Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vacation or how to relax and recharge

The state of North Carolina Monument was sculpted using photographs of
soldiers that fought at Gettysburg.
 Vacation.....I know that I am seriously dating myself but I can't think of the word without picturing Connie Francis singing V A C A T I O the summer sun.
The word itself makes me smile and fills me with excited anticipation. I get almost as much enjoyment out of planning vacations as I do going on them.  Fred and I enjoy traveling and make an effort to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
We had the pleasure last month of attending the wedding of a wonderful young couple in suburban Georgia northwest of Atlanta. We knew it would be a weekend full of love, laughter, family and friends. We received the save the date notice over the winter holidays. It didn't take us long to decide to turn the trip into one of our little adventures.
2011 marks the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Visiting the battlefields of Gettysburg has been on our wanna do list for quite a while. We decided that this was the year to do it.
We spent the early Spring months reading Civil War literature and watching movie series such as Gettysburg and The Blue and the Gray. We had lively discussions about our reading because we studied American history differently. Fred was raised in New York where the focus  of Civil War history was on slavery. I was raised in the South where the focus was on economics!

Brigadier General Gouverneur Kemble Warren

We spent 3 beautiful sunny days in mid May on the battlefields in Gettysburg and Antietam with a side trip to Harpers Ferry. The feeling of standing on those hallowed grounds is indescribable. Our research and the photographs and museum displays that we saw made it personal. The sense of loss is overwhelming. Imagining combatants who a few years earlier were friends, family members and neighbors standing half a cornfield apart and firing weapons at one another brought tears to the eyes. Realizing the tremendous sacrifice that our ancestors experienced to keep our country united was humbling.
V A C A T I O N.  
It doesn't always mean lounging on the beach or camping in the mountains, although I enjoy and highly recommend both of those pursuits. Experiencing a new place and stimulating a different part of my brain are great ways to relax and recharge.
View from the watch tower at Antietam, site of Bloody Lane.


  1. Great vacation there, Bonnie. It is wonderful to go to the beach. I live in florida and I love a good beach vacation! :) I love nature, and the beach itself (not all the commercialism that's also usually present) is one of the most natural places to be. But I also love adventures and learning about and seeing our country's history sounds great!

  2. I have to agree with you about beach vacations. Love them! Especially those beaches that are not crowded blanket to blanket sunbathers!