Loved my trip, happy to be home!

What a wonderful trip. I covered five states, two family groups, a chunk of the American Civil War, and experienced the joy of living closer to the earth than my California home allows.  Here are the highlights (hover over pictures for additional information):

  • I’ve talked about the recipe for pan bread I got from Robert Thomas’ Western series. My sis and I tried it out. It was yummy!
  • If you follow this blog, you know my daughter is a dynamo. There’s never a problem that frightens her, never a person who intimidates her. Or a sign! We planned to eat at a local restaurant. The sign said it didn’t open for ten minutes. I turned to leave (as did several other potential customers), but my daughter tried the door. You got it–it opened.
  • I have read a ton about the American Civil War, but nothing brings it to life like walking in the steps of the warriors.
  • Many battlefields have what are called ‘Witness Trees’, those that survived the battle and continue to this day. Here’s one:

  • A monument was established with an eternal flame to honor both sides of this mammoth war  and their passionate belief that what they did was right. 

  • A cannon ball during that time could reach two miles–a full mile with accuracy.
  • The last person receiving pension money from the American Civil War died just two years ago, in 2020. She was the daughter of a soldier. If you think the Civil War is ancient history, think again.
  • My two thirty-something kids were by far the youngest on the battlefield tours.
  • Interesting fences. The ground was too rocky to dig post holes so this is how they built them:

  • The Battle of Gettysburg was the most deadly battle ever fought on US land.
  • Horse statues cover the park to commemorate the warriors. Legend has it (and is mostly true) that if the statue has four hooves on the ground, the commander didn’t die. One hoof off the ground meant he was wounded. Two hooves off the ground means he died. Here are two examples:
  • George Custer from the famed Little Big Horn battle against the American Indians fought his first battle (victoriously) in Gettysburg. It is said that Gettysburg was his first stand and Little Big Horn his last.
  • The Battle for Monacacy was just outside of Washington DC, America’s capitol. Though the Union lost, it is said to have saved the capitol because it gave the Army time to establish its defense.
  • The Battle at Antietam was often fought in cornfields. The American National Parks reseeded this area as corn to provide a better feel for what the soldiers went through during the battle. 
  • There were lots more important details about this battle, but two stuck out:
    • There are too many gnats. We had to keep our mouths closed and still they got in our ears and noses.
    • My phone went from LTE service to 1x to SOS. I have never before seen a service level of ‘SOS’.
  • Beyond our battlefield tour, I caught up on family stuff. My daughter is in love with Formula One Racing. Something about engineering maximizing thousands of variables to get a hundredth of a second (she was the ACE (Assistant Chief Engineer) on her ship so that makes sense), the athleticism of the driver, and that the car and driver perform at a really high optimal level.
  • My sister’s home includes a forest in the back. There, I saw deer and ground squirrels.

  • …and she has chickens, four of them who mostly provide an egg each every day.

  • We spun honey from her bee hives. That is a lot more work than I expected!
  • My sister loves pets. She has a pet cemetery behind her house. We buried three of her beloved pets:

Those are the highlights of my trip through five states, three time zones, and vastly different worlds. I can’t wait to go back.

Copyright ©2022 – All rights reserved.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Fall 2022


125 thoughts on “Loved my trip, happy to be home!

  1. Welcome Home Jacqui and what a fun trip. I loved all of the fun facts that not everyone would take notice of like the one hoof 2 hoof. So glad you had such a rich experience with your daughter. They do seem to have the knack and opening us to new doors and magic. ❣️


  2. Wow, that sounds like a wonderful trip, thank you for sharing it with us! I’d love to taste some of that honey 🙂
    Oh, and if you’ve got any room left on your book schedule, I’d be happy to host you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an amazing journey, Jacqui! I bet you learned and experienced so much! The last person to collect a pension from the Civil War died just TWO years ago? Mind blown! No matter how great the trip, it’s always nice to lay your head on your own pillow at the end. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I so enjoyed traveling vicariously with you! Long long ago when I was in high school my parents took me to Gettysburg and it has stayed with me all these years. I almost think every American should visit there and see what happened, how we worked to bond our country back together again, and how important it is to not let those bonds sever.
    Your daughter is a trendsetter and a feisty wonderful woman! And I loved seeing your sister’s backyard. What a fabulous trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your trip sounds like it was varied and enriching.
    I did not know that about monuments and horse legs (on the ground, one in air – or two in air) and that is good to know.
    also enjoyed learning about the last recipient of Civil War money… and this

    “If you think the Civil War is ancient history, think again”

    hahah – it sure is not nearly as ancient as the setting in some of your books.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing your adventures!!.. glad you had a wonderful time enjoying life with family and friends, and sharing a part of the world through your eyes!!… 🙂

    Hope life is all that you wish for it to be and until we meet again..
    May the sun shine all day long
    Everything go right, nothing go wrong
    May those you love bring love back to you
    May all the wishes you wish come true
    May peace be within you
    May your heart be strong
    May you find whatever you’re seeking
    Wherever you may roam
                      (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing journey – including the detail of planting corn, to recreate the real conditions.
    Memorials which honour both sides are special – like the WWII air services memorial in the English/Scottish Border hulls,
    American, British, Canadian, German and Polish. ‘ Duty Done, They Sleep.
    Mostly in their early 20’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What an amazing time, Jacqui! Love all the history. The daughter of a CW soldier died two years ago! Wild! Thanks for sharing.
    Making honey, or, sorry, spinning honey (who knew?) sounds like a neat experience.
    If I had thought of it in advance, I would’ve asked you to say hi and thanks for the advice from your chicken-owning sister. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It sounded like a wonderful trip, Jacqui. Bit of history, family time and fun all round. Sounded like your phone checked out too 😄 So cool you got to get honey first hand from bee hives. So interesting to read that the slats aren’t sticky. Hope you got to have some of that honey 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congrats on an amazing trip, Jacqui, and tons of family time. I’m sure you needed it all, and great shots of the highlights, by the way! My oldest daughter is an engineer so I get it–she is never daunted, like yours 🙂 Welcome back as you get ready for your blog tour!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Jacqui – absolutely brilliant – what fun … and Formula 1 … way too clever by far!! I so admire those engineers – your daughter included. Sounds like an amazing time and no wonder you want to refresh and repeat … I would too by the sound of it … So glad you took a total break from this typing thingie! Cheers and see you soon … I know I have some writing to do for you – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so happy you enjoyed these experiences with your kids. I’m sure it’s something none of you will ever forget.

    Good for you in staying away from writing. After today I might submit a piece that’s already done, but likely I won’t be near any blogs this week. My mind is on the last-minute details we’ve got to worry about with our children’s author festival. We’re flying 24 authors into town or paying for their gas. The last two weeks have been foggy, which means some plans may theoretically not be able to land if this continues on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday, we take them to 54 county schools. Yipes! It’s here after two years of planning.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Jacqui, what a wonderful trip. I’d have to skip the bees as I’m highly allergic. Visiting battlefields is very poignant. I always feel that the area has absorbed the energy of the battle and it oozes from the ground. I find such visits very overwhelming.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow! Great trip!

    It’s such a shame that your 30-something kids were the youngest people on the Gettysburg tour. I’ve been there as a teen. My brother has been a Civil War buff since he was a kid … but he is now well out of his 30s.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Welcome home! I’m so glad you had a wonderful and interesting time. I never knew the thing about the horse hooves’ placements. So many cool details and traditions, that tend to get lost over time these days since it seems most younger people are taught to keep looking ahead and not spend time considering our past.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It sounds like an amazing trip, Jacqui. The Civil War was brutal. I can just imagine how the land (and trees) hold the memories of the fallen. My dad remembers seeing Civil War vets in parades when he was a kid. You’re right that the war wasn’t that long ago. I’m so glad you got to hang with your kids and family and relax too. Welcome home!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Welcome home, Jacqui! I love history so much, so I enjoyed reading the details you learned on your trip. I can’t imagine trying to fight a battle in a cornfield! At one point in my life, I lived on a farm and we raised chickens. They laid so many eggs, I had to practically give them away because I didn’t know what to do with them all. It was also the first time I ever saw a triple-yolker. lol

    Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed your trip. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Welcome back. It sounds like you had a great trip. I haven’t been to those battlefields since I was a kid–and just imagine, they were a lot more pleasant to visit in the fall than in the summer wearing wool uniforms!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. It sounds like a fantastic trip, Jacqui. I’ve always had a keen interest in the American Civil War and have done a number of battlefield tours myself. I live about 45 minutes from Gettysburg and never tire of visiting.
    A fantastic post today. Awesome photos, too!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Congratulations to this wonderful journey, Jacqui! It seems you have also seen all the benefits of rural life. 😉 Thanks for sharing these interesting photos, also of the monuments related to the wars. Even they fled from Europe, they could not stop fighting. Your daughter told you in practice, it’s always worth a trial. 🙂 Best wishes, and enjoy your week! xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

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