Day 49

Trip Start Dec 24, 2011
Trip End Feb 27, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Sunday, February 12, 2012

day 49
Woke up to snow today - just a light dusting actually - but it's still snow! Many of you have commented about how we have missed the snow in Europe and how lucky we have been -while I'm with you, Peter has been dying to have snow fall - the more the better. At least his wish was granted, albeit in a tiny way, but granted nevertheless. It has been O degrees for most of the day, with a bitingly cold wind. It did not, however, stop us from visiting Fredericksburg battlefield as planned. We drove south for about an hour, with the sun shining, cocooned in the black Soul to arrive at the battlefield visitors centre. The national park staff are always helpful, but they're actually enthusiastic and this guy was no different. We investigated the exhibits, watched the film, which helped make more meaningful our walk along the Sunken Road and through the National cemetery. This battle in December, 1862 was a Confederate win. A visit to the museum shop scored some more books on the civil war - the sales assistant made sure that I bought the copies personally autographed by the author. Thank you to all of you who have stoically read all that we have written about our adventures with the civil war - as you may have guessed, I have an interest and Peter just goes along with it. You'll be happy to read that this is it - no more civil war. But be warned, I also have an interest in Mickey Mouse.
From Fredericksburg, we travel back to Quantico, to the National Museum of the Marines. You'll see from the pics that the museum itself has the shape of the Iwo Jima memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. We had lunch here in Tun Tavern - so called because Tun Tavern, in Philadelphia, was the place where Marines were first recruited - someone (I don't remember who) sat at a table and signed people up.
The musem looks very new and has two sections. The entry/lobby is circular where there is several exhibts- hillicopter, tank, etc. There is a viewing level that is about half way up the wall and a single platform to view the whole lobby. On the ground floor there several entrances that take you to each of the major events that the marines have been involved in. This starts from defending Fort Sumpter up to today. Each of the sections have been meticulously set out in not such a large space. They have gonn to great extents to make the experience as life like as possible. I came to the Iwo Jima section there was a wall that untill you got up close you didn't see that they were made up of pins- marine pins/navy pins, about the the size of a ten cent piece. I didn't want tosk how many pins, but I did. The man looked to me and said- six thousand, one hunderd and thirty. Just imagine how big just this section is. I started to feady for a photograph, one of which is a pin, and the man said if you take a picture you will see a silhouette of the hill the flag was raised on. I haven,t been able to view the pics yet but I can imaging somebody working that into the exhibit.
The musem is very much about how the marines are marines, and why the marines are marines, which I can understand. I would expect that this musem will not be everyone's cup of tea. I enjoy looking at an era that I became fascinated with when I was young. All those John Wayne movies in which he was a marine as well as all the other movies I use to watch.
We have to rush the remainder of the musem as time has passed us again and only have forty minutes before we are asked to leave. As we approach the car, the sun has set, the cold has dropped to -3C again and thewind has started to blow again. It has been an interesting day.
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