Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Day Out With Dad

While we have been blessed to have Andy home on the weekends since he starting working for the Corp, we don't often get to go out and do things as a family. Most weekends, Andy has some sort of Scout obligation for Church (he's 1st counselor in the YM presidency) or someone is sick, or the the weather is yucky. But today the stars aligned; nice weather, Daddy was home, everyone is healthy, so we headed out for a family date to the Military Park a few minutes from our home. Our little town played an important role in the Civil War, and the folks here are very proud of their Confederate heritage.

 This is the first large monument you see on the loop.
 Here are the kids sitting on the monument (which we later found out they're not supposed to do. Oops.)

 And here they are jumping off of it.

The park was impressive. We followed a 16-mile loop to memorials, statues, even markers, cannons and a large Union ship pulled from the Mississippi River 100 years after it was sunk by a Confederate torpedo. Andy and I both enjoy American history, so we took the time to read whatever we could at each of the stops. The kids much preferred picking flowers and chasing bugs. Although, Ava was very interested in little facts we shared with her along the way. The landscape of the park, while well-maintained, is still very true to how it was more than 150 years ago. The hills, bunkers and ditches the troops maneuvered or used for protection are still visible, although covered in green grass. It was interesting to look down on those areas, or stand behind a cannon and think that that was the exact place soldiers stood, fighting, during the Civil War. It's a little surreal.
Cannons are a big deal in our little town. People even have them in their front yards.

 Did we get him?

 This was at the Illinois Memorial. We thought it was cool because Illinois' constitution was adopted on Andy's birthday (160 years earlier). 

 This guy was the Chief Engineer for the Corp of Engineers. Maybe one day someone will erect a statue to Andy :)
 This is how I distract Jax from attempting to hop on an old man's unattended bike.
The USS Cairo -- the first ship in history to be sunk by an electrically-detonated torpedo.

 Daddy and the kiddos aboard the Cairo.

We spent several hours at the park, before returning home to watch our Wildcats beat Washington (basketball). The perfect end to our wonderful family day!

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