Sunday, October 11, 2009

Where the heck is the Santa Maria?

I started this post weeks ago, just after it happened Labor Day Weekend. It got pushed to the side and now I am proud to present it as my Happy Columbus Day post:

My Daddy's secretary is awesome. She is always on the lookout for cool activities to partake in on the weekends. The week before Labor Day, she sent Daddy an e-mail about replicas of the Nina and Pinta being docked in Grafton, Illinois that weekend. This was very exciting news and something we definitely should check out, right? But the first thing I asked him was "What about the Santa Maria?" He laughed because that was apparently the first question he asked, too. A valid question, we thought. So now we had to go, if for no other reason, but to track down the missing ship in the famous trifecta.

We left at about 11 am. (OK, we meant to leave at 11, but we actually left at 11:23.) Daddy thought we should first stop for brunch. So we went to Cracker Barrel. One delicious meal and 2 beanie babies later, we were on our way. We drove up a beautiful road right along the river. The drive reminded me of driving up the Rhine when we were in Germany. It was very exciting to see all the rivers. See, apparently it is a really cool area because the Mississippi, the Illinois, and the Missouri are all hooking up about there. This is a way big deal and there are about 52 signs to makes sure you are taking in all the awesomeness and realizing the magnitude of it all.

When we finally arrived in the small town of Grafton, it was clear that Joyce must have told other people about this event because we were not alone! There were cars everywhere - in some cases, not parked, but practically abandoned!

We did have to wait in line for a while before we were allowed to board the ships. The funniest thing that Spencer said was, "Look Mommy! It is like a pirate ship!" I said, "Yes, it does remind me of a pirate ship, too." And he said, "No, it is a pirate ship - look, it has the same curtains!" I guess the sails do sort of look like curtains.

It was a lot of standing and walking, but I think it was worth it. How cool to get to see replicas of such famous ships. We paid some money and were able to meet the captain of the ships and walk around all over the ships.

Bay, Jessa, and the Captain - named Captain Morgan, I swear!

He is the one who explained the absence of the Santa Maria. Apparently, it was the smallest ship. It was unreliable and Columbus did not like it very much. So they were celebrating the best 2 ships of the 3.

My sweet sailors

Bay and Jessa - notice the Cracker Barrel Duck in her hand,
And Spencer, relaxing, clutching his Cracker Barrel stuffed animal.

Most every one's reaction was "Wow, those are smaller than we thought they would be." I must confess that I could not say that because I have never even given it a passing thought, so I had no expectations. But it was still a pretty cool day. And even if there is some question about the legacy of Columbus, I am still glad he headed over here all those years ago. . .


kate said...

I love this! What a fun family thing to do. Also, I find it fascinating that Columbus didn't like the Santa Maria -- I think it was well worth the trip just to find that out. :)

Michelle said...


In celebration of Columbus Day yesterday, Jason, Michael and I took flight 1492 from Ft. Myers back to Atlanta... not quite as fun as seeing some replica ships though!

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