Maine trip:Old Sturbridge Village and St. Anne Shrine, MA

As a kid my husband went to a lot of really neat places. Our trip from DC to Maine gave us the opportunity to stop at a few of his favorites. One of which being Old Sturbridge Village. For the Military folks out there, it is a Blue Star Museum. When you first arrive it doesn’t look like much but once you take a look at the map you will be amazed. I sure was and the kids were even more excited. It’s a replica 19th century village. Long story short a rich guy bought a bunch of antiques and bought the land and started the village. If you take a the small boat ride you will get more details about how the village came to be. It really is an interesting story. There was so much to do and not nearly enough time. One of the kids favorites was the sheep. There are sheep not far from the entrance that will baa from time to time. This tickled my little guys and oh boy did they giggle. Another really neat thing was a musket demonstration. We happened to go on a day a couple school groups were there so to me it seemed that things were even more educational. We even missed the Homeschool Day by a day. Anyways, the musket demonstration was very informative and the costumed historian was great with the kids. I walked away with Baby Kermit as he doesn’t like to sit or stand still very long. Boy, did we get a share when the musket fired each time. Baby Kermit ran quickly back to be comforted before wandering off again. We continued our walk around for a little while before it was obvious the kids were hungry. We decided to check out what the Bullard Tavern Cafeteria had to offer. They served a New England staple: Clam Chowder as well as kid favorites Mac and cheese, pizza, and chicken tenders. George bought a little bit of everything as feeding 6 kiddos isn’t always the easiest. Anyone who has toddlers/preschoolers knows they don’t always eat much less eat the same things on any given day. I will have to say the Mac and Cheese was pretty delicious. After lunch we headed over to the boat ride and another great history lesson. Then we decided to walk a little farther to a playground with a huge cow and sheep for the kids to climb on. The kids had a blast. Soon the heat and need for a nap got to the little ones. Tips: The Public House has great rates for 2 room suites and is only a few miles from the village. Full priced admission at Old Sturbridge Village includes a free second visit. Consider visiting 2 days.

We decided to drive a few miles up the road to the St. Anne Shrine while the little ones napped in the van. (of course Dad stayed behind as well.) For anyone who doesn’t know St. Anne was Mary’s Mother and Jesus’s grandmother. First we took a look at the beautiful statue of St. Anne outside before stepping into the church. It looks very much like other Catholic churches with its beautiful stained glass and feeling of peace when you enter. Thankfully the kids were ok to sit and look around reverently. I was somewhat excited to see the relic of St. Anne. I prayed for my mom and read the prayer on the plaque to the kiddos. It’s something I was glad I was able to take in. It didn’t take long before the kids were ready to explore what else the Shrine had to offer. Then we went over to the icon exhibit. There are statues of some great saints around the room as well as the usual votive candles for prayers. The kiddos each wanted a pic with their favorite. Then we headed back outside. There was lots of other things to do but seeing as how we had been walking most of the day my feet couldn’t take much more so we decided to stop by the thrift shop before heading on our way. Being that we have but one Catholic store locally its always a big deal to shop in a store with all things Catholic. I don’t think I could work at one of the shops as I would probably want one of everything. I think the thing the kids appreciate the most are the Saint stained glass decals we picked up. They will be in our school window this fall. Tips: Make the time to explore the Shrine. There are Stations of the Cross, a St. Patrick Chapel, and lots more. Enjoy a day of peace.


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