Good evening, and tonight finds us somewhere around Richmond, VA. I'm not sure just where. Today we had a lovely time finding Mt. Vernon. We checked out of the DC hotel about 10ish, after our friend had left about 6am to catch a plane out of Reagan International at 8:30. I got up to say goodbye, and went back to sleep. Miss G was great getting us out of the city, and on the road to the 1st President's Home. After we got on the secondary roads, the small towns we traveled through were quite pretty. You don't see the Mansion when you drive into the parking areas. You do get an idea of the vistas that the Washingtons must have had though. It is very commercial now (what isn't!), but in spite of that, the aura of peace right around the house & gardens is very well preserved. Of course I didn't have enough time to 'look at everything' as we toured the house, as there was a long line in front of us, a long line behind us. So I had to look and move along. No picture taking in the house either. The Ladies of Mt. Vernon have done a spectacular job in their preservation and renovation of this national treasure; I had never realized how close it came to being totally lost to later generations. Mr. Washington's descendants had allowed the house to fall into disrepair as they couldn't afford to maintain it. A group of ladies bought the house & grounds, and began the toil of restoring & preserving. The grounds are beautiful too, and the view from their "East Porch" across the river...amazing. I could imagine Mrs. Washington sitting in a rocking chair, looking out over the green lawn, down to a placid river view of the Potomac. One of the docents told me that Mrs. W particularly liked watching the sunsets over the river. We walked around the grounds and visited their tombs. Other relatives are buried nearby, and it was a very peaceful, calming place. There were plenty of school kids there today, but I must say, they were well behaved. We ended our visit with a lovely lunch at the Mt. Vernon Inn - which is part of the commercial side of the place, but again, very well done. It was decorated like an old tavern in early America. I had the specialty, Peanut & chestnut soup (dee-lish-us), a sandwich and finished up with the best bread pudding I've eaten in a while. For those not familiar with this dessert, it uses stale bread, milk, eggs, raisins & I don't know the other ingredients, but I think it was probably used in early Colonial days as a dessert.
I'll have to make a comment to one blogger who said she would have had to speak to the chaperons about the kids' rowdiness. Boy, did I WANT to! Both my companions kept telling me "Keep your mouth shut"...because nowadays, you never know when you'll set off an incident! But it was HARD! Especially at the war memorials, which are outside. I commented on this to one of the docents at Mt. Vernon today.She replied that evidently it's been so bad, one of the tv newscasters had said something on-air about the rudeness & lack of respect shown by this season's school teens. You wouldn't believe all the cell phones & texting that went on, even though there were signs saying No food, drink, cell phones, etc. Outside there were no 'custodians' - for lack of a better word - to keep visitors 'in line'. We saw park rangers walking around, but nobody said anything to those who were climbing about on the walls, etc at the different memorials. I think the WWII one was the worst that we saw (and the first one, so it hit me harder). There was a bit more noise at the Viet Nam memorial than I thought was respectful, but I didn't see anybody climbing around. However, that one I walked through and just looked at the wall, not taking a lot of time, because I knew I would have a difficult time. (That era was MY generation's war, and my DH was part of it, as was a lot of our school buddies). We know that some were lost over there, and I couldn't have stood to find their names.
Tomorrow we will finish the trip back home, with - hopefully - a stop at a stamp store in Greensboro, NC. I've heard from blog buddies and other friends, this is a neat store. So I have to refind the address and see if Miz G will get us there. I had googled it earlier, written down the address, now I can't find it!
So ya'll have a great weekend, and thanks for joining me tonight. See ya soon, and hopefully have some cards, or pictures - and get back to visitin' your blogs for some fantastic inspiration. Hugs