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Friday, April 23, 2010

We ended the trip with a great visit to Mount Vernon, home of George Washington – you know, the dollar bill guy. We toured the grounds of his massive estate, and some historical tourists checked out the mansion … and others laid out in his back yard. We enjoyed the visitors center, with a great interactive movie (it snowed) and a glimpse of Washington’s teeth.

After a great lunch (those 12 letters …), we toured the FDR and Jefferson Memorials. We ended our stay in DC with a very quick visit to one of two Smithsonian Museums. After a tearful goodbye to tow of the best guys in the world, our drivers Tyrone and Joe, we made it to the airport for the final leg of the trip. See everyone at Mitchell!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cruisin' on the Miss Christin

Check out the link to the pics from our awesome river cruise dance.  Honestly - do these guys and gals look like they are enjoying themselves, or what?  A great cap on an awesome day ... and an awesome trip.

Thursday rules!

With the best weather in the history of history (seriously, it’s beautiful) and a great agenda for the day, what can beat today? Plus, it’s Earth Day! We began the day with our best ever visit to Arlington National Cemetery. The weather, our drivers, and the length of time made it perfect. We visited JFK’s grave, the Lee House, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The highlight of the morning (and, for many of use, the week) was seeing four USM students laying at wreath at the Tomb. It always gets me (sniff, sniff) … must be my allergies. Check out the ceremony here!

We took a quick trip to the Marine Corps Memorial, and kids loved the huge statue of the flag raising on Iwo Jima. Ask them how many hands are holding the flag! After lunch with Ronald Reagan, we all went to the top of the Washington Monument. It’s the best way to see all of DC and review where we have been (and where we will be tomorrow).

Our final historical stop was one of the most difficult – the Holocaust Memorial Museums. Some students rush through the museum and don’t give any thought to its significance, but not our young tourists. They were model visitors, taking in all of the emotional history of the amazing museum. I must give a special thanks to Mrs. Reimer, who did such an awesome job preparing them for this subject last year in English class. You would all be so proud!

It’s off to the boat cruise!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Turning Point … of the trip!

Our tired by cheerful tourists began the day with a trip to the turning point of the Civil War – Gettysburg. After a relaxing bus ride to Pennsylvania, we viewed the very cool movie “A New Birth of Freedom” and the even cooler Gettysburg Cyclorama. From there, it was a two hour tour of the battlefield, bringing all of our Civil War studies to life on the hallowed ground of Gettysburg. We finished with a quick visit to the impressive museum at the visitors center (one of the best of its kind in the nation!)

The Museum of Crime and Punishment seemed to be a hit with the group – a first time for the USM trip! There were a lot of interactive exhibits, and we had to push a few kids out of the place because they were so enthralled with the material!

We had a family dinner at Harriet’s Family Restaurant, involving one of my favorite 12 letter phrases – ‘all you can eat’. By the way, did you ever notice that many truly great phrases about the trip involve 12 letters? Think about it … ‘all you can eat’, ‘Eppelsheimer’, ‘history rules’, “Detroit Lions”, ‘Mr. Schwieters’, … but I digress.

Our evening visit to the World War II Memorial was tremendous, and even more meaningful to the students since we are studying the war in history. Countless students commented on how much they thought of the memorial.

We ended the day with one of the kids’ favorites – ESPN Sports Zone for games. It was a great end to a great day with a great group of historical tourists. You would all be very proud of our group so far. We have received compliments from the airline, our bus drivers, other guests at food courts, and even our night guards!

Check out all of our Wednesday photos and Wednesday videos.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

All around DC

It seems like we saw everything in the District today – what a ride. We began with a great visit from Senator Feingold and =, a tour of the Capitol,  followed by a visi to the National Gallery of Art (ask your tourist their favorite work of art – mine was “Two Maps” by Jasper Johns).

After lunch, we checked out Ford’s Theater, with the new museum dedicated to the study of Lincoln and the fateful events of April 1865.  From there, we did some souvenir shopping (watch out for the various sunglasses), took a group picture at the White House, and dined near the Pentagon.

The day ended with an incredibly beautiful evening at the monuments on the National Mall. You can't beat the view from the Lincoln Memorial on a beautiful night.  It seems like the kids are having a great time!

Monday, April 19, 2010

USM has arrived!

Our great (and uneventful) flight landed in Baltimore on time.  We wew greeted by our awesome drivers, Joe and Tyrone, and we made it to the hotel without a hitch ... although we are all quite tired.  There are some pictures from the airport on the slide show, and many more to come tomorrow as we visit the Capitol, meet Senator Feingold, hit the Art Gallery, do the zoo, and see the monuments at night! Stay tuned!

What do we want to see?

It's an easy question, yet a stumper to some of the young tourists!  Check out their responses here ... and then ask them if it lived up to their expectations when we get back!