Road Trip 2015, Day 10: July 3, 2015 (Hershey, PA to Washington, D.C.)

We are the Champions!
(click here for today's pictures)

We all slept well again last night and early this morning, I knew that some child was laying behind me but they were being still so I didn't even roll over to see who it was.  When I heard Robby stirring, I did roll over and see that Whitman was the one laying by me.  Robby had moved him when we had a shower. 

Minutes later, Robby and Graham were out the door to take a load to the car and to go and get gas.  Tony needed some too but this little van takes a bit longer to fill up.  I didn't think that I was going to be able to have everyone dressed and ready by the time that they returned but we were almost all ready.  Reagan is my slow poke in the mornings (and pretty much all the time) so once she is ready, everyone else is usually ready.

Robby loaded the car while we started on breakfast.  During breakfast I did take a quick peek at the pool and it had a Burger King type slide that ended up in the pool.  The kids saw it last night but of course there was no time to swim...we probably should have just let them take one slide down in their undies before putting them into bed last night.  We also didn't have time to make another batch of rice krispy treats since we have depleted our supply.  Hopefully, Robby can survive without them!

Back to breakfast-they had a make your own pancake machine which I think is really cool.  But the pancakes must not have been too big of a hit because most of them were left on the kids plates.  Once we had finished with breakfast, we loaded up and headed to Philly.

The first stop was Valley Forge.  We walked in the steps of George Washington and his men as they camped during the Revolutionary War.  We walked through the visitor's center and then back to the car for our drive around the park.  Robby did let everyone pile out so we ran to George Washington's headquarters.  After a walk around the house, we went to check out a bunk house cabin and then back to the car.

We had a bit of a drive to get into Philadelphia and Robby drove us right to our Delassandros-our Philly cheese steak sandwich place.  Robby and Shannon just beat the line and as they waited, we went in search of a bathroom with no luck.  So as we ate our sandwiches (which most of the Dennie kids loved) we drove to the nearest gas station.  Everyone pottied and then we drove right down to the Rocky stairs.

We stood in line to take our pictures by Rocky and then I let the kids loose to run up the stairs.  Of course everyone did the famous Rocky pose at the top of the stairs-I probably should watch the movie so I could know what the whole Rocky thing is all about.  (I have seen the clips of him running up the stairs though so I am not completely clueless.)

Everyone then jumped back into our car and we hightailed it down the road to the Liberty Bell area.  Robby dropped us all off and we walked to the visitor's center first.  We stamped our books-they had 10 different stamps there and I have 7 books that needed stamping-you do the math.  No, we didn't get stamps from everyone place but we did get 3 and all of that stamping gave Robby time to catch up with us after parking the car.

We took some pictures in front of Independence Hall and then peeked in the windows so we could see the Liberty Bell.  The line was crazy long so we weren't able to go inside and see it.  The crowds everywhere were thick in Philadelphia-all preparing for America's 239th birthday.  

Next up was Christ Church and where Benjamin Franklin was buried.  It is considered good luck to throw a penny on Ben's grave so that we did.  Shannon had quite a few pennies but we had to borrow a few from a stranger.  Then it was just a few blocks to Betsy Ross' house.  We saw where she was buried and imagined old George coming to ask Betsy to sew the flag.  It is said that Washington wanted another type of star, but Betsy folded a piece of paper to show him how easy the 5 point start was the cut and make for others sewing the flag.  Washington agreed and the stars on the flag became what we know them today.  

After we left Betsy's place, we walked down Elfreth's Alley-the oldest street continuously lived in residential street in America.  You can almost imagine people long ago living in those houses-we even noticed one that was for sale-wonder how much that would set you back?  And from there, we hiked back to the car.

When I say "hiked" I really mean "raced."  Robby was on a mission to get back to the car and get back quickly.  This was quite the haul back to the car-Whitman's stroller is about to be thrown into the trash so it doesn't navigate the bumpy and rocky sidewalk easily and then Keaton walked right into a pole.  That little baby was walking just as fast as she could and did her best to keep up-she was so tired by the journey's end that she even let Tony carry her for a minute.  

When we left Philly, we had about 2 hours in the car and we had to hurry to arrive at our next stop.  The traffic didn't really cooperate the entire time but we did the best that we could and arrived at Fort McHenry in time to watch the short film before walking to the fort.

At the end of the film, the curtain usually goes up and as the Star Spangled Banner is being played, you see Old Glory flapping in the wind above Fort McHenry but today the movie was broken so they just showed a picture of the flag at the end.  That was a little less dramatic but I still really enjoy Fort McHenry.

We walked out to the flag and today the Garrison flag was flying-it was something like 42 feet by 24 feet.  I am not really sure about those dimensions but it was crazy big.  The kids all helped pull up the flag that would fly over the fort tonight and then they helped everyone else catch the large flag as it was lowered to the ground.  We had stumbled into this the last time that we were here and we tried really hard today to make it in time to help lower the flag tonight.

I am so glad that we made it because I know that the kids really enjoyed it.  The park closed right after we lowered the flag so we had just a few minutes to take a few pictures before leaving and stamping our passport books.  I did learn that Francis did his writing during the War of 1812-I still need to brush up on my history.  

After leaving the fort, we stopped at the grocery store for a second and then to 7-11 for gas and supper.  Robby had to put in a special order for all of the hot dogs that we bought so we were there a few minutes before our food was ready to go!  But a cheap meal was worth the wait!

The drive to D.C didn't take too long and soon we were parking and walking towards the Lincoln monument.  We walked all around Mr. Lincoln (if you will remember Anderson was good old Abe for his report not too long ago-click here to watch that video and go to minute 3)  

Next stop was the Vietnam Memorial followed by the WWII Memorial.  Once I had seen this memorial and wasn't too impressed with it but this time, I really feel like it is one of the best.  We walked up a ways to see a glimpse of the White House and then walk around the Washington Monument.  Such incredible history in this city-always makes me want to know more.  

I think that the kids enjoy D.C. but they do not yet appreciate it like they should.  We did quite a bit of walking tonight and for the last half, it was misting on us.  The rain was a welcome treat since the weather could have been a bit warm without the rain-maybe it will mist a bit on us tomorrow too!  My kiddos are troopers walking so far all day today.  I do forget that my Campbell is just 5 and Graham is just 6!  Whitman and Keaton rode in their strollers for the most part tonight.  Whitman has taken to dragging his feet while in the stroller so after a few good reminders on his leg this morning, all I had to  do was pat his leg and say "pick up your feet" and he did so and did so quickly.  

On the walk back to the car, we passed by the WWI Memorial.  Robby said that they want to redo it or add on to it to make it fancier.  It is currently just a simple rotunda (I think that is what it is called) and I really like it.  Then we walked through the Korean Memorial before trekking back to the car.  

Our hotel was a bit farther away than we had planned but that was fine.  It was only 20 minutes after all though it ended up being a bit longer because Robby missed a turn (or 4) and we ended up in the middle of Kennedy Center traffic.  

Once we made it, we were thankful that the van fit in the parking garage and were all surprised with the biggest hotel room yet.  We have a huge hallway leading to our bathroom and then room.  We have 2 air conditioner units, 4 windows, 2 double beds and a sectional sleeper sofa-this room is huge....meanwhile, the Wilsons are in a room that is so small their sleeper sofa doesn't even pull out!

The laundry is started and things have been repacked so we will have a few minutes before bedtime but that will give us plenty of time to plan tomorrow's day or catch up on pinterest!

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