"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

July 31, 2011

July 30 - Stafford, VA

Day 134 - Family Visit
Hope Springs Marina

We got to spend a wonderful day with our niece Kendra and her family. They came to the boat for a short visit and tour and then they spent the day showing us the sites in the area. Our first stop was The National Museum of the Marine Corps. Doug was an active Marine for five years and works on the marine base in the area. The museum was very impressive with world-class interactive exhibits that use the most innovative technology to surround visitors with irreplaceable artifacts and immerse them in the sights and sounds of Marines in action. Our next stop was the historical downtown area of Fredericksburg. We enjoyed a Italian lunch and then wondered around a little. After lunch we visited the Fredericksburg Battlefield and National Cemetery. This battlefield was one of four in the area and was the bloodiest landscape of the Civil War. Approximately 20,000 soldiers died in this region during the Civil War, their remains scattered throughout the countryside in shallow, often unmarked, graves. In 1865 Congress established the Fredericksburg National Cemetery as a final resting place for the Union soldiers who died on area battlefields. Confederate soldiers are buried in cemeteries located at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Court House. Of the 15,300 men buried here, the identities of fewer than 3,000 are known.

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at their home. Doug was nice enough to take us by a grocery store on our way back to the boat. We really had a nice day visiting with family and getting a little history lesson of this area.

Doug, Kendra, Kaitlyn and Sarah
The National Museum of the Marine Corps, the Museum's soaring design evokes the image of the flag-raisers of Iwo Jima
The Leatherneck Gallery
One of the original American flags raised by the Marines on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945.
Fredericksburg National Cemetery

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