Trip Start Dec 24, 2011
55Trip End Feb 27, 2012
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Sometimes having to eat just gets in the way. I didn't say that. The weather man said that there was a possibility of snow this afternoon. Apparently the conditions are just right. I live in hope. It is very grey and overcast and the temp is about 34degF. It's a bit after 6:00 am and the news and weather man have just finished, hence the snow report. We are off to Mount Vernon. Mr Washington, no that's General Washington as well as President Washington's house. Breakfast is first. Cereal, yogurt, bowl of fruit, juice, English muffin and grape jelly jam and of course coffee. The robust blend is much better that the drip coffee. This will usually see me through to about three which is usually when we manage to have lunch on most days. Trying to have it early just doesn't fit in.
Where we are staying, the entrance the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Pope-Leighey house is a short stroll up the road, with Mt Vernon about 10 minutes away by carin the oter drection and Fort Belvoir, the army base, is about 5 minutes up the road in the same direction as Pope-Leighey
A fifteen minute drive and we are pulling into the car park with a short walk to the shop and ticketing desk. We get the house tour and an audio tour for me. There are a few things happening today and hopefully we can join them together. We walk to the house and pass the blacksmith on the way. Mount Vernon is a working historic site. The gardens are kept, however not as the original owner had set up, and much to the dissatisfaction of the traditionalists. There are animals that are the same breed as were on the farm when Washington was the owner.
The smithy is working on fire place tools for one of the people who donates money to Mount Vernon. He is a smith by trade starting his apprenticeship at fifteen. On completing his apprenticeship he went travelling round the neighboring states and finally has a permenant gig at Mount Vernon fixing the exhibits in the manner in which they had been repaired when they were being used. That includes nails! We wonder to the house with the house tour about to begin. We pass through each room with a different guide giving us their perspective on GW, family, the room and the house. Apparently GW had control of the decorating the house except the master bedroom
We exit the house and join the 'slave' tour. This tour not only gave us an insight into the daily lives of the slaves on the property but an extra insight on how the Washington's ran their staff. The tour guide is very knowledgeable about the Washingtons, but also as we found out later on the Civil War, as she she tells us about particular slaves and the antics they get up to to avoid work and their other duties. This tour is available because it is Black History month. After this tour, we follow the guide to the slave burial grounds for a wreath-laying ceremony at the monument and she explains how this monument came about