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Prettying Up to Visit George and Tom

The story of our country’s birth is one with an amazing cast of characters. After spending hours of my life imparting knowledge and stirring interest in these founding fathers to fifth graders I have become quite fond of a few of them. For example, I certainly wouldn’t have approved of all of Benjamin Franklin’s antics, but the man was an incredibly crazy mix of talent and creativity. He fascinates me.

Right up there with him on my list of American statesmen that stun me with their varied talents, interests and abilities would be George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. As a gardener “wanna be” I have long yearned to visit their Virginia homes, particularly their gardens. When I unexpectedly found myself visiting both of these historic treasures in one day I thought it was on occasion that I should gussy up for just a bit.

Okay, just kidding. I really wore a scarf and hat, but it was hot, so my head needed a break by the end of the afternoon.

Driving away from Washington with my kids in the rearview mirror was made easier because of my eager anticipation of the next stop down the road. George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon was just ahead, and I was anxious to open the gate for a peek inside.

Here’s a look at some of the things that caught my eye.


George grew some beautiful flowers in the Upper Garden. The sunflowers in his garden were thriving, unlike mine at home that were struggling to survive the constant triple-digit temperatures and drought.



Despite the heat I could have spent many more hours exploring the Mount Vernon Estate, but there were a lot of miles between us and Texas, so it was time to climb in our carriage and be on our way.

As lovely as this carriage was, I was glad that our vehicle was equipped with air conditioning. Uncertain of our exact route we took off toward Richmond, then decided to let our GPS choose a route for us to take us back to Interstate Highway 30. When we realized that this unplanned path would take us through Charlottesville and just few miles from Monticello my sweet husband decided we must take the time to visit.

It was about this time that I began to wonder if the doctors had told him some terrible news they hadn’t told me. Unexpectedly visiting BOTH of my top wished-for American garden destinations in one day made me wonder if my days were numbered.

We arrived at Monticello just in time for the last tour of the day.

Wandering through the beautiful home Thomas Jefferson designed was fascinating, but the real treat was the whirlwind trip through the vegetable gardens we squeezed in right before the house tour began.

Closing time came all too soon, but the day had been one I would never forget. A morning wandering George’s beautiful estate, an evening at Tom’s place. My idea of a perfect day.

Blessings,

3 Comments

  1. Posted 1 Sep ’11 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    the words and the pictures are beautiful….i always feel better after visiting your blog!! peace.

  2. Posted 2 Sep ’11 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Beautiful! What a great visit!

  3. Mom
    Posted 2 Sep ’11 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    The gardens are almost as beautiful as your head, but not quite. Beautiful story!

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