Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Saratoga National Historic Park: Saratoga, NY

On our last half-day with Blake, we set out early for Saratoga National Historic Park.  Blake hasn't been there, it isn't far away and we can spend some time on photography, something we all enjoy.

People on sodium restricted diets take note...bring your own water because you can't drink out of the water fountain.

We pay inside at the gift shop and consider additional birthday presents for Blake.  
Ultimately, we passed on the hat.

Saratoga is an important battle in the Revolutionary war.  An American victory in 1777 forced a major British army to surrender here.  There are several displays inside, including a movie that we don't see because we have limited time and want to leave some to check out the park grounds which promise to be substantial.

We browse the inside fairly quickly - again due to our limited time.  There is quite a bit to see and we could have easily spent a whole day here.

This lighted miniature shows the movement of troops.

These dioramas make me want to go home and play in my art studio making miniature scenes.

Another miniature scene.  War seems a lot nicer at this scale.

For anyone out there that is a  Benedict Arnold fan - if there is such a thing - they have a sizable display dedicated to him here.

They have some period costumes for kids to try on so....

Of course we tried them on.

All of this is making me want to go home and watch The Patriot.

I will not share the inappropriate thing Blake did with this mannequin before I could recover from my shock,  close my mouth and take a picture.

Moving outside we find ourselves going in separate directions to take different photos.  Blake is interested in the cannon, David in the majestic landscape and me in the headstones behind the visitor center.

David has always liked to photograph landscapes and he is in luck here since there are some really pretty views.  We don't walk the grounds since they are very spread out and we are so limited on time but rather we move the car from major site to major site.  Each of these has a board with information and a button you can push to hear a narrated account of the importance of that particular site.

It is very quiet and peaceful here.  We see people walking, running and biking through the park and I can imagine if I lived here, this would be somewhere I would enjoy coming for the same reasons.  It is so serene that it is very hard to imagine that cannons and guns were fired and people died horrible deaths right on that field there behind the guy going by on his bike.

The white post with the blue top is one of many showing the American Line.

In other parts of the park there are red ones marking the British Line.  

This is the only building still standing in the park.  All of the homes and other buildings are gone now and simply have a sign telling you what was once there and why it was important.

This house was used as an officer's quarters during the war.  There is a park ranger outside and he seems happy enough to have someone to talk to, even if very briefly.  On a beautiful day like this one, I think he must have one of the best jobs in the world.  Sit on the porch alone and read your book until someone happens by.  Recite your script, answer questions.  Go back to your book.

My boys, shooting more pictures and watching for the huge bird overhead.  I say it is an eagle, David is skeptical.  I think he hopes to get a picture to prove me wrong.

At one time, I was on the only one in the family interested in photography.  Now both of the boys are.  Blake is getting creative here.  I feel so proud.

David's turn to get creative.

We had good last half-day with our boy.

Even if he is a big doofus.

On the way back, we have a beautiful sunset welcoming us.  This is a short turn-around for me.  We return on Sunday night and I will fly to Pittsburgh on Monday afternoon.

This is the only good part of flying.

The trip back to Dallas is uneventful until we get to the shuttle that will take us back to our car.  It is almost at capacity.  David, being a chivalrous type of guy, offers to stand so two women can get on the bus.  Only the shuttle driver can't allow you to stand.

So he has to sit in this "seat" which isn't actually a seat.  Everyone on the bus is laughing at him (you can't laugh with someone who is sticking their tongue out at you).  Still, I am proud of him for giving up his real seat and keeping the two ladies from having to wait.  I think they are grateful too.

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