17 September 2008

The Santa Maria

We went on a field trip today to see an authentic replica of Columbus' ship, the Santa Maria, which sits in the Scioto River in downtown Columbus.  The kids got free tickets from the summer reading program at the library (I can't make enough plugs about our library's summer program).  Eric went with us, and so did Austin, our neighbor who did not have school again today (still no power in much of the city).  He had a free ticket as well, so it cost us a total of $7 for this field trip.  Ava was free because she is under 5 (barely, I know).  I say all of this for those of you who are local because it really was a fun, inexpensive field trip (and I know some of you got those free tickets as well).

Lukas studied Christopher Columbus last week, so these tickets were well-timed for us.  He has been begging to go since we got them, but we waited until now so that it coincided with our curriculum.  The trip got postponed twice, once due to rain, and once because Mommy didn't realize that they weren't open on Monday (but it wouldn't have mattered anyway because of the whole electricity issue).  Today was finally the day, and we couldn't have chosen a more perfect day.  It was warm and sunny and so pleasant outside.  I wish we had packed a picnic because it would have been a perfect spot for that.

The entire tour of the ship took about 45 minutes.  It was interesting enough to keep Ava's attention, which is a big deal!  We learned quite a bit about ships and sailing in the 15th century.  Here are some notes of interest to me:
  • Saltmeat apparently lasts forever.  They had two pieces on board.  One was a pig's foot.  The other was a slab of bacon that has been hanging there since 1992 when the ship was dedicated.  Supposedly, if you cleaned the dust off it, you could still eat it.  Yum, yum!
  • Sailors hung off the side of the ship to do their business, and they shared a brush to clean themselves off.  It was dipped into the ocean for cleaning in between, but, still, so gross.
  • The Santa Maria was surprisingly small.
  • Steering wheels were not yet invented during the time period of Columbus.
We learned a lot more than that, but those were some of the things I found to be most interesting.  If you are from this area and need a good, short field trip that isn't expensive, this was worth it for us, especially with young kids studying American history!  Definitely check out the PHOTOS HERE.

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