|062008 - We woke around 9AM and the kids got ready for the pool and water park. We arrived just as the park opened at 10AM. They had a blast on the slides and various other water attractions. After the swim we returned to camp, got dressed and began our trip to Richmond.
We stopped for breakfast on the way. Given that the kids were not satisfied, we stopped for lunch 30 minutes later. Keane appeared content so we continued to the Museum of the Confederacy. After about 20 minutes in the main museum our scheduled tour of the Confederate White House began. The kids enjoyed this very much. Keane was well behaved and asked several questions. The most interesting question he asked the guide (a formal Southern Gentleman probably of VMI heritage) was in reference to the Davis Nanny. In front of about 21 people he asked if anyone slept in the bed with the Nanny. He ment to ask if any of the children slept with the Nanny, but I could see a few grins in the crowd as they assumed he was asking if Jefforson slept with the Nanny. Given that Jefferson was about 18 years older than his wife I think it was a reasonable question.
The description of the Davis kids was quite entertaining. Neil and Keane were amused to learn that the eldest boy had a black powder cannon when he was about 12 and would shoot toy soldiers (in blue uniforms) in the courtyard. They were sad to learn that one of the children fell out of a window in the house and died shortly thereafter.
After the white house we spent a couple of hours in the Museum. Keane was fascinated by the guns and after his tour sat in front of a man putting together a model ironclad. Keane grilled the guy for about 45 minutes which gave Neil and I the opportunity to complete a thorough tour of the museum. I continued my lecture on the evolution of firearms given that one of the trip objectives is to ensure that the boys have the skills to load and shoot any gun on the planet.
After the museum we decided to take a tour of historic Petersburg. In this process I took a wrong turn and would up in a pretty rough part of town. This gave me an opportunity to school the boys on practical signs of danger and fortunately did not allow us to continue our discussion on the evolution of firearms.
We had Chinese food for dinner and returned to camp around 8PM. We played Chess several times. Spent time discussing time management and discipline. We then turned our discussion to communication, the most important life skill. We spent about two hours in front of the fire completing an improvised communication exercise. I asked each of them to pickup a rock and try to sell it to me for $100. The both failed, but I did manage to demonstrate superior form and sold the rock to Keane for $9,000. He left with the rock feeling like he had just closed the best deal of his life.
Later in the evening we completed several thermodynamics experiments. We filled several plastic bottles with water and put them directly on the hot coals after placing an empty control bottle on the coals. The control of course melted immediately (releasing a small amount of toxic gas to the environment). The bottle at atmospheric pressure did not melt because the water temperature rose to 212 F and held constant during the phase transformation which was less than the melting temparture of the plastic bottle. The closed bottle operated at higher pressure and temparature and exhibited the same characteristics. We advanced the discussion to steam turbine and condenser theory. Neil enjoyed this.
We finally went to bed around 1AM to get some rest for our next leg to Gettysburg, PA.