop outside the tour with several restaurants and every kind of Hershey's candy made.

After the chocolate tour we decided to load up the fifth wheel and head on down to Washington, DC. We arrived at Aquia Pines Campground in Stafford, VA at about 11:00 that night. Next morning we headed to the nearest Metro subway station. We first visited the National Air and Space Museum, the most popular of the Smithsonian museums. It was very impressive with the Wright brother's plane, Charles Lindbergh's plane, Amelia Earhart's plane and Apollo 11 (used on the first successful moon landing). There were many Soviet and American space modules and rockets.

Next we moved on down to the Museum of American History (our favorite, which we came back to the next day). I would recommend setting aside a full day to appreciate this museum, which contains several floors, if you can fit into your schedule. It is worth the time. Here, we saw old horse buggies and carts, bicycles from the 1800's and up, old tractors, and farm equipment. Exhibits of special interest included the earliest computers, a Presidential First Ladies display, and an old automobile and railroad section. The automobile section was most interesting, with a Tucker car on display. There were only about fifty-one made in 1948, and included many advanced features such as rear helicopter designed engine, aerodynamic styling, and an additional headlight in the front which moved as the car turned a corner. Also on display was the GM Sunracer (a solar car), the Model T, steam engine powered cars, and Evel Kneivel memorabilia. The railroad section contained steam engine-powered locomotives and trolley cars. We then walked through the Vietnam War Memorial.

Next, we walked down the mall and saw the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument in the distance. It was being worked on, and was surrounded by iron supports. Click here and the image shown to see close-up views. Looking from the Lincoln Memorial
Honest Abe The Korean War Memorial at Dusk We walked up to the Lincoln Memorial, and stopped in its museum, and then on to the Korean War Memorial pictured here (click on image to enlarge).
Next Week: On To Jackson and Houston

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