Monday, November 21, 2011

Gettysburg Remembrance Day 2011

So, Gettysburg. There's so much to say about it, but nothing tops the experience of being there. It's noise and glow and history and people people people. It's earthy and otherworldly all at once and time seems to have no real place in the whole experience.

Now, I realize part of that is because we left home at midnight and got in to Gettysburg at 11 a.m. on Friday, so of course my internal clock is all weirded out, but still. Gettysburg is an amazing trip and I wouldn't miss it for the world.

As I said, my mom, Matt, and myself left Grand Rapids at midnight on Friday and we drove through the night to Gettysburg. Besides avoiding any major traffic, this meant we got to Gettysburg in plenty of time to sleep and dress for the Remembrance Day Military Ball on Friday night.

New ballgown!

Not new, but well-altered


With our gracious escort

I really enjoyed myself at the ball, and the calling was superb. They had floor managers to help teach the dances, and it really made everything run very smoothly, as did the fact that the caller would demonstrate the dance before having everyone line up, pair off, and try to muddle through. The music was also wonderful, with a gorgeous big brass band. Nothing beats live music!

Saturday is, of course, the main event. The parade started at 1:30, so thanks to my mother's foresight we were able to park near the end of the route, and eat lunch before going to the parade, which would later prove to be a lifesaving idea. As it turns out, the restaurant we were going to go to after the parade was closed, as was the second choice in eateries. Those who were in more pressing need of sustenance headed into the main area of town to find food, but Matt, my mom, and I split off to visit the Soldiers' National Cemetery and eat a late lunch of our own.

The Cemetery was beautiful. The Soldiers' National Monument towers at the center of concentric circles of curbstones, each marking the names of the fallen and each grave marked with a flag. There's a hush over the place, and even with knots of people wandering through the site, it's quiet enough to hear just the flutter of flags for acres and acres.




And of course, because half the fun is dressing up, we took some clothing pictures, too. I wore the pink silk, and it afforded the opportunity to carry that fabulous lace shawl I got on a steal earlier this year. Matt was kitted out in a new pair of trousers and a waistcoat & necktie courtesy of yours truly, and a shirt, collar, and coat from Mike's closet. Mom wore the plaid, as it is her favorite, and also a bonnet that I made back last year but never finished. She sewed the ties on last week and wore it with pride this weekend.





As always, there are many more photos at my Flickr!


  1. I'm so glad you had such a lovely time! It looks like the weather was perfect. I love your new dress. And is that little Matt?! I miss you all!

  2. Your ballgown is so beautiful! I love everything about it!! Please please please do a post on it, I'd love to hear about your inspiration and how you constructed it.

  3. I love your teal ballgown! It's so beautiful and such a rarely recreated style.