[A Salute to History]

After a long day yesterday, we all hit the hay pretty early. Way too early, in my opinion, seeing as it was before midnight. (I might have stayed up a little later than everyone else anyway, because I simply wasn’t tired enough to sleep. Shh … don’t tell my mom.)

Our wakeup call was the buzzing of my sister’s cellphone alarm, and the smell of coffee drifting down the stairs. (Somehow I’ve turned into a coffee drinker. I blame Ireland and Davey’s fantastic coffee.) After a late breakfast, on full stomachs and with a caffeine boost, we set out to explore Connecticut. Our first stop: West Point Military Academy.

Now, West Point is about an hour’s drive from Stamford, so we got a pretty neat drive up to the campus. John, our family friend and host, told us a bit about the area, and my goodness, some of the houses are simply beautiful. I imagine the prices reflect the photogenic appeal, though. The traffic wasn’t bad, although it was also a Saturday around noon — not exactly rush hour. Apparently, semi-trucks aren’t allowed on several state highways and road because of the bridges crossing over top — the bridges are fairly low, and semis require a higher clearance area.

We arrived in West Point, the town, around 1 p.m. The town developed around the needs of the military academy, apparently, but it also held that New England picturesque appeal. I can’t get over just how pretty the area is.

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Before we took the tour of the military academy campus, we had about a half-hour to kill, so we stopped in at the West Point Museum. I’m not a fan of guns, so I didn’t spend much time in that part of the weaponry display, but the tank was pretty impressive. The history of the academy itself is pretty fascinating, although there wasn’t enough time to see everything there.

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Between the history of the area, and the sheer beauty of the campus, I’ll admit I was impressed. I wouldn’t have cut it in the military — wouldn’t have made it past the first physical — but I definitely have respect for those who serve. They make their mark on history, and West Point certainly remembers — and showcases — those moments.

Our tour guide was actually a British retiree, which I personally found hilarious, given West Point’s role in the Revolutionary War. But he knew his history, and he told us the stories of West Point graduates and their accomplishments — and those same graduates’ sense of humor. There are superstitions and traditions everywhere you look at the academy.

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