I have spent almost my entire adult life driving my children to school on Mt Vernon Avenue here in Bakersfield. In fact, this is the first year of my entire mother-of-school-children-career that I haven’t done the daily Mom Schlep to the street with the important name.
Perhaps that was one of the things that drew me to visit George and Martha Washington’s Mount Vernon when I visited the DC area this Summer. Well, the coupon on my rental car reservation also helped.
I thought it would be a quick jaunt down US History Lane.
Once again, I was wrong.
Someday I will get this all down but for now, no. I was very, very wrong.
I didn’t know, for example, that Washington wanted to be remembered as a gentleman farmer. On his property was a very high tech (for the time) green house. There were several gardens where they grew vegetables, herbs and flowers.
I spent most of the time I was there with my jaw dropped.
I hung out with a blacksmith for a few minutes and talked to the gardening caretakers. I took not nearly enough photos.
The back porch is more than expansive and looks out on an enormously inviting lawn. There are chairs set up in a row for your group to sit in and I saw more than several children playing on the lawn. I can’t help but think that would make Martha and George happy.
The tour of the home is one of the better tours I have been
on and yes, I have been on many. Instead of being with one tour guide, the
group moves from room to room where the specialist in that room tells you about
it. There are items the Washington’s owned as well as period pieces. My favorite single item was a gift from
Lafayette to the Washingtons. I am purposefully not telling you so you will
find out on your own visit. The lack of interior photos is because they are not allowed. Go visit, go visit! *Happy smiles*
I also loved hearing about the hospitality of the day. It reminds me of what I experience with couch surfing. Someone arrives at the door, you welcome them, give them a place to sleep and get to know them for a bit. Instant friends, momentary family or icy frenemies all gather around the table. Oh, to be there at that time.
There is so much to see in the Washington, DC area AND I was so glad I took (not enough) time to see Mount Vernon. It created context for every other place and monument I visited while I was there. I will definitely return.
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