Sunday, October 3


We are back from our trip to Gettysburg!  It was wonderful.  We were there for three full days, and it took a day to get there and a day to get back.  Hubby has been there several times before, but I had never been there.  He took me around to all sorts of great places!  P. S. Click on any of the photos to see a larger image.

Day 1--Sunday
We started out around 7:30 in the morning, after a stop at Tim Horton's for a quick breakfast.  I love donuts.  Anyway, the drive was uneventful, with sunny skies and warm temps.  Even traffic wasn't too terrible.  The scenery improved dramatically as we neared Pennsylvania; I truly loved driving through the mountains!  I have decided that this area of Ohio is too flat for my taste.  I would like to buy a mountain and move it back here with me.  We took the toll roads in PA, and this was the bad part--we spent a total of $16.40 to drive on a toll road that was a construction zone for 75% of our journey.  We didn't care much for that.  However, after leaving the toll road, we drove through the mountains for an hour to get to Gettysburg, and it was a fun and beautiful drive.  I could easily pack up and move there.  Another thing that I loved about the drive was getting to see so many old farms.  As in, late 1700s to early 1800s homes.  I LOVE historic homes and farms, and there was no shortage!  I would love to live in one.  After driving through mountains and passing the old homes, we finally arrived in town around 3 p.m.  Our lodging was located right on the main street, but outside of the downtown district, which was good.  We checked in, met the innkeepers, and took our belongings up to our third floor room.  We were pretty tired, especially hubby, since he had driven to Indiana Friday to help his father tear out their kitchen cabinets in preparation for the new ones that were going to be installed, so we just rested for a while.  We decided to walk to a nearby Italian restaurant for pizza, and it wasn't that great, but that's what happens when you drive all day and still have to find something to eat when you get to where you're going!  It wasn't terrible, but we have had better pizza.  Oh well!

Day 2--Monday
We knew that rain was forecasted for Monday, so we thought we would get shopping out of the way and save the battlefield for Tuesday.  We drove out in the rain to an area with several shops that we wanted to visit, only to find that they hadn't opened yet for business, so we headed out to the Boyd's Bear factory just outside of was AWESOME!!  The store has four floors total, with two full floors dedicated to Boyd's items, one floor with candles and Longaberger baskets, and the basement with three dining areas.  There was also a clearance barn accessible from the basement level.  There was every bear that you could imagine!  They had some cute Civil War-themed bears as well, but they were pricey, so none of them came home with us.  But I took pictures!  We spent about two hours there, and the majority of the time we had the store almost completely to ourselves, which was was easy to look when you don't have to fight the crowds.  And yes, I did buy some bears!

After leaving the Boyd's Bears store, we headed back into town to find our shops open, finally.  It was still raining.  We went into several, then decided to get some lunch at a place called The Avenue.  We were seated at a booth that had a framed note and five dollar bill from Liam Neeson, who had apparently visited the restaurant back in 2005.  That was kind of neat!  The food was good, and they had Pibb on tap, which made hubby very happy.  After lunch, we spent the afternoon perusing the various stores and antique shops in town, and just enjoying the buildings and time together.  (By the way, two very neat antique stores are located in Gettysburg: The Union Drummer Boy and The Horse Soldier.  If you have time, check out their respective websites: and  We took a tour of the Shriver House as well (, one of a few Confederate sharpshooter hideouts, and this was quite enjoyable.  By the later afternoon, the rain had stopped and things had begun to dry out.  We ate dinner at The Dobbin House, the oldest building in Gettysburg dating back to 1776.  The upper restaurant was pretty expensive, so we ate in the basement tavern, which is also original to the 1776 building.  It was so neat!  It was built entirely with large field stones, and had three fireplaces (none of which were in use when we were there), and was lit almost entirely by candlelight.  We had the chicken on a spit, with a garden salad, roll, and baked potato.  It's one of the dinners they are known for was so good...I would love it if we could eat that everyday!

Day 3--Tuesday
Pickett's Charge Cyclorama, painting section
We took this day to explore the battlefield and new Visitor's Center.  We started in the Visitor's Center, which was built in 2008, and had purchased admission to the movie, cyclorama, and museum.  It was quite spectacular, but like most other Civil War-themed attractions, it revolved around only the slavery aspect of the war.  The movie was first, then we were moved to the cyclorama.  This was in a large round room.  There was a painting called "Pickett's Charge" that covered the entire length and height of the walls in the room, some forty feet high and almost four hundred feet in circumference, hence the term "cyclorama".  It was painted by a French artist in the 1880s and was on display in many places before coming to its permanent home in Gettysburg, where it belongs.  This part of the display consists of lights illuminating parts of the painting corresponding to the narration that is played simultaneously, so it becomes sort of like a light show in a way.  I think that was my favorite part of the whole museum.  The movie and cyclorama show took about 45 minutes, and we spent another couple of hours touring the museum.  After departing the museum, we decided to get some lunch and then head out to the battlefield!  Our innkeepers were gracious enough to lend us a CD copy of a narrated battlefield tour, and we listened to it as we went to each important battlefield point around the city.  There was a lot of information, and quite a few interesting facts.  We stopped several times while on the driving tour to get out and walk around, and hubby and I climbed a small observation tower together, then later I climbed a ten-story observation tower on my own (great view, but my legs hated me after that!), and we spent a lot of time at Little Round Top and Devil's Den, my husband's favorite places on the battlefields.  It was quite beautiful there, and the view was amazing!  My husband has been to Gettysburg several times, so he knew all of the places to go, and was so kind as to do all of the driving so that I would be able to see everything!  He's so sweet.  Another reason that I love him.  We spent quite a while there, and even returned Wednesday (more about that later).  We climbed a Pennsylvania monument, and eventually made it all through the battlefield, and it took us about five or six hours (because of all of the stops we made).  Thankfully, it turned out to be a beautiful day--the best day of our vacation, actually!  We decided eventually to eat at a restaurant called Old Eagle Grill, which I do not recommend.  It was extremely overpriced, and the food wasn't very good...I had salmon, which came covered in a tart, bitter mustardy-flavored sauce, and my husband's steak, which was supposed to be medium, was served to him very well-done.  And it was quite late by the time we went to dinner, so we didn't feel like sending it back, so we chalked it up to a bad experience and moved on.  We were exhausted!

Day 4--Wednesday
Wednesday morning, we took a trip out to a store about 20 minutes east of town called The Mannings (, which is a store for anyone who knows the arts of spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, or any other yarn or thread-related crafts.  While far out in the middle of nowhere, the drive was beautiful, with many old brick farmhouses, rolling hills in the distance, and a beautiful meandering stream, which the road followed.  We walked around the store for a while, looking at the looms, spinning wheels, and every imaginable type and color of yarn.  It was quite impressive!  I didn't buy anything, but it was still neat to see.  After that, we headed back to Gettysburg to meet up there with a college friend who was driving up from the Baltimore area to spend the day with us.  She arrived around 11 or so, and our first stop was lunch at the Dobbin House Tavern!  We dined on sandwiches by candlelight, and she fell in love with the basement area--I think it would have been just fine with her to stay down there all day!  But we took her around to some shops, then we took her out to the Little Round Top and Devil's Den area of the battlefield, and she enjoyed that.  She had never been to Gettysburg before, and so we wanted her to see at least a little of the reason that Gettysburg was so famous, and a turning point in the war.  We went up into a New York state castle-style monument, where I was violated by some kind of army bug or stink bug that flew down the back of my shirt and then fell down my pants, and came out of one of my pants legs!  I felt creepy-crawly for the rest of the day!  It was gross and I did not like it!  But the bugs were everywhere, apparently a new infestation all along the East Coast region, and while harmless, they were still big and yucky.  I survived, though.  We spent quite a bit of time showing our friend the area, and then it started raining around 5 that night.  We returned for dessert to the Dobbin House Tavern, and then sent our friend on her way home.  Later that night, we decided that we wanted something for dinner, but didn't want to go out anymore, so we ordered a pizza and had it delivered to the inn.  It was a great, and relaxing, way to end our vacation in Gettysburg.

Day 5--Thursday
Thursday morning, we rose and ate breakfast early so that we could get started on our long drive home.  We decided to take an alternate route back, to avoid the construction and cost of the toll roads, and the GPS unit said it would take only about half an hour or so longer to go that route.  That may be so, when one is not fighting the driving, pouring rains of a tropical storm!  Yes, Tropical Storm Nicole had timed her arrival for the same day as our departure.  Oh well.  My husband decided to start out the first part of our drive back, and the poor guy battled the downpours and hydroplaning through the mountains for a good three or four hours.  It was a tense drive.  He finally needed a break, and we stopped at a McDonald's not too far from the Ohio border, to use bathrooms, take a break, and get something to eat.  When we got back on the road, I took over the driving, and as luck would have it, it turned out that here we had found the edge of the storm.  I drove for about five minutes before the rains quit, and the rest of the drive was dry!  Good times!  It still took us quite a bit of time to get home, and we needed a break around 7 that night, so we stopped in Mansfield and walked around Target to stretch our legs, then get dinner and get back on the road.  We got home finally about 9 that night, after waaay too many hours on the road.  I loved our trip, and I loved spending that time with my husband, but the only thing I really didn't like was the long drive there and back. But even with the long drive, it was still great to see the beauty of the mountains, and the scenery was worth the time it took to get there.  I do hope to go again!

The Keystone Inn
We have always had great luck with bed and breakfast establishments, and this one was no different.  We stayed at the Keystone Inn Bed and Breakfast (, which was on one of the main roads through Gettysburg, but just far enough from the center of town to be peaceful and out of the way.  It is a beautiful Victorian home, built in 1913, and it was comfortable and homey, with beautiful original woodwork, tall ceilings, and fall decorations.  The innkeepers, Mike and Marj Day, were very kind and hospitable, and were more than happy to answer our questions and offer their opinions about what attractions were worth seeing while we were there.  Every morning, at 8 a.m. and again at 9 a.m., they served a wonderful three course breakfast, starting with a fresh-baked muffin or breakfast cake, then a bowl of fresh fruit, then the main course that ranged from a delicious ham, egg and cheese casserole to blueberry pancakes with bacon to french toast with sausage, and a selection of juices as well.  It was the best breakfast that I've ever had at a B&B!  Everything was made fresh each day by Mike.  The Days would also come out and chat with whoever was eating, which was nice too.  We were staying there with several other couples, and they all seemed nice and seemed like they truly enjoyed their stay there.  If anyone is planning to head out that way, I highly recommend staying here.  I believe it to be, by far, one of your best lodging options in the area!

So, this was our vacation.  Now we have to head back to our work, and our normal lives, and that's always a little sad.  But this was probably one of the most enjoyable vacations that I've ever experienced, and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to have such a great time with the man I love!

The friendliness and hospitality we encountered on our vacation was wonderful, and this was a large part of the reason that we were able to relax and just enjoy our time there together.  My husband quoted a verse while we were there, and it seems appropriate for ending our vacation story: "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."--Hebrews 13:2

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