It's been nearly a week now since I got back from Remembrance Day at Gettysburg, and it's high time I posted something.
First things first! The paletot was done in time... well, sort of. I didn't bother putting on the red velvet ribbon trimming that I had planned, although I'll probably add it on later. I got the paletot to this wearable state several days before the trip, but kind of enjoyed wearing it out and about too much to "finish" it entirely. It's made of brown wool obtained from rvqavalon
's impressive stash, and lined with tan silk taffeta also from said stash. Mike and I joke frequently about "shopping" at Katie's house only because it's true. ;)
And a back view.
We arrived at Gettysburg on Friday evening, and as we drove into town we went over a hill and I suddenly saw the Lutheran Seminary silhouetted against the twilight sky. My heart nearly stopped as I thought "Gen. Buford was actually IN that cupola. Wow, it's just like Gettysburg... OMG, I'm IN GETTYSBURG!!!"
And it all kind of went up from there. The town of Gettysburg is such a wonderful mix of cool history and frightful kitsch that I fell in love with it immediately. Of course, it probably helped that the streets were nearly constantly filled with a steady stream of colorful figures which made for some prime people-watching. Touring the battlefield was amazing in a totally different way. On one hand, it was really educational to see it first hand, as simply reading about the battle and watching the film doesn't really give one a remote idea of what the actual scale and scope of events was. Nonetheless, it was impossible to forget that this was a battlefield
, and that thousands upon thousands of people died on that very ground. It was rather sobering and awe-inspiring and something that I'm not likely to forget.
Anyway, Mike, Katie, and I all drove out together and met Tyler (who was coming from Delaware) there in Gettysburg. I was already acquainted with some of the guys in Tyler's unit, the 116th Pennsylvania, and it was great to get to see them again and chat a bit. Mike and Tyler went off with the unit on Saturday and did military-ish things and marched in the parade while Katie and I moseyed about town shopping and taking in the sights. The parade was rather impressive and rather noisy, and nearly every other group was followed by a drum corp or a drum and fife corp or brass band. Most of them were so close that you could hear the music from the next group coming before the first was out of earshot. Still, it wasn't too cacophonous, and it was fun to watch the troops march by. We didn't watch the whole parade though... after about half an hour spent watching row after row after row of the Union guys there didn't seem to be much point in sticking around to see the Confederates.
Saturday night we all got dressed up and went to a soiree at a private home in town. It was a lovely little place, all lit by candles and lamps, and the hor d'oeurves and champagne were delightful. Sadly, we didn't stay very long as Katie was rather tired, but it was quite fun nonetheless.
Once we got back to the hotel after the soiree Katie crashed out, but it was only about 10:30, and I did not
want to stay cooped up in a generic little room. After half changing into 'normal' clothes, Mike, Tyler, and I went back out... popping into a tiny little bar called the Mineshaft for a few minutes before walking out of town. We sort of followed the fence along the road through the dark battlefield, most likely scaring the occasional moterist the few times that we dashing across the street and over the fence. It was a clear night, all the stars were incredibly bright, and in spite of the soggy ground it was rather magical. It seemed like such a shame to turn back and head for town and the hotel, but reality always manages to intrude sooner or later.
And then on Sunday we toured the battlefield and headed home. The end. Sadness.
I didn't take very many pictures over the weekend, but what I did take (plus one or two that aren't mine) are here
on Flickr, and Katie has a pretty good write-up
with a bunch of the photos that she took.