Friday, July 23, 2010

Slurpies and Chocolate

We are on our way to Cooperstown by way of Hershey, PA today.  We just stopped and got the kids their first Slurpies.  We have walked many a mile in our new shoes in the last two days.  Everyone but Brian got new shoes for this trip.  Clara had outgrown the ones I bought in June; she now wears an eight in women.   I bought mine so Sallie can teach me to run on this trip, I will let you know how that turns out.  Rob and Lewis bought shoes at the Foot Locker in DC the first night we were there.

We went to the National Museum of Natural History the first night; the kids liked it pretty well.  This museum has not really been updated that much, the kids are so used to museums that are interactive that it wasn’t as interesting to them.  I don’t even mean electronic or anything just something they can participate in.  Lewis’s obsession of this trip and this summer has been sharks.  He wanted to know if there were any “Shark stores” in Washington DC.  I said we would see.  When we were leaving the ocean part, the ocean store was closed but we spied a stuffed shark trapped in a long plastic column.  So I told him that we would find one at the big gift shop.  We went to find it and they said that item had been discontinued; we told the lady we saw one upstairs.  She just looked at me and then I asked if we could buy one of those even though the store was closed.  She looked at me again and then said it will take me 10 minutes to get it.  I said wonderful.  She went and got it and while she was gone we found a pocket guide to sharks.  Just in case we need to identify and sharks on our trip.

We walked to all the monuments, the kids loved them.  I was interested to see the WWII memorial because I had never seen it.  There were all these interns/young folks playing softball in the Mall area.  They looked so carefree and so YOUNG!!  Clara retrieved an errant ball and threw it back to the guys, they said, “nice throw” and looked impressed.  We went back to the shopping mall where we caught the Metro and had a late supper.  Hagen Daz had 50% off customer appreciation day, we took full advantage.

Yesterday we went to see the White House just from the outside; we didn’t have tickets to get in.  We saw all the fire trucks in DC at this one building across from the white house and there was smoke billowing out of the top.  Watched that awhile and then got lunch.  We then went on the Capitol tour; this had changed dramatically since I was last there.  The security is very tight and you have to be approved for a tour and you have to stay with your tour guide the whole time.  We loved this, probably our favorite thing.  It made me a little sad though, because of the changes 9/11 made there.  One of my dad’s best friends Sonny Montgomery used to be in Congress for years and this was the first time I had been there since he passed away.   The statues from the States were fascinating.  All the statues of the men from the Deep South were very handsome.  Longer hair and chiseled features.

We then walked to the Modern Art Museum and that was pretty lost on the boys.  Clara and I enjoyed it though, and it was not crowded like everywhere else.   We then went to the Air and Space Museum and the kids liked that.  It was interesting the evolution of commercial flight, I was right; flying was better when I was a kid.  We went to the Museum of American History and then had added some more interactive exhibits.  My favorite part was the inauguration dresses of the President’s wives.  The boys like the transportation part.

We have just left Hershey, PA.  What a neat place.  We went through the museum first and I am glad we did.  It was fascinating learning about Milton Hershey’s life and passion for philanthropy.  He donated $60 million in 1918 to a charitable trust.  The trust set up a school for orphan boys.  The school is still open and serves children from all over the country.  They come from homes where the average income is $13,000 and they need educational opportunities.  Once they are selected for the school EVERYTHING is covered for them.  They have healthcare, clothing, travel expenses, food and lodging.  Their families never pay a dime.  They have house parents and there is a waiting list for people wanting to teach there.  This trust owns 71% of stock in Hershey’s so they have plenty of funds.  They do no fundraising and can’t advertise (because of a stipulation of the trust).   What an inspiration!! Anyone can apply, they take preK to 12th grade and they often take siblings together.

While we were there we went to Chocolate World where they had a mini tour/ride that the kids loved and then we were dumped into the mass of people.   It was packed so we picked out our souvenirs and got back on the road.  That is where we are now.  I tell you now that I know all those wonderful things about the Hershey school it makes me feel more justified in buying that chocolate!!![slideshow]

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