21 June, 2008
Travelogue: Lisa Ayers’ Wedding and Gettysburg, PAPosted in : Travel Guide for Gettysburg - PA on by : becca
For this journey, we had three goals:
- Meet up with Claire Shinkman in Maryland for lunch.Claire is the famed ‘Ben and Becca Matchmaker’ whose room I subletted when I moved to Boston.
- Go to Lisa’s wedding.She is a close high school friend of Ben’s and was about to marry David Skoczylas, pronounced ‘scotch-less,’ to which Ben replied that he’d be happy to supply some.
- Take a ghost tour in Gettysburg.
I decided to brush up on my civil war history and actually crammed in three books on Gettysburg in the preceding month.My reading, which I do plan to review on GoodReads soon, confirmed that, yes, maybe I should visit that battlefield and not just take a ghost tour.History is fun!
We made great time on the first leg of the trip, making it to Maryland and Claire in about three hours.After much cavorting, we learned that Claire’s been in Korea on and off for the past year, which is where she will be moving after her wedding in September.She’s impressively snagged a few acting gigs there already including the role of the villain, Cavity, in a musical called Teeth.I still want to see the promotional poster.
After finishing a meal of gazpacho (I’ve made better) and BLT sliders that Claire declared wrong because sliders should involve a hamburger patty and I argued that the term just means a smaller sandwich (she’s probably right), we headed back on the road to Ben’s parent’s house.
And hit traffic.Lots and lots of traffic.The last segment of the drive should have taken eight hours—it took eleven.We rolled into Mark and Karen’s about 1am, very tired and very sick of the car.We also learned that the drivers of York, PA might be the most obnoxious ones I’ve come across yet.Really, citizens of York?You don’t leave space for cars to turn on side roads when a light is backed up? Really?
The wedding was held mid-morning in one of several churches on the town square of Brookfield, MA.I spent most of the ceremony playing with my zoom lens.As flashes were taboo and it’s quite difficult to keep a steady arm while shooting between guest’s heads, the results were mostly blurry but here’s one anyhow.
I did stop taking pictures long enough to hear a beautiful retelling of the miracle at Cana by the officiate, Reverend Eleanor Kraner.The ceremony appeared to go off without a hitch, though she did forget to ask the groom to kiss his bride, which David didn’t let fly for long.The guests then drove to Salem Croft Inn where gorgeous flowers were in full bloom.Here’s one of the fabulous poppies.
We had appetizers outside and were then ushered in the historic Inn for the reception.All went well though both Ben and I had a tough time coming to terms with the vast amounts of country music.Being as it wasn’t our wedding, we endured.Ben considered tossing M&Ms at the bride from our vantage point in the balcony but out of fear of her brother, a policeman, he did not.Coward.
After the ceremony, we visited Ben’s grandmother Gerry and crowded all of us (his parents, sister Erin, and her husband Travis) in her room at the nursing home.The rest of the day was spent in leisure couch time and a trip to the local bar, Admiral T.J. O’Brien’s.The guitarist definitely believed he inherited the crown of rock from Jerry Garcia.Rock on, man, rock on.
The next afternoon, we pulled into the bed & breakfast, Herr’s Inn and Public House, in Gettysburg.The place was fabulous, spacious room, lovely Jacuzzi tub, and a complimentary bottle of champagne awaiting us on the side table.We lazed around for awhile then headed to downtown Gettysburg to catch the requisite ghost tour.Lincoln Square and the surrounding streets looked lovely but alas, we didn’t have time to explore.
There’s a great many ghost tours to choose from on Baltimore Street and we went with Ghosts of Gettysburg, the first ghost tour that popped up in the area.Interested in taking a ghost tour yourself?Find a different tour company.The guide was fine but the stories didn’t have much pizzazz; I’ll take an outlandish story that can send shivers down my spine any day over the personal type such as “My mom thought she heard something when she worked” here.I was also a bit disappointed that their latest tour left at 8pm, an hour before dark.Here’s a picture from the tour, of an old public school where ghostly images reportedly appear in the windows in photographs.This building, as were most of the buildings standing at the time of the battle, was used as a hospital for the wounded.
We ended our evening at the B&B’s tavern, chatting up the bartender and watching Princess Bride while munching on greasy bar food.Beware that Gettysburg’s kitchens close down by 9pm on Sundays.
Monday morning found us at the Gettysburg National Battlefield.We bought the narrated CD produced by the History Channel as our guide, which I’d recommend if you don’t have enough questions that you’d want your own personal guide.We spent three hours driving, listening to the narration, and taking pictures of the area.My inner history geek loved the experience and Ben wasn’t quite as bored as he thought he’d be.Here’s look at the field of Pickett’s Charge.
And here’s the wheat field, where the greatest concentration of men were killed and wounded.
And here I am on top of the New York Memorial, just one of many, many, many memorials and markers throughout the 25-mile area of the battlefield.
Then we went home, happy to have no surprises from the kitties for the weekend.Thanks for watching them again, Amy!
For more photos of the wedding or Gettysburg, head on over to our photo website at www.yellow5labs.com.