After much deliberation, we decided that we are going to make our annual vacation to Gettysburg next week, and will be there from June 18-20, before moving on to Lancaster and “Amish Country” for the three days after that. As I have said many times before on this blog, I first visited there when I was ten, back in 2001, a vacation prompted by my many viewings (which completely obliterated my first VHS copy) of the film Gettysburg. I have since been there seven or eight times now, and annually for what seems to be at least the fifth year. It just is not summer without a trip to where the most important battle of the Civil War occurred, the second day of the fighting happening on my birthday. While I was there on the anniversary the first time I went, I vowed never again to go during that week, a promise that has held up with both family trips and ventures with friends, because of the amount of tourists that invade the town, due to the anniversary and the reenactment, which usually takes place a few days before or after. The entire summer sees a spike in pilgrimages there, and my work schedule usually relegates me to having to trek out there in late August. With yet another crazy schedule that has me doing hockey or history camps for most of July and August (though I have the week of my birthday off due to the 4th), we decided that mid-June would be best. No insanity can trump the insanity of Gettysburg in July!
Rest assured, though, as my absence will not lead to a lull in posting. I shall be traveling phone and laptop in hand and will be able to post all the latest updates the folks over at Copperhead send my way. I also hope to be posting some restaurant reviews and general thoughts of the good, bad, and ugly things that happen along the way (remember how unusual my trip to Virginia was last year, premiere coverage aside?). Tradition usually follows suit when it comes to eating, my favorite spot being what is now Gettysburg Eddie’s, formerly The Gingerbread Man, which offers an outstanding selection of steaks and sandwiches at very good prices. Then there is the best Mexican food I have ever had at Montezuma’s, which I discovered at their other location out in Chambersburg when I was staying in nearby Shippensburg with my friend Jeff two years ago. If anyone has any other suggestions about where to eat, I am always game for something new. I heard O’Rorke’s is a great place, and I have not been to the Farnsworth House since I was a little kid. As for the Dobbin House, let’s just say my first time there was not exactly the greatest experience.
We are also going to venture out to Antietam, okay, Sharpsburg for all you Johnnies out there, on Day 2, so you can be sure plenty of pictures will be posted here and on my blog’s Facebook Page when I return home. Hoping it won’t be too hot out, because even though I have explored that battlefield time and time again, I just have to give it another go, and of course, climb Little Round Top and continue my tradition of leaving a small Confederate Flag at the Lewis Armistead monument.
So now my biggest dilemma remains: do I watch Gettysburg before my visit to get in the mood, or save it for the week of the anniversary since I have a few days off? Or…do I watch it twice? I bet the die-hards out there will say the latter…