We started with the children’s exhibit, Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story. The exhibit is based on the historical fiction novel, Daniel’s Story. It’s hands-on exhibit exhibit that follows Daniel from his warm bright home, to the confines of the ghetto, and finally into the dark concentration camp surrounded by barbed wire. Along the way there are diary entries written by Daniel describing life through his child’s eyes.
Afterwards, we moved onto the main exhibit which is a narrative telling of the Holocaust using artifacts, video, and words. It spans 3 floors. Three floors of heartbreak, horror, and human spirit.
It took us 5 hours to get through the United States Holocaust Museum.
By the end we were all emotionally drained.
We didn’t make the decision to take the boys to the museum lightly. Ultimately, we decided it is a very important piece of history that we felt like they are mature enough to begin to understand without being terrified. It puts our “hardships” into perspective and, perhaps more than any other event in modern history, it reminds us of the cost of silence in the face of injustice. It’s something no one should forget.
We also visited the Bureau Of Engraving and Printing next door but millions of dollars just doesn’t compare to millions of lives.
We woke up this morning knowing we were headed to Nashville. We didn’t know that we would be spending the night with old friends. We didn’t know that we would…
We woke up this morning knowing we were headed to Nashville. We didn’t know that we would be spending the night with old friends. We didn’t know that we would be having dinner with new friends. We didn’t know that Franklin Tennesee was much more than a little suburb of Nashville. We didn’t know that we would get to go on a date. We didn’t know Smoked Tea with Plum ice cream could be so good.
Old Friends – Mike and Jen moved to Franklin from Ventura 10 years ago. We parked our RV in their driveway on a quiet cul-de-sac next to a lake. We felt right at home. They showed around Franklin and took us to Leiper’s Fork. They made us dinner and we stayed up late sharing stories and laughter.
New Friends – We had just got settled when we got an invitation for dinner from friends of one of Brent’s clients. Brent had told his client that we were going to be in Franklin and much to our surprise and delight they called us. Dinner that with strangers ended as dinner with friends.
Date Night – Mike watched the boys one night so Brent and I could spend some time alone. Being the adventurers we are we went to Trader Joe’s. Romantic, huh? Afterwards, we drove around Nashville and spotted a little pizza and kebab place called PizzeReal. As we waited for our food we decided to check the Yelp reviews. Not a good idea. The restaurant had poor reviews. We hoped for the best and weren’t disappointed with the Tusan Garden, pizza topped with kale, mushrooms, garlic, mozzarella, and labne. Sooo good. It just happens that an ice cream place, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, we wanted to try was around the corner. We got a Black and Tan sundae made with Salted Carmel and Smoked Tea and Plum. Splendid, indeed. Do not miss Jeni’s if you are in Nashville.
Franklin – Franklin takes pride in her history. The downtown is lovely, clean, and quaint. The visitor center provides a plethora of maps and brochures. One is a historic downtown Franklin self guided walking tour map. There are six tours routes to choose from: the Great American Main Street, Art & Antique, Haunts a & Headstones, History Homs of Hincheyville, Battle of Franklin, and Margin to Main. Unfortunately due to rainy weather and time constraints, we didn’t complete any of the walks but we did see many places on the walks. One of which was the The Carter House grounds. The Carter House, a National Landmark, served at a command post during the Battle of Franklin and was the home of the Carter family who sought safety with their slaves in the basement during the battle. One of their sons, Todd Carter, had joined the confederacy. He was mortally wounded during battle and was brought to boyhood home to die.
Adventure Science Center – Our last day in Franklin was a rainy one a perfect day to visit the Adventure Science Center. It’s part of the ACST Passport Program which means free admission and I like free. The boys played giant instruments, zapped germs with lazers, and experienced what it would be like to walk in 1/6 gravity. Fun times for all.
Traveling with our work and home in tow like a turtle time has allowed us an unusual amount of time to visit with family and friends. Our adventure started in…
Traveling with our work and home in tow like a turtle time has allowed us an unusual amount of time to visit with family and friends. Our adventure started in Santa Maria when we spent 10 days with Brent’s family. Afterwards, with short visits with friends and family in between, we traveled to Austin to spent 10 days at my best friend’s house. Now in the dead of winter, we just spent three weeks in Indiana.
Our visit in Indiana felt like we did so much and yet so little at the same time. We’ve been there many times so the pressure to “see things” wasn’t there and our first priority was family.
My parents still live in the same house I grew up in. The house sits on a hill that borders a wood, “the bottom ground”, that, as a child ,was everything from wild jungles to dangerous battlefields. It’s a strange and happy sensation watching our boys drive my mom’s golf cart through the paths just as, if I was lucky, I did with my brother in his golf cart.
Visited the Indianapolis Zoo. I haven’t been in years and was excited to go on an oddly warm January day. I was especially excited to see the gibbons. Funny funky monkeys!
Visited Brookwood Farms. This is the stable where I spent showerless endless days grooming, feeding, water, cleaning, and riding horses. I used to happily sleep outside of my horses stall on a folding lawn chair. Brookwood is run by Rosie, a woman who has spend her life loving animals and kids. Every visit to Indiana includes a visit with Rosie at Brookwood.
“Visited” Slackers Toys R’Us and Walmart after midnight on December 24th in search of Harry Potter legos. Do not do this. Ever.
Ate at Roscoe’s Tacos. Possibly the least Mexican Mexican food ever. In a good way.
Ate at PapaRoux. Po-boys and cajun food in Indianapolis. Don’t judge. It’s good…really GOOD good! Don’t believe me? There was a line out the door in January.
Oh and I spent New Years squealing over pictures of hairless cats hoping Brent might change his mind about another pet. Yeah, I’m loads of fun. Loads.
Hi guys! Just when I was almost caught up blogging about our trip, we lost a strong internet connection. One night I sat at the computer for over an hour…
Just when I was almost caught up blogging about our trip, we lost a strong internet connection. One night I sat at the computer for over an hour trying to upload 5 pictures. Frustrated, I decided the blog would just have to wait. Then we came up to my parent’s for Christmas so we’ve been busy with family. I’m going to be here for the week and I’m hoping to get all caught up so I can start writing in (almost) real time again.
Tuesday morning, we left San Antonio for League City near Houston. It was the longest driving day we’ve had since we left Marfa. We pulled into the campground before dark which, for us, was very exciting.
The space center is filled with exhibits, tours, movies, and hands on activities for the entire family. (I sound like an infomercial, forgive me.) My favorite part was the Starship Gallery. There were videos featuring one of the astronauts (I can’t remember his name..ooops.) on the last Apollo 17 mission. He talked in detail about the last mission and what it was like to see earth from outer space. While listening I kept looking at the Apollo 17 Command Module imagining it in outer space and looking down at the earth. Thinking about it gives me chills.
Next time I want to complain about the shower in our RV I will try to remember the shower in Skylab.
We also took the tram to see historic Mission Control, the astronaut training facility, and the Saturn V rocket. That thing is crazy huge. HUGE!
The space center opens at 10:00 am but we got there at 11:30 am. At 5:00 pm security was pushing us out the door as we lingered in the exhibits trying to see just a little more. We considering hiding in one of the space capsules until after closing so we could play all night but the security guard was pretty frightening.
I thought from now on it would be nice if I share some visiting tips. Maybe someone will find something helpful.
– Buy tickets online. You will save $5 per ticket.
– Try to get there when it opens at 10:00 so you have all day. They told us it takes people 4-5 hours to see everything. We had 5.5 hours there and wished we would have had another hour or two more. We didn’t even watch all the movies or read everything. If you purchase a ticket two hours before they close they will let you come back the following day for one day’s admission.
– The audio tour was totally worth the extra admission to us. The only downside is you really have to look for the audio guide numbers. I ended up missing quite a few including the one at the Saturn V exhibit. I listened to it on the tram ride back to the museum which wasn’t nearly as interesting as it would have been walking around the rocket itself.
-We were glad to have brought our lunch (which they let us bring in because it was cold outside) as there was only one restaurant open in the food court. The guy at the door did say that they normally don’t let people bring in food and they have to eat outside at the picnic area.
-Watch Apollo 13 the night before you go! It adds an extra layer of excitement. Of course, if you aren’t in the mood for something as intense there is always Space Camp. It was all fun and games until someone got “launched”.
Today felt like three days in one. After our glamourous morning in the Walmart parking lot, we headed up the Turquoise Trail en route to Santa Fe. We didn’t know…
Today felt like three days in one.
After our glamourous morning in the Walmart parking lot, we headed up the Turquoise Trail en route to Santa Fe. We didn’t know what to expect. We were taking the scenic route based off of a friend’s recommendation and my distaste for the interstates. Unlike, our first foray off the beaten path this one turned out to be the sort of day that lived in our pre-trip dreams. The Turquoise Trail led us to a little town of about 300 people called Madrid. Not unlike Jerome, Madrid was once an active coal mining town, turned ghost town, turned vibrant tourist town, thanks to artists and craftspeople.
It was a cool morning, perfect for a stop at for coffee and hot cocoa.
We wandered down the street taking in the brightly colored old houses and exploring shops that caught our eye.
We got lost like like children in a store called Weasel and Fitz. Weasel and Fitz sells…well lots of things but most of them are made from recycled and found objects. I found the perfect Christmas gift for my mom. 😉
If I had more room (and cash) I would have definatley purchased on of these lampshades made from old metal signs.
Next door, I stumbled into a dream a non-profit vintage/consignment shop named Resources.
I was small and quaint and run by the sweetest lady. I ended up purchasing a dress and a coat. (A thrifty threads post is in the works.)
I desperately wanted this dress. It was the most beautiful pink with pleats and buttons but it was just too big. My sewing skills are not up to par for altering anything dresses with lots of pleats and lining. I’m also kicking myself for not buying a great pair of Frye boots in perfect condition. If you are in Madrid and love vintage be sure to stop by.
We arrived at Los Campos, our campground in Santa Fe, around 1 pm and after setting up camp, the boys and I headed downtown to the New Mexico History Museum while Brent stayed at home to work.
I know this may sound silly but when I think of colonization of the United States I always think of pilgrims, the Mayflower, Jamestown, and New England even though for the last 15 years I have lived in California where almost every town and road has a Spanish name. I forget that while pilgrims were settling the east coast, the Spanish were moving into the south and southwest. It’s been fun piecing together history with the land it grew from.
It’s also been cool for the boys to see relics pertaining to the stuff we are reading about in history.
Learning about the the first atomic bomb blast.
In painstakingly stark contrast to the atomic bomb exhibit, upstairs there was a special exhibit, The St. John’s Bible and Contemplative Landscape. It took calligraphers, artists, and theologians over 13 years to complete this Bible that will be housed permanently by the Benedictine monks at Saint John’s Abbey. We read a passage out loud (quietly) and tried to reflect on it’s meaning. Not easy to do with two boys who are about “museum-ed out”.
It was a lovely afternoon despite almost having a heart attack trying to drive the big ole’ truck through the tight and confusing roads of Santa Fe all by myself.
The day ended at DKB fitness with a kettlebell workout taught by my “buddy” from my RKC certification followed by dinner with her and her husband. We had traditional New Mexican food of enchiladas with eggs on top and sopes with honey. So. much. fun!
What a crazy day from waking up in an Albuquerque Walmart to a kettlebell class in Santa Fe with museums and vintage stores in between. Tomorrow we are heading off to Carlsbad.