An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

All's Well that Ends Well (And if it Doesn't End Well, Don't Say a Word)

In our ongoing vacation of hitting the road without any definite plans -- and after yesterday's overload of potato chips and chocolate while visiting Herr's Potato Chip Factory, Hershey's Factory, and Hershey Park -- today we decided that something historical was in order. So this afternoon we arrived in Bedford, VA to visit the National D-Day Memorial Museum.

At the welcome center, we learned that admission included an optional 45-minute guided tour. The boys, who are all about museums (insert sarcasm), said NO to the guided tour, but being responsible parents burdened with the awesome task of educating our children, Joe and I ignored them and said YES to the guided tour.

Now, as parents, sometimes we make good decisions; in fact, MOST of the time we make GREAT decisions, but today wasn't one of those days.

Don't misunderstand. The memorial was reflective, symbolic, and extremely moving. Our guide was friendly and informative. But the weather was sweltering, we were standing in an open field, and while the guide was telling lots of great stories that under normal circumstances would be wonderful ... the fact was that the heat melted us into puddles of inattentiveness. 

After just 15 minutes of freely dripping sweat, our entire existence was reduced to a single, solitary thought which dominated all others: "Oh-my-gosh-it's-so-hot!-Oh!-There-is-a-breeze!-Oh!-It-went-away!-Gosh-darn-it!-It's-soooo-hot." 

It was so hot that I did a very tourist-y thing and walked around with my polka dot rain umbrella for the meagre shade it offered.

It was so hot that at one point I stopped to put my hair in a pony tail and happened to notice that our tour guide wasn't even sweating. He was 77 years old and looked fresh as a daisy. I mean, how was that even possible? It was most annoying.

An hour into the tour -- a tour which was SUPPOSED to last 45 minutes but, from the look of things, was destined to last another half hour -- I whispered to Joe, "The boys are going to be so mad at us."

And they were, except by the time we got back to the van they were too hot to say anything except "air conditioner" and "water".

And their inability to string together a coherent sentence was a good thing because Joe and I we were too hot to put up with any smart-aleck remarks.

The National D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford, Virginia — the community suffering the highest per capita D-Day losses in the nation. The Memorial honors the Allied forces that participated in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II. With its stylized English Garden, haunting invasion tableau, and striking Victory Plaza, the Memorial stands as a powerful permanent tribute to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of D-Day participants.  The Memorial is encompassed by the names of the 4,413 Allied soldiers who died in the invasion, the most complete list of its kind anywhere in the world.

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