Summer Family Road Trip – Stop #2 (Gettysburg, PA)

The Sheppard Mansion

If you’ve been following my family’s summer road trip, you know that we left off in Hanover, Pennsylvania, at the gorgeous Sheppard Mansion.  While staying at the Mansion, we ventured out and about to celebrate Father’s Day; if I do say so myself, we showed Steve a great time.

We started the day with the to-die-for pretzel croissants in the Mansion’s garden breakfast room, then set out for historic Gettysburg, home to the great Civil War battle between Robert E. Lee and General George Meade.

We all loved the pretzel croissants!

There are a number of ways to tour the 20-mile site where the three-day battle took place (including by horseback or Segway or on foot), but we decided to go for the gold and book a private guide through the Gettysburg Visitor’s Center.  The price wasn’t nearly as expensive as I would have expected (about $55), and the guide drove our car to all the best spots, narrating to our family alone about how the battle played out and answering our individual questions (“Were the soldiers really bloody?”  “How did they go to the bathroom?”  “Did they shoot all of these cannons through people’s bodies?”), plus pointing out where the Pennsylvania regiments fought.  We were particularly impressed with our guide’s patience and deep knowledge about the battle – no question was too silly, and no amount of middle school eye-rolling threw him off.

Zoe and Abby sitting on a rock overlooking Pickett’s Charge, where part of the Battle of Gettysburg took place.

After spending a few hours out on the battlefield, we headed to Carroll Valley at Liberty Mountain for Steve’s favorite activity:  golf.  Driving up, we immediately knew that this was our kind of place; far from stuffy, it felt like the kind of course where the same people play every weekend and really enjoy hanging out together.  We had lunch at the “Tavern,” a nice space in the clubhouse with comfy chairs, a big TV on which to watch Rory McIlroy decimate the competition in the U. S. Open, and a billiards room where you could either play or kick back, depending on your preference.

Once out on the links, we were impressed by how well the course was maintained.  While the facility appears to have been built about 40 years ago, it was kept up as well as the many brand-new courses where we’ve played.  It’s located in a valley set amidst the picturesque rolling hills of South Central Pennsylvania, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A clear flowing mountain stream fronts nearly a third of the holes.  It’s a championship-length, par 71 course, and even though Steve lost five balls in the lush landscaping, he had a ball.  (Hah, that’s a good pun, right?)

Last up for our Father’s Day festivities:  America’s favorite pastime.  Yep, the whole family went out to the ballgame, along with what felt like the entire population of the small Pennsylvania town of York.  Because the York Revolution (a minor league farm team) play at a downtown stadium, it seemed to us that it was a real asset for the community, offering something fun for families to do on the weekends.

My kids loved the kids’ carnival area!

I’ll admit it, our girls weren’t too excited at first when I said that we were taking Daddy to the ballpark for Father’s Day, but they quickly came around.  It might have been the pig roast in the parking lot, or the soft serve ice cream at the Turkey Hill stands, or the tricks that Boomer (the team dog) performed out on the field.  Sure, they didn’t actually watch much baseball, but they had a great time out in the stands, anyway.  In fact, the whole family did – like the many other families there – cheering the Revs to a Father’s Day victory.

We headed  back to Sheppard Mansion to get some sleep; after all, in the morning, we were taking Zoe to the airport to go to Space Camp, then heading down the road to Charlottesville, Virginia.  Stay tuned for my next post – you won’t believe all the cool things we did in Thomas Jefferson’s hometown!

Many thanks to the Gettysburg CVB and the York Revolution for arranging the best Father’s Day ever!

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