Saturday, May 14, 2011

The End ...

Our final day began with a trip to the home of George Washington - Mount Vernon. We explored the visitor's center, visited the tomb of the grand pooba of the founding fathers, and toured his house and estate. After a delicious lunch at the OCB, we spent a few hours at the Smithsonian, visiting the Art Gallery, Air and Space Museum, and/or the Museum of American History (the best, natch). We struggled in traffic a bit on the way to BWI, but we made it home on time - all healthy (but tired), happy (hopefully), and historically satisfied (without a doubt). The trip was fantastic, all due to our incredible chaperones and parents and the behavior of the class of 2015. We should all be proud of their behavior on the trip - they represented USM just as we would hope - with class. Hopefully everyone's appetite for historical travel is just beginning ...

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Final Evening

We spent our last evening in Old Town Alexandria, enjoying yummy pizza on the Miss Christen, some ice cream on the pier, and the sounds of an amazing crystal glass musician. Students had a great time with each other and the party carried on into the early hours ... thanks to a fire alarm at 11:30! The group handled the mini-crisis extremely well, exactly how they have acted collectively all week. Only one more day!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Amazing Arlington

It’s not every day that you get to see a full dress Honor Guard ceremony for an foreign dignitary at Arlington National Cemetery, but it happened today for the Minister of Defence for Norway – and we got to see it! The only event that trumped it? Our four wreath layers presenting a USM wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The morning was beautiful – perhaps one of the best our school has ever experienced at Arlington. After lunch, we headed to the National Archives to see the Charters of Freedom and then to the Newseum. Reviews were positive for the interactive news museum! After a brief stop at the hotel, it’s off to Alexandria for the Potomac River cruise. Sorry Mr. Schwieters had to leave us, as he has honed his dancing skills as of late and was prepared to bust out a few new moves.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Monumental Afternoon

We scaled the 555 feet of the Washington Monument on Wednesday afternoon (in an elevator), getting the best possible view of many of the sites we visited on Tuesday. After a brief stop at the Marine Corps Memorial to see the famous flag raisers from Iwo Jima, we headed to dinner and then a laser tag adventure. It was a fun break from all of the historical excellences we have experienced. Tomorrow - Arlington!

Back to the Civil War at Gettysburg

It couldn't have been a better day in southern PA today. Our tourists saw the great visitor's movie and famous Cyclorama, visited the museum, and then hit the battlefield. we rushed the Railroad Cut just like the 6th Wisconsin, looked at the set up of the battlefield by Robert E. Lee, climbed Little Round Top, and re-enacted the High Water Mark of Pickett's Charge. All in all, a great day! Check back for pics later, and hopefully some video!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A great Tuesday in DC

A quick post before the evening memorial tour - We began with a White House picture stop, saw a presentation at Ford's Theater, and toured the US Capitol. After lunch, we had a very moving trip to the Holocaust Memorial Museum and walked the FDR and Jefferson Memorial. a yummy dinner at Pizzeria UNO filled the bellies for our night visit to the WWII, Vietnam Veterans, Lincoln, and Korean War Memorials. We were also joined by four USM alumni at various times during the day - very cool. Everyone seems to be happy, healthy, and historic. Pictures will follow this evening when we get to the hotel!

Monday, May 9, 2011

USM has arrived!

It took an extra hour, thanks to some weather in Milwaukee, but the USM crew made it safely to Baltimore with out a problem. We were picked up by our excellent drivers, Tyrone and Mike, and grabbed a late bite to eat. A few of our gang experienced an new phenomenon called BubbleBalls - once I get some images from the kids, I will put them up. Everyone is happy, healthy, and getting ready for a great (and early) day on Tuesday.