Today, we stopped in Camden, SC on our way to Columbia. It was one of the Revolutionary Sites that we never made it to last year while we were studying the Revolutionary War. We came to a site. We got out and went into a small house that was the visitors center. We had been inside for a few minutes and  had not seen anyone. Claire in a very loud voice said, “Is anyone in here.” A lady came out of a back room on the phone. She told us the buildings were open and there was a movie but she she did not seem to want to be bothered. We went out and I told the kids this must not be it. So, we got back in the car and road down the road some more. Well, that was it so we went back. We started with the movie which was okay. It did get Cobey excited about the significance of the town. It is one that loops so we started in the middle which I hate. We then walked around and we did find the Kershaw house which looked nice but was locked. There are several other buildings on the grounds with displays but  we were not impressed at all. It probably would have been much better if we I had gotten their in time for the three o’clock tour. We gave it three thumbs down for our experience and that is from kids that love history. I suggest making sure you make one of the guided tours or skip this stop all together. Hoping for better luck tomorrow.

 

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I was shocked that Cobey figured out from the clues right away that we were going to Morristown. The only winter encampment I knew about was Valley Forge so I thought that would be his guess. Cobey said I knew Morristown was the only winter encampment in New Jersey so it must be it. I should have known better.

We first stopped at Washington’s Headquarters. They were getting ready for a tour of the Ford Mansion when we got there so we did that first. The tour was very good and told of stories of Washington who stayed there and the Ford family. We then went back and watched the movie and walked thru the museum. The movie did a great job of telling the story of Morristown. The museum had some neat things but was a room off here and there and did not have a good flow.  I am not even sure we saw it all. The Junior Ranger program was okay. I liked the page where they answered why you would want to be a soldier, an officer or not be in the army at all.

We then went to Jockey Hollow where the kids got to hold a musket and dress in costume. Here we got to see the Wick Farm which would have been typical of the time period. There was a lady in period costume at the Wick home. She told a few things about the house but she seemed too involved in her book to answer questions. The ranger at the visitor center on the other hand was eager to answer any questions. There is a display in the visitor center of the wooden huts and then several you can go into down the road a mile. I enjoyed Washington’s Headquarters more but both were good to see.

We then headed to Thomas Edison National Historical Park. This was not on the plan but we decided we had some extra time. This national park was amazing. The Junior Ranger Program was well thought out and they let the kids work on one together which makes so much sense. We only had two hours and that was not enough time. This park cost $7 for adults and the kids were free. They give us each an audio tour that includes a kid’s version. I  learned so much about Edison that I had no idea about. The park is located in his Laboratory Complex. You can also tour his estate but we did not have time for that. Claire liked the freight elevator that the staff encouraged Edison to use when he got older. He never would and always took the stairs. We thought the doll with the phonograph in it was funny. We enjoyed the phonograph demonstration and finding out Edison was part of the early record industry. I knew he was an inventor but never knew what a businessman he was. I loved his three- story library. It was just beautiful. I would love to go back and spend more time here and then go visit the estate.

We had an awesome day in New Jersey. The only bad part was the drive to Connecticut which took twice as long as the GPS said. The kids were excited to see New York City even if it was just to drive thru. I could have done without that part.

The last two nights we stayed at the Doubletree in Princeton. I was a little nervous when I drove up because it looked old. The last Doubletree we stayed in was just okay. This one was much better than okay.  The lobby was well appointed  and the staff at check-in were friendly and helpful. Every staff I encountered during my staff was also smiling and friendly. Claire loved her lemonade and cookie at check-in. The room was nice and the beds were comfortable. We loved all the extras in the bathroom. The breakfast was a hot and cold buffet and made to order omelets. Everyone found something they wanted both mornings. The hotel pool was very great – bigger than your average hotel pool with very NICE seating for me. Claire wanted a hot tub but I think the seating and size of the pool more than made up for it. I enjoyed the hotel so much that I may have to come up with a reason to go back to the area just to stay there. It is definitely a barefoot hotel.

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Monmouth Reenactment

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Saturday Jun 18, 2011 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Revolutionary War Sites, Travel

Each morning, the kids have been opening an envelope to see where we are going for the day. This was Day 6 and the clues were George Washinton vs. Sir Henry Clinton, Molly Pitcher and Washington surprises the Hessians. It took them awhile but they finally figured out we were going to Monmouth Battlefield.

On the way into the park we walked thru the Continental Camp. The reenact actors were eager to answer any questions and tell you what they were doing. We then claimed our spot at the edge of the battlefield. We watched a cavalry drill and an artillery demonstration.  We then went to a demonstration by “Molly Pitcher” on how to shoot a cannon. Cobey was a gunner in the demonstration. After lunch, we walked to the British camp. Cobey and Claire liked when the kids made the British retreat and then took them prisoners. We then went and waited for the reenactment.

This was my first reenactment and one lesson I learned was they are  very loud. We were right beside the cannon and it was louder than a rock concert.  I am glad I have now been to an reenactment  but don’t know that I will go out of my way to go again. It was okay but not  exciting like watching a movie that you already know then ending. And you don’t get to see it all because they keep moving around.  A little tip if you go, if you are going to sit up close take a blanket not chairs because they will not let you use chairs if you are in the front few rows. Also don’t forget the earplugs. My ears still hurt. Cobey enjoyed it and  said it was better than Bentonville because he could see better. Claire was excited about seeing the Hessians.

This has NOT been a great day! It was hot and we had a lot of waiting for the things to happen. Claire was whining and Cobey was grumpy. I don’t think we will make it to Day 19 at this rate which would be very sad because there are some cool things toward the end. The kids would be sad to open the last envelopes and see what they missed out on. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!

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