Thanks to another mom, I found out about the Vermont Veterans Militia Museum in Colchester (which is really just down the road from us - practically Essex.) I thought, "Well, maybe Ethan will get a kick out of the planes and stuff!"
Little did I know that this place was such a hidden gem. It is tucked up in the Camp Johnson area in a very non-descript looking building. Right away though I got a sense of community. There was an older gentleman painting one of the planes and as cars drove by they called out greetings (and jokes) to him. The museum was also pretty busy (although it looked like mostly people that either worked or volunteered there not really visitors per se.)
We arrived super early as I've taken to leaving an hour early for all events after being late several times. (I never wanted to be "that late mom" well I was HER several times - ARGH.)
So we walked around the outside for a while and Ethan marveled at the tanks, helicopters, planes and artillery guns. He also found a beetle (are you surprised?)
|Non-Descript-ish building with TONS O' AWESOMENESS inside :)|
|Look! A happy cappy Ethan sized! Also known as The Flying Egg.|
|Soon all of his pictures will be a colorful blur shaped like Toby so I'm fine with stroller photos for now.|
|Look Ma, supply vehicles!|
|Quad 50 mm anti-aircraft battery in front of a 105 (possibly a 90) mm field artillary gun.|
|F16 Fighting Falcon|
|M1 Abrams tankety tank tank|
|Shooting Stars! Some of our first jet fighters!|
|M47 Tank Destroyer on left and can't remember on the right :) A tank. A big one.|
|I only spent about 15 minutes on Google until I gave up and guessed this was some sort of Blister Beetle. Who the frick knows but Ethan wanted to bring him home. You know, because we don't have enough bugs at home.|
But the real treat was when we went inside. Of course my camera battery died halfway through (OF COURSE) so the lesser quality (no flash) shots are from the trusty iPad. Seriously guys, this place was awesome, the pictures I took show probably a tenth of what is there.
The amount of information on top of the detail of the exhibits was insane. Someone spent a lot of time and effort (and love) creating these exhibits. I had the pleasure of speaking to one of the dudes and he walked us around in a "sort of" tour. I say "sort of" because while I was entranced, my wild monkey of a child was running around with his similarly energized cohort and being chased by said cohort's mother. Most of the exhibits are full of either donated or on loan memorabilia. There were incredibly detailed replicas of bases and buildings and all sorts of stuff. They covered everything from the wars of yore to present.
There was a box car (train car, whatever you like) that was donated by France (who gave one to each of the states in the U.S. I found out) that would hold either 40 people or 8 horses. Although, until the aforementioned mom cleared it up, I went on thinking they stuffed 8 horses AND 40 people in the box car. My Common Sense card was in danger for a little while. Anyway, said box car was definitely the "place to be" amongst toddlers as Ethan's companions had a grand time stomping around in it. There was also a large room with standing exhibits showing bunks and such and then there was an enormous mural on the far wall. Although I was distracted, it was explained that the wall hanging was discovered (in a field?) and cleaned up!
|To the left you see a library peeking. I would not allow Ethan in there - but you can see part of the Iraq/Afghanistan exhibit.|
|I won't lie, I was happy to see women represented so well.|
|Holy awesome display.|
|Levitating Toddler running on excitementium. (Just kidding, I made that up. But he is levitating.)|
|Oh man, the uniforms!|
|U.S. Military Crests N' Badges|
|Each exhibit had incredible detail and information.|
|Little dioramas that were impeccably done (and with flashing lights!)|
|One of the first helicopters (eep!)|
|That HUGE wall hanging I mentioned earlier that was just "found and cleaned up!" Also, pretty sure that Ethan wanted to bring the cannon home.|
|So. Much. Cool. Stuff!|
|The inside of the box car. Sorry for the poor quality, I was chasing a wildling.|
For anyone that is a history or military buff this museum is awesome. Heck, I'm neither and I thought it was the bees knees. It is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10-4. Although I admit that at 3 years old Ethan's attention span wasn't *quite* up to snuff. I know in a year it will be and I will be going back. I feel like it is one of the hidden gems I've found so far in Vermont. Here is their website although it hasn't been working recently due to upgrades and revamping: vermontmilitarymuseum.com
P.S. Thank you to Matt for helping to identify the vehicles in the photos. I could have gotten the M1 Abrams all on my own though. I swear. If he got any of them wrong it is due my inability to take a picture of an identifying sign that was attached to most of the vehicles (oops.)
Later that day . . .
|Gypsy Moth Caterpillar. A VERY Bad Guy Bug.|