We have gotten to see (and do!) a wide variety of things this month!! I want to share a couple of amazing places to visit if you have studied World War I or the Russian Revolution. Plus, I wanted to share some pictures of some other places we have visited like the Flight 93 Memorial in PA, the Palace of Gold in West Virginia, and the Institute of Art in Mineapolis! We’ve definitely put a lot of miles on the car!
First, I want to share a little bit about where we are right now… Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes! The kids are at camp up in Bemidji. They are busy practicing (and learning more) German at an immersion camp called Waldsee. Their entire day (including all the activities, meals, etc.) is spent practicing German.
Meanwhile, I’ve been spending lots of time walking in the woods and paddling out on the beautiful Potato Lake! (It is named for a native root eaten by Native Americans.) Yesterday the lake was as clear as glass! I took a kayak out right at sunset. I took a few pictures and then was drifting along when I noticed in the tree right above me there was a bald eagle! So cool… and so pretty!
I’m going to back-track for just a sec. We had two family reunions at the beginning of summer. One was with my side of the family to celebrate my Dad’s birthday and my niece’s graduation from college. (My niece homeschooled all the way through, by the way!) We met up in New Jersey for that celebration. From there we drove to Missouri to meet up with my husband’s side of the family in Missouri.
On our way to Missouri, we stopped in to see the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania. We had a long drive to get there and the kids watched the movie (drama) Flight 93. We had brought the DVD along with us. While the movie starts off slow, I think it added to the experience. We were all shocked and quiet when the movie ended (even though we knew the ending, of course, before-hand). I think we all thought long and hard about the terror that the passengers on that plane went through. The Flight 93 Memorial was a sobering place to visit, but definitely worth it.
Another really interesting place we stopped was the Palace of Gold near Wheeling, West Virginia. I had heard about this fascinating place years ago when I used to teach at a high school in Ohio. I never made it there and looked up the Palace of Gold for this trip. It wasn’t that much of a detour off of I-70 and we thought it was well worth the stop. It was built by the Hare Krishna sect for their leader. We did the inside tour which was interesting, though short. For us, that was fine because this was a side-trip (on a long day’s drive!) The gardens were pretty too! Here are some pictures of the lovely, hand-crafted building:
We drove by, but didn’t stop to go to the top of the famous Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri!
We had a lovely time with our family in Branson, Missouri. We spent one day at Silver Dollar City. There’s a lot to do in Branson (and never enough time!)… this is a collage of pictures from another time we were there:
On our drive from Missouri to Minnesota we stopped at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. Wow, was that AMAZING! It is located in Kansas City, Missouri. According to their website, it is home to the most comprehensive collection of WWI objects in the world. We were definitely impressed! We were so glad we stopped here and if you study WWI, this is definitely a place to add to your travel bucket list!!
In the picture below, the kids are crossing over a glass bridge. Below them are 9,000 poppies. Each poppy you see as you enter the museum represents 1,000 lives lost in World War I.
As many of you know, we studied World War I and the Russian Revolution earlier this year. We learned SO much. (You can find out more about our huge WWI & Russian Revolution Packet here.) Another really fascinating place we visited about a month ago was Hillwood Estates, Museum and Gardens. This was the mansion owned by the Post family. Marjorie Post was the owner of General Foods, Inc. You might have heard about the other famous estate she built… Mar-a-Lago!
Marjorie Post used much of her fortune to collect art, particularly pre-revolutionary Russian art, much of which is now on display at Hillwood. We had no idea how amazing this visit would be! In the hallway is a massive original painting of Catherine the Great of Russia. The chandelier that you see in the picture was brought over from France. Everywhere you turn are incredible (and famous) works of art!
In 1966, Marjorie Post purchased the nuptial crown worn by Alexandra at her wedding to Nicholas II. Czar Nicholas II was the last czar of Russia. He and his family were murdered in 1917.
Do you see the crown below? It has more than 1,500 diamonds!!
On our way north, we stopped through the free Institute of Art in Minneapolis. They had a wide array of art from Ancient Greece & Rome, China, African art, the impressionists and so much more! We didn’t have enough time, but really loved what we saw! I didn’t really take pictures, but it was a wonderful museum!
In just a couple of days I will be picking up the girls from camp. My son is actually staying for an entire month; he’ll earn a high school credit in German. Once I pick up the we plan on going camping near Lake Superior in Michigan before making our way home.
It’s been an adventurous month!
P.S. If you are interested in finding out more about our WWI unit, you can visit this post:
P.P. S. I just added a bunch of new materials to the Feudalism Packet! One of the books I purchased for literature this next year is The Inquisitor’s Tale. (affiliate link) I read this while on holiday here. It is wonderful!! I’m so excited for the kids to read it.
I have also been working hard updating the materials in the Feudalism Packet. I added a ton of cards and notebook pages that highlight many of the significant events and developments of the Middle Ages. I also created a new feudalism activity. You can find out more about that here (the price is staying the same for the next month or so). 🙂
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Happy Homeschooling! ~Liesl