We had a MUCH better night of rest last night than we did our night of camping! Everyone was cheery and ready for our adventures...although an allergy attack did slow Ted down a little. We stopped and got some OTC meds for him, and that helped a lot.
We arrived fairly early, which was good because we needed time to orient ourselves. About the time we made the trek down TO the village, it was just in time to figure out where the boys needed to go for their "electronic field trip" and get directions to the art museum for the girls' class, "Scherenschnitte," or the art of German scissor-cutting. The boys learned about the life of slaves in colonial times, and the girls tried their hand at a couple of scissor-cutting projects. That is, Charis and I did some cutting on the lines, while Kenna merrily cut scraps of paper into even smaller scraps of paper, waiting for the chance to get a hold of the glue stick. We finished in good time and wandered around the art museum for awhile, a truly amazing place where I could spend lots and lots of time if I didn't have someone short tugging on my pants legs and saying "C'mon, Mommy!" We also got to see the restored/museum-ized hospital where mentally ill patients were treated, one of the first places to actually have doctors trying to help the patients as opposed to simply locking them up. It was a little sad and difficult to explain to Charis (for example, she was absolutely aghast at some of the restraining devices), but I'm glad she was exposed to the information.
We met the boys at the print shop, where Ted was listening interestedly while Tobin and Arden were practically falling over from boredom. Oh, yay! Family togetherness, learning and sharing! We went from there to the blacksmith, which held their attention better, then caught a shuttle bus to go back to the parking lot to get our picnic lunch. We ate in the shade and then waited again for another shuttle bus, this time getting off at the capitol building, which we weren't able to see as they only did guided tours. Thirty minutes of political information? No thank you. Not with our crew!
The jail, however, captured everyone's interest, even Kenna's! (Check out our Facebook album to see her in jail!) After wandering around there a bit (and learning that the building housed Blackbeard's pirates!), we made our way down the main street, stopping in to see the wig-maker (fascinating!!), the silversmith, and the tailor/milliner. Charis also bought a souvenir copy of the Declaration of Independence. We hung out in the street a bit and waited until the Marquis de Lafayette arrived on horseback to tell us about his involvement with the American Revolution. I think the boys were mildly impressed with this performance, which is good since they were slumping their shoulders and proclaiming their boredom during most of our other stops.
We shuffled back to the art museum, having just missed the shuttle at the stop we were heading toward. We arrived at the museum just before the shuttle would have arrived at that same stop, so it was worth it to arrive to our next event in time, a class titled "Crack the Code." During this presentation the kids learned about ciphers and codes in the Revolutionary War and got to try their hand at decoding and deciphering. Charis and I enjoyed this very much, and I think the boys would have enjoyed it as well but for the fact that each family only got one packet. As much as we tried to involve everyone in the decoding activities, it was difficult to keep their attention, and when Kenna needed to go potty and Lucan began protesting loudly, everyone else pretty much jumped at the opportunity to leave the auditorium. Charis and I stayed to finish the code booklet, and then we too slipped out just before the onslaught.
We made one last stop by the stocks and pillory by the courthouse to take pictures, and then we trudged back to the parking lot, more than ready to call it a day! The little ones are asleep, Charis and Tobin are reading library books, and Arden and Ted are watching Monday Night Football. The dishwasher and teeny-tiny washing machine are humming away in the kitchen, and I am ready to crash with my family. It's been a good day--not at all boring, though I suppose if I were to peek at the boys' journals (which I will do at some point!), I will probably find that very word in most of their descriptions! Oh, well--I hope someday they will look back on all this and think more fondly of the experience!