You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, November 02, 2009

Homeschool Day at St Mary's City

Historic St Mary's City is a gorgeous little town in southern Maryland. I had never been there before so I had no idea what I've been missing all these years!

In early October I received a local homeschool newsletter with information on a number of homeschool friendly events in Maryland. I was thrilled to see that St Mary's City hosts a Homeschool Day each Fall.

I was even more thrilled to see that it was reasonably priced - $10 for me and $3 for each kid - and they limit the number of registrants. It's such a disappointment to make the trip to an event only to find it's so crowded that you can't see anything or the kids have to wait in long lines for activities.

So I loaded up the car and off we went. Unfortunately it was cold and drizzle-y that day. But thankfully it wasn't so bad that we couldn't still enjoy ourselves. The kids (well, 3 of them anyway) are generally troopers which is great because I figure if we're going to drive all that way, we're going to see *everything* there is to see. :)

We began by touring the Visitor's Center

Then we drove a short ways (it was raining) to the plantation. They had reenactors there. The kids really liked their 'strange' accents. They also had chickens! One of the reenactors was holding a chicken when he walked out to greet us. The kids practically attacked him to pet it. I know he thought they were strange for being so excited over a chicken. She was really pretty though.

Ella really liked this baby doll on the kids' bed upstairs.

Peeking out the window into the garden

Making 'sweet bags' filled with dried rosemary and mint.

Holding some green gold - tobacco

The Dove

Ella is holding an hour glass. Shane is plotting his world takeover. He was a little busy on the ship and made me (and the crew!) a nervous wreck. We couldn't get back onto dry land fast enough for me!

They had a little village with different shops set up. Here the kids could play games and make yarn dolls. That was a first for us and so easy. I don't know why we never made them before, but now we make them all the time. Very fun.

Ella holding her yarn doll. Shane's is lying next to her.
An intense game of 9 Men's Morris (Hank won the first game and Jake the second)

Then we headed to the Indian Village. The Yaocomaco Indians lived in St Mary's City

They had some hunting/fighting helmets the settlers would have used. The boys were all too happy to try them on.

Then we locked Hank in the stocks
But we released him and promoted him to judge so he could sit in the big chair in the State House

Passing a bill or two for posterity

Obligatory cheesey pose of 4 tired kids.

Driving to St Mary's City we saw signs for Point Lookout which is about 10 miles farther. Since we finished at SMC a little earlier than planned, we decided to head over and take a look. By the time we got there it was really windy and the rain picked up.
I got the crazy idea that it would be fun to walk out onto the fishing pier. The only person there was a man packing his car to leave. That should have been my first clue that this was a bad idea. 4 tired kids, 1 tired mom, rain, wind, fishing pier, ocean. What was I thinking??
So the kids dutifully walked the plank with me. I was holding Shane and the camera. I thought it would be a cool picture out there. I turned to start posing the kids when a gust of wind blew Jake's UMD hat off my head. Yes, I borrowed it, and it's now floating in the Atlantic.
Jake was not happy. Shane was hysterical, but there was no way to get it back without drowning. So we bade farewell to the hat, got back in the car, plugged our ears against Shane's crying and headed home.
You think our little story is over? It's been a while since you traveled with me, hasn't it?
We made it to the beltway just in time for rush the rain. Fun times. Shane who had fallen asleep woke up crying about the hat. Ella decided it's much more fun to sing than talk (try it sometime if you're not sure it's completely annoying). And then the cherry on the sundae. Hank got carsick and barfed. Did I mention that I had just started to eat my yummy Chick-Fil-A sandwich?
We did make it home in one piece. I didn't forget any of the kids, and I think they learned a few things about life in Southern MD during the 1700's. All in all it was a fun trip, and we're already planning to go again in the spring. :)

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