Laurel, like all fourth grade kids in this state, has to endure a state history unit. Truth be told, this was my favorite history unit in school because it was something to which I could relate. Local history has always been much more interesting to me than national or world history. I commandeered Laurel’s textbook and leafed through to find places the family could visit that would connect with her history unit. This is also a desperate attempt at avoiding the doldrums, which strike with a vengeance every year around this time and continue until, oh, March or so.
Today was supposed to be 55 degrees, so naturally we thought outdoor adventures would be wise. Unfortunately, we awoke under a bad sign and it drizzled most of the day. It was cold, foggy, and just gloomy overall, as you’ll see in the photos. Sigh.
Today we took the Mississippian culture tour, exploring those nearby places which housed native Americans many, many years before.
We started at Cahokia Mounds. Laurel’s been here a few times, because this is a favorite for school field trips. Greg and I have only been once before. This was Ethan’s first time. We started in the visitor center, which was really fantastic, but Ethan flatly refused to sit still for the orientation movie, even though it was fascinating. I dragged him out of the theatre and we wandered the exhibits. Ethan was bored out of his mind until I started reading the interpretive signs to him. Then he brightened up and enjoyed the visit much more — and so did we. Mouse over photos for captions:
Our next stop was Washington State Park. The park is home to the state’s largest collection of Mississippian petroglyphs. This was a short stop, because there wasn’t much else to see other than the petroglyphs, though it’s a must-see park for warmer weather:
We had fun, but we were glad to get home. The kids, as always, are pretty good travelers, and this was a good warm-up for upcoming, longer trips. We’ll probably have lots more of these little excursions as June nears, so we can find out what works best and what doesn’t work at all when traveling for extended times with the kids.