Mount Vernon

Posted by barb on Apr 1, 2003 in Around DC |

This is the first day that Andrew has joined us. He decided not to take Monday off, since he was at the Python conference last Thursday and Friday. He thought he should make at least an appearance at work. Over the weekend, he wasn’t really interested in our activities (and with the cost of the Figure Skating show, I was kind of glad he didn’t want to go…)

We started the morning with the requisite vacation bad-breakfast at IHOP. Too bad we don’t have Waffle Houses around, or we would have taken Mom and Dad there. At least one breakfast on a vacation has to be the kind that leaves your stomach feeling like you’ve just swallowed a tub of grease. As a kid, we would often make the mistake of having that breakfast on the same day that we were going to an amusement park like Six Flags over Georgia.

After that, we drove down to Mount Vernon. It is about 10 miles outside of Alexandria. The drive, down the George Washington Parkway (affectionately called the G-W Parkway by those of us who live here), was quite nice. I can only imagine how lovely it would be with the trees in full leaves, or in the fall when the leaves start to turn.

I’m a bit surprised that the Ladies of Mount Vernon have been able to first of all keep the estate and restore it without the encroachment of “society” and secondly been able to keep the view of the Potomac fairly pristine.

We first toured the mansion. There were seven guest bedrooms to accommodate the over 700 overnight guests per year the Washingtons saw. My favorite room, though, was Washington’s study. It would have been fun to peruse the books on the shelves to see what kind of things Washington read. Of course I drooled over the lovely secretary he had, as well.

From there we went down to the old tomb, stopping to see the horse barn and sheep along the way. The pioneer farmer exhibit was running today, so we walked down to that. There, they had replicated one of the seven (?) farms that Washington had. There were several crops that were rotated according to a fairly complicated-looking schedule. In addition, there was a replica of a 16-sided barn that Washington had invented to take care of the wheat.

We walked back up toward the Mansion, through the forest trail. This was a beautiful walk, even without leaves on the trees. I got a bit nervous walking over the bridge above the creek bed, but that’s just because I’m a bit afraid of heights. We stopped at the new tomb on the way.

Finally we went to the gift shop (of course), and headed to the Inn for lunch.

We had thought about doing a walking tour of Alexandria afterwards, but we were all a bit tired (myself most of all, I think). Instead we stopped at A Likely Story, a children’s bookstore in Alexandria, and then went back home.

Dad fixed our oven in the evening. (The oven has needed a new circuit board for several months, but the repair guy wasn’t able to get it out from the wall. We could have hired a handyman, but were too lazy. Then when we heard my parents were visiting, we decided to see if Dad could help out. It took a bit of work, and I heard several “What the…?” and “Hee hee hee”s, but he got it done. Yay!)

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