Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nature vs. Nuture

Where did I get this love for day trips? It's the age old question of nature vs. nuture. Is it something I was taught? Or something I inherited? Is there a day trip gene entwined with those bestowing hazel eyes and a quick temper?

I've called my mother the Queen of Day Trips and she was.  Clever and creative, she had a genius for motherhood and day trips were her specialty. They were her answer to what to do with with three bored children, a small budget and her own desire to see the world.

Mom rarely told us where we were going and this mystery was part of what got us out of bed and in the car.  Fortunately for Mom and us, the list of potential destinations was long.  The mid-Atlantic is crowded with national parks, monuments and landmarks.  All of which have the added benefit of being free. 

Because these venues almost always represent a bit of our country's history, we coined them Mystery Day Trips of Probable Historic Value.* 

Just a few of the places Mom took us:

Antietam National Battlefield (Maryland)
Assateague Island National Seashore (Maryland, Virginia)
Clara Barton National Historic Site (Maryland)
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (Maryland)
Fort Washington Park (Maryland)
George Washington Birthplace National Monument (Virgina)
Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania)
Glen Echo Park (Maryland)
Great Falls Park (Virginia)
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
(West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia)
Manassas National Battlefield Park (Virginia)
Mount Vernon (Virginia)
Stratford Hall (birthplace of Robert E. Lee - Virginia)
Williamsburg (Virginia)

These trips were the inspiration for this blog and many of the activities I now do with my own boys. Looking at the websites has my fingers itching to pack our backpack and go.

Given the weekend forecast, my time would be better spent working on that list of housebound activities.


*There has been some debate among my siblings over who coined this phrase.  My sister claims it's hers.  I'm inclined to let her have it, because it's the kind of clever thing she'd come up with.  My inclination has nothing whatsoever to do with her history of biting.

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