Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Hamilton Family Thanksgiving, Part Three

Friday morning we started the day with a hotel breakfast in the conference room and devotions by Michael. Afterwards we headed to the Gettysburg Visitor Center which was surprisingly impressive. I *knew* Gettysburg was a big deal, but I had NO IDEA the massive scale of this engagement until our trip. The recently refurbished cyclorama was amazing. I would have loved to have spent more time in there. It is a work of art, history lesson, and moving experience all in one. Eric and I love to visit museums, but we are the type of museum-goers that hate to pass up any little tidbit of information. Visiting a museum with children (or anyone other than ourselves, really) makes this impossible; I was happy to just glean a very basic knowledge of the battle, an appreciation for all the lives lost at Gettysburg, and a hunger to know more.

When the kids got cranky, we headed out for lunch at The Avenue Restaurant. I'm not sure what I ordered, but the food here was really good. Notice Haven, Eric, Elijah, and Michael all sporting their new HamFam 2009 shirts.
Elijah took an unprecedented (amazing!) nap right in Eric's lap during our lunch.

That afternoon, the guys and Becca all went on a private tour with a licensed Gettysburg Battlefield Tour Guide. He was an ex-military guy who had to put Dad in his place right at the start of the tour. Eric LOVED this tour because he learned so much; it might have been his favorite part of the trip. (Eric?)

We went to a period-appropriate dinner at the Farnsworth House Inn. Despite having to wait hours for our food, we had a great time just being together. Elijah was able to explore the Inn and its surrounding more than anyone else as he kept enlisting new tour guides. Elijah and Uncle Tom, the brains behind the whole trip, worked out coordinating outfits.

Elijah and Dad:
Uncle Tom, Michael, Becca, Mom, Uncle Al, Dad, Haven, Lydia, Elijah:
Bella, Joe, Maggie, Aunt Lisa, Rachel, Gideon, Reagan, Jason, Ab:
Gideon may have taken another nap on the floor of the Inn.

The next morning we were back at it with breakfast, devotions led by Jason, and Biblio-political discussion. The kids found their own entertainment.

We headed out that morning to see a few of the most important sites on the battlefield. Elijah loved climbing up the hills and rocks and I enjoyed getting a taste of the vastness of the land occupied during these battles.

"Becca-Boo!!!" and Elijah: I headed back to the hotel to let the kids nap while most of the group went to walk Pickett's Charge. Jason didn't go because, as he said, "Why would I want to walk all that way listening to you guys feel sorry for the Confederates?" {He has yet to be converted to the Southern side, it seems.}

After naps and a quick dinner we all bundled up and headed to Hershey Park!!!
Hershey Park is always so fun; I was delighted to be able to take Elijah there. He was mesmerized by all of it - even the decor we saw while waiting in line to see how the chocolate is made.
Here we are, finally aboard the ride. For weeks after this Elijah talked about the singing cows. "And they make chocolate!" It was SO COLD there!. Unfortunately Haven's clothing wasn't quite up to par, but we did our best at bundling her. Preggo Ab let Eric & I go ride a few rides with Uncle Tom, Becca, & Joe (until he wimped out after ride #2). Mombo and Ab rode a few of the rides with Elijah. He had a BLAST!!!

Many thanks to Uncle Tom & Aunt Lisa, Dad, and Maggie for the ridiculous amount of prep work that went into making this happen! To further reminisce, see the quizzes we took, read Uncle Tom's SITREPs on the battle, or see more pictures, visit the HamFam blog. We had a great time being with everyone, being challenged by God-loving cousins, learning a bit more about our history, and playing with lots of little ones.

Here's to HamFam 2011 - we can't wait!!!!

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