Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mr. Washington's Home

 Are you familiar with Mr. Washington?  Perhaps, George Washington ring a bell?  You might also remember him from popular currency like....the $1 bill or the whole fiasco with the cherry tree.

This past Friday, I was lucky enough to visit Washington's gracious estate and home known as Mount Vernon.  Mount Vernon is huge historic landmark.  It houses George Washington's mansion, farm, tomb, gardens, museum and even an orientation center.   
Although I had previously visited Mount Vernon 7 years ago, I am so happy I went back!  In my previous visit, I only had the chance of viewing the mansion because it was raining outside.  In addition, the museum and orientation center were in construction at that time.  So, this time I  had the chance to experience just about everything!  Here's an estate map for reference. 

I begun my adventure with the mansion tour.
The mansion is beautiful but more down to earth than Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's home).  Photographs are not allowed inside the mansion, but if you were to visit you would see ornate details that were focused around farming.  This is how George Washington made most of his money; farming!  What I found really interesting about the mansion is that the outside is made of wood, however, it was cleverly designed to look like brick.  They accomplished this by painting and by throwing sand onto wet paint.  This gave the wood a cement/brick feel.  It's neat!

The tour begins by entering a side kitchen which is where most of the meals were prepared.  Then, you follow the covered walkway to the actual mansion where you enter the dinning room.  At that time, paint was seen as a sign of wealth so just about everything is painted a minty green color with a white contrast.  From the tour, I learned that the mansion at one time was actually quite smaller.  The home originally belonged to George Washington's father (I think!) and once he inherited the esate, he added additional expansions.  The mansion has 3 levels, however, guests are only shown 2 floors.  The third floor is blocked off until Christmas time.  The 3rd floor is also where Martha Washington resided after her husband's death. 

After the mansion tour, the boy and I roamed around taking silly photos.  The photograph below is taken in the backyard of the mansion.  You can see the river in this shot. 
For those of you unfamiliar, Mount Vernon resides by the Potomac river.
In case you couldn't tell...I like jumping shots.  Weeee.

After some crazy, creepy shots, I explored the rest of the estate.  We were able to see the green house, slave cabin, smoke house, salt house, blacksmith, overseer's home, carriage, etc. 

I also visited the old and new tomb of George Washington.  Believe it or not, he has two tombs!  His newer tomb has miniature versions of the Washington monument.  I found this quite amusing but did not find it appropriate to photograph.

Next, we explored the pioneer farm which is still a functioning farm. To this day, it continues to operate as an 18th century farm. When we visited, they were shearing sheep...which is something I had never witnessed. 
Then we proceeded down towards the river to the wharf.  We did not purchase a river cruise, that is an additional option!  Unfortunately there wasn't much space to walk around the edge of the river since it was blocked off, but it was still enjoyable.
 I was happy to find out that Mount Vernon had a free shuttle service.  Knowing we were at the edge of the river and had to climb up the hill...was not a comforting thought for my legs.  The shuttle dropped us off at the top where I continue to explore the gardens.  There are two gardens : upper and lower.  The upper garden houses all the beautiful flowers and shrubs as shown below.  Whereas the lower garden houses the vegetables and herbs.

My visit at Mount Vernon lasted for hours and yet I was not able to fully view everything (I wasn't able to see his dentures!!)  There is so much to see and so much to do, it's no wonder that Washington believed the following:
My visit to Mount Vernon was beautiful, interesting and I left feeling like I had learning a thing or two about one of our founding fathers.  I also found myself leaving Mount Vernon with achy legs and feet!  Word to the wise, wear comfortable and supportive shoes.  I did not...and my legs are killing me!

1 comment:

~Sugarsheen~ said...

Wow, that is such a beautiful place! It looks like you had a lot of fun, I'm definitely putting this on my must see list! Great photos!