What was an impactful sightseeing trip to a national treasure in 2017 (with a cantankerous travel mate), took on deeper meaning for me as the nation started storming historical sites during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, hoping to eradicate the trauma of humanity's mistakes. Gettysburg at once undertook preservation knowing that the conversation to go forward is based upon the pain of the past. -- updated July, 2020
Or How to Save your Friendship with GPS
Local sightseeing in the Atlantic Northeast is amazing. So much was close by our overnight location of Hockessin, Delaware:
- Washington D.C.,
- Mushroom farming,
- Amish arts and crafts,
- Revolutionary and Civil War battlefields, and
- Atlantic beaches to name a few.
As history buffs, military and otherwise, we choose Gettysburg.The battle of Gettysburg took three days, and it probably will take you three days if you want to see everything at this memorial. I think what impressed me the most was that a community so devastated by the maelstrom of war could almost immediately take stock and begin the work of preservation.
They healed their wounds by remembering and not removing, or covering over. Sightseeing is painful and worth the visit. This is hallowed ground.
Of course, we stopped at a local brewery for lunch, Appalachian Brewing Company, to help restore us from the sobering tour of death and survival. And one on the way home for dinner — Victory Brewing, in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
After leaving our first base camp at Hockessin, we headed over to the Delaware coast and Dogfish Head Brewery as the next stop on our “must see” list.
Navigation is an art, not a science. My traveling companion’s expectation of directional precision and my belief that a wrong turn is part of the experience was a donnybrook in the making, and those two ends of the style spectrum were not setting us up for polite compromise with only 300 miles together under our belt.
A more firm feminine voice was needed. One that would not be distracted by Facebook and one that would announce with authority that the turn is in a quarter of a mile and please stay in the left lane.
I was given exactly two locations before the on ramp to acquire a solution and neither had a great selection of GPS’s. After already getting hit the day before for $1300 for the brakes on the van, I shrugged off the $160 expense and whipped out my credit card.
My travel companion wasn’t sure this was a problem that needed a quick and not particularly inexpensive purchase. In their mind, more focused navigation skills on my part would eliminate annoyance on both sides AND save the money for expenditures that were more fun.
I had no doubt this was a necessary acquisition and clapped both my hands over my ears and sang “la la la” while my purchase was rung up.
Now this girl isn’t perfect, by any means, but her ability to show and tell went a long way towards restoring peace on the road — that day.