Coast to Coast 2012: Fredericksburg Day 2 and Maryland


I have, over the past few months, taught my boys bits and pieces of American history.  I try to keep things age appropriate but sometimes, like with the assinations of presidents, it can be hard.  We sort of glossed over the whole someone killed him part of Abe Lincoln's history when we talked about him.  Which is probably why my boys had a lot of questions when I took pictures of the spot where John Wilkes Booth was shot.
(this is literally just a marker on the side of the highway -- nothing there but the sign)

I gave them a watered down history which, apparently, was slightly lost in translation.  Kyan told his Aunt Jessica and I the story and it went a little like this:

"Abraham Lincoln was bald and he did not wear a hat.  He got on a boat and went to an island and then John Wilky Boots - he was a bad guy - he SHOT him!  And John Wilky Boots wore a hat and boots.  The end."


Our first BIG stop of our Wednesday in the Fredericksburg area was George Washington's birthplace.

The house is no longer standing (they have a concrete outline of it) but many of the buildings have been recreated and are filled with antiques.  It was a really beautiful place and the kids had a lot of fun exploring and checking things out.
Doesn't Kyan just totally look like he's having The Best Time Ever?

They had a flower garden (where they encourage you to pick the flowers!) and chickens on the land.  The outer buildings were filled with old fashioned farm equipment and other neat things.

Also on the property is a small replica of the Washington Monument.

Kyan was convinced this was the actual "Washington yo-mama-ment" and was so excited to see it!

Karis, of course, was wayyyy too young to get anything out of all the history we were taking in but she did have fun (and looked precious) picking flowers in front of the monument.

After we left the main part of the property, we headed to the family burial site.  Am I the only one who feels a little . . . odd . . . walking around a place like that?  I mean, I'm not spooked or anything like that.  It just feels like, I'm not sure how to put it into words, how would I feel if a bunch of tourists with fanny packs and sporting spandex were taking pictures of where my ancestors were buried?

For the record, I was totes not in spandex nor was I sporting a fanny pack.

Washington's parents and grandparents were all buried on the land.

BTW: The Washington birthplace is FREE and that includes a guided tour if you're so interested (we opted out).
After we left Washington's birthplace, we headed to Stratford Hall which happens to be the birthplace of Robert E. Lee.

My dad was a HUGE history buff and an even bigger Civil War (or, as he liked to refer to it, the War of Northern Aggression) buff and I'm pretty sure Robert E. Lee was the third person (right behind Jesus and his grandpa) that Dad sought out when he passed those pearly gates.  WE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET HIM TO LEAVE THIS PLACE.  I joked around that we had gone to his mothership but, seriously, the man would have spent hours - HOURS!  DAYS!  WEEKS! - at Stratford Hall.  We did the tour and when the guide showed us the room Robert E. Lee had slept in as a child, she mentioned that there were his "guardian angels" in the fireplace and that she had grown men ask to see them and then break down in tears.  Yeah.  My dad?  Woulda been one of those men.  Fact.

Guided tour and a huge house are two things that didn't go well with small children.  The kids and I eventually left the tour and walked around the - beautiful - grounds.  Pictures weren't allowed inside the mansion, something that was really a shame as there were gorgeous antiques.  And cradles!  Oh man, I love the old fashioned cradles and bassinettes.  I just wanted one picture but nooooo.

After leaving Stratford Hall, we decided to take the 35 mile or so drive across the stateline to Maryland.  I wanted to eat some Maryland crabs!  If you read this blog on the regular then you done arrrrdy know I had food on my mind.

We headed to Captain Billy's Crab House right on the Potomac and it was . . .

. . . the biggest freakin' DISAPPOINTMENT.

Ugh.  Do not ever eat at that place!  I ordered crab stuffed mushrooms (a favorite of mine!) and hush puppies. The hush puppies were good but the mushrooms were AWFUL.  Gross, gross, and YUCK.

When researching the restaurant, I thought if nothing else it would be a nice place to eat because it sat right on the Potomac.

The restaurant didn't have any outdoor seating at the time we were there, though, and you know what?  The Potomac - at least this part of the Potomac - looks pretty much just like the Mississippi.  Icky and brown.

Oh, Maryland, you disappointed me so!

Next up - DC, Baybay!
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