Vanderbilt Home, Home of FDR and West Point

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Thursday Jun 30, 2011 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, National Parks, Travel

We started to make our way home today. It was going to be rough drive with a hurt shoulder and the radio/CD player broken. Fortunately, after a few hours and prayers I fixed the radio. Cobey was ready to just drive home but I had one surprise left and he changed his mind.  He has been wanting to go to West Point since we went to the Douglas MacArthur Memorial.  I thought he would like a tour.

The first stop we made was the Vanderbilt home in Hyde Park, New York. We had been to two other Vanderbilt homes in Newport, RI so the kids were interested in the family. This mansion is a National Park. It is the first National Park that we have been to that did not have a Junior Ranger program. We had a tour of the house and our guide was very knowledgable and interesting. This was a country estate and was the smallest and least luxurious of the Vanderbilt houses you can tour. I think it was still impressive but it the Breakers and Marble House in Newport were more lavish. And the Biltmore home makes it look like a cottage.

Our next stop was the FDR home, also a National Park and in Hyde Park. This park did have a Junior Ranger program but instead of becoming Junior Rangers they become Secret Service Agents. The program is very good and with the slant of what it takes to be a secret service agent. They earned stars instead the ranger badges.  We had a great guided tour of the grounds and the home. The kids learned a lot about the president. I did have to re-educate them on a few things. The talk was very skewed in how great of a president he was. We then went thru the Presidential Library and Museum. It has some great displays. The kids loved the oval office, the secret map room and his car.  There is also Eleanor Roosevelt’s  home as a National Park in the area.  You could easily spend a day in this area.

The last stop was a tour of West Point. They only take cash for the tour so plan according. (I was getting low for tolls.) You purchase tickets at the West Point visitor center. The tour was great and I highly recommend even if you are not that interested in West Point. It gave some great history and information. This was our last guided tour of the trip. We had lots of guided tours during this trip and all of them had excellent guides. There was not one dud or annoying guide. Cobey liked the story about Paton being a bad student and his excuse being he could not find the library. They now have his statue outside of the library. The campus is absolutely beautiful and has an amazing view of the Hudson

West Point also have a museum there which we did not have time to go to before it closed. We then headed south and made it to Baltimore.

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