Unappreciated Vacation Destinations

We took advantage of the long weekend and went to DC for a get-away. Mostly because my niece graduated high school and we went down to celebrate with her. Yes, we'll take family vacations anywhere we can find them.

Always on the lookout for ways to expose the kids to important parts of American history and heritage, we subjected them to Arlington National Cemetery. While I think that kind of stuff is super duper fascinating and awe-inspiring, the kids just aren't old enough to appreciate it. Becky is almost there, and history geek enough to appreciate it, but the boys fall short.

Josh was quick to say, "I hate history." And that was the end of his good time.

Luke said, "I know this is the kind of stuff that we'll look back on when we're grown up and say, 'I was there once.'" At least he was making an effort to understand where we were coming from.

Micah was hot and bored, and that's never a good combination. There are a lot of signs at Arlington that look like this,

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and Micah is not big on either of those qualities. He completely blew the Silence part out of the water when he loudly grumbled about being in a boring place in the hot sun. For a kid who lacks words, he's quite vocal in making his displeasure a thing of publicity.

It probably wouldn't have been so bad, but it was Memorial Day weekend. (Durrh) But besides the extra crowds that flock to the most popular cemetery in the nation to honor soldiers, the Run For The Wall group was there. We watched over 2,000 motorcycles file past us into Arlington before we could cross the street ourselves to visit the cemetery. It took just as long as you'd think for 2,000 bikes to pass at Just Fast Enough To Stay Upright speeds. And while it was super exciting to see something so big, and feel a part of it, and see the veterans make history, the kids lost their fascination after 15 minutes. Things went downhill from there.

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Still, it was Arlington. We saw the Kennedy's eternal flame and gravesites. Jackie had a single pink rose on hers. I loved that. We toured the Arlington House, and watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We were very humbled by the sheer size of the place, and how many wonderful servicemen and women gave their lives for our country.

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And while the kids may not have thought it was the best day of vacation that we had, it was the best place to be this past weekend. And yes, Luke, someday you'll look back on this and say, "I was there. I saw that. I walked through history."

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4 comments:

Kris said...

What an honor to be at Arlington for this special weekend, and to see the bikers who come from all over the states to pay respect. We are lucky enough to have the "Run for The Wall" bikes come through our school on their way to DC.

Roger said...

I love old cemetery's and all the history about the place. Like you know who's family owned that land, right? Did you see the changing of the guard? I know it takes time, but it is really cool - at least I think it is, not having been there before. Maybe next summer we'll hit the east coast, starting in Maine and working our way down... we were gonna do it last year, but... I can't remember the but part, probably tuition concerns or something. Ah well, when I retire and buy that RV to live and tour the country in, I'll see all the good stuff for sure.

EVILMOMMY said...

if you get a chance check when they place the wreath's on the graves for christmas - Last year was the first time I went and it was just amazing to watch everyone there willing to help and it's just amazing to see the finished product. and there is section 60 where they are currently burying the soldiers lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. I can't describe the feeling when you see the families there visiting their loved ones. Simply amazing....

HalfAsstic.com said...

Wow! I bet you felt the history with every ounce of your being. What a phenomenal place to go for Memorial Day!
I am proud to know you, Karen!