Most Visited Memorials

A great way to learn about our presidents and other important political and historical figures and events in the U.S. is to study the places that memorialize them. I’ve been to many of these places and have pictures and brochures, so when we get to one of these events/people in our classroom learning, I make sure to pull out the relevant info so the kids can see what these people have left behind physically, as well as the significance of their actions and lives. I came across this slideshow on Forbes Traveler and figure that the kids should at least be familiar with the most popular memorial sites in the States. So here they are for you to enjoy as well!

  1. Arlington National Cemetery – Arlington, Virginia (4,000,000 visitors) – Commemorates the lives of 300,000 veterans from the American Revolution through the current war in Iraq.
  2. World War II Memorial – Washington, D.C. (3,547,583 visitors) – Commemorates the sacrifice and celebrates the victory of the WWII generation.
  3. Vietnam Veterans Memorial – Washington, D.C. (3,538,479 visitors) – A memorial that honors the lives of Vietnam veterans and those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
  4. Korean War Veterans Memorial – Washington, D.C. (3,208,690 visitors) – A memorial to those who fought and died in the Korean War.
  5. Gettysburg National Military Park – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (1,702,764 visitors) – Commemorates those who lost their lives during the bloodiest and most important battle of the Civil War.
  6. USS Arizona Memorial – Pearl Harbor (Honolulu), Hawaii (1,539,986 visitors) – A memorial to the sailors killed on the USS Arizona ship during the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces.
  7. Valley Forge National Historic Park – King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (1,230,618 visitors) – Important military camp during the American Revolutionary War.
  8. Minuteman National Historic Park – Concord, Massachusetts (1,093,352 visitors) – The historic site of the shot heard around the world and memorial for those who fought in the Battles of Lexington and Concord during the American Revolution.
  9. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park – Georgia/Tennessee (923,061 visitors) – Commemorates the sites of two major Civil War battles.
  10. Fort Sumter National Monument – Sullivan’s Island – South Carolina (792,933 visitors) – Commemorates those who lost their lives in the first battle of the Civil War.
  11. Vicksburg National Military Park – Vicksburg, Mississippi (787,831 visitors) – Site of the 47 day Battle of Vicksburg in the Civil War.
  12. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine – Baltimore, Maryland (610,599 visitors) – The birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner and an important military site during the War of 1812.
  13. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park – Virginia (478,109) – Burial ground and memorial for those who lost their lives in the Civil War.
  14. Guilford Courthouse, National Military Park – North Carolina (447,469 visitors) –A museum commemorating one of the most hotly contested battles of the Revolutionary War.
  15. Shiloh National Military Park – Tennessee (344,438 visitors) – Site of Civil War battle and burial ground.

Test your kids. See if they know why these places are important! (If they’re in my class now, they’ll know by the end of the year…)
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Wine spas in the U.S. (mainly California)

Now there’s a concept. I only recently became introduced to the concept of the “wine spa” recently when I treated my girlfriend (who is now an ex-girlfriend, but I promise it was not spa related) to a weekend up in Wine Country that included some spa going. We discovered that it’s quite a trend to include wine and grapes in spa treatments. Apparently it’s a tradition from Bordeaux, France that made its way over to the U.S., and particularly to Northern California. Most of these spas (following) are located in vineyards or are at least nearby. I’ll list the spa and then one or two treatments offered on their spa menu that includes grapes or wine.

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Daytime visits to Washington, D.C.

Homeschooling the kids for the year was a success, though I do have to admit, having them in day camp for the summer is making me reconsider. For one, I have the whole day to myself, free to run errands and work on some freelance editing work that I’m very behind on. Also, the girls seem to be having fun. Not that they don’t have fun learning at home, and not that they don’t get plenty of social time, with the “homeschool school” and other group activities and playdates that they’re always busy with. I guess before I make any drastic decisions (the plan is to homeschool for one more year) I should remember that camp is always more fun than school, right? Anyways, the nicest thing about summer so far is that I’m free to go into Washington, D.C. and meet Rick for lunch. I’ve actually been going almost everyday, bringing some work with me so I can sit away from the distractions of home and focus, and visiting some museums while I’m in the area. I’ve been enjoying the alone time, but I do miss my girls!

My Washington, D.C. travels so far have brought me to museum classics like:
National Gallery of Art
National Portrait Gallery
National Building Museum
Phillips Collection
Folger Shakespeare Library
Library of Congress
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

I’ve been to all of these before, but usually with other people and it’s nice to go at my own pace.

Rick has only two business trips planned this summer. One to San Antonio, Texas that I think we (the girls and I) may skip (I’m not sure I can deal with the heat down there), and one to Minneapolis, which coincides perfectly with the end of camp. So, more about that later!

Boston for the Boys: Good father-son museums

Just to continue the Boston conversation that Sharon has started…
I think of these things as “guy things” but that could just be because I’ve been to Boston a number of times to visit my father who always insists on taking me to one of these museums (among many others):