Spending time in northern VA
Entry posted by Castle3 ·
Lately the days have just whizzed by. Friday we took a long drive to see Thomas Jeffersons Monticello. I suspect it gets fewer visitors than Mount Vernon due to the location. However, it certainly is worth the effort. Much like Biltmore, Monticello is well hidden. Even after you park your car, purchase a ticket, and board the shuttle bus, the main building is nowhere in site. After climbing a steep winding road it finally presents itself. Make one wonder why a farmer choose the top of a ridge to open fields.
The main house visit is by accompaniment of a tour guide only and another NO pictures rule.
While we waited for our time slot for the house, we took in the slave tour. This was quite educational. Our guide took us through history from their arrival at Monticello to Jeffersons death. Several learned trades as opposed to being field hands or House maids. It was a real eye opener for me. I and many others in our group wondered how Jefferson who wrote "All men are created equal" could not only exclude them but in fact own nearly 150. Our guide had been asked this many times but history gives no answer, only speculation.
Shortly after that tour completed it was our turn for the house tour. This guide was also excellent. I learned many interesting things about Jefferson as a person. One of which was the fact that he designed Monticello and most of the materials like bricks and furniture were constructed on site. I urge you to see this place for yourself.
We woke up to a beautiful blue sky day and decided it was a perfect day for a trip on the Skyline Drive. We made it through 65 of its 150 miles taking over 4 hours. It seemed their was a lookout on every curve and none could be passed up. The views were amazing! As evening set in the deer started roaming about. We must have spotted over 20. We pulled over just as the sun began to set and witnessed an incredible end to our day.
Today I was determined to make it to DC to view the cherry blossoms at their peak. It was an 86 mile one way trip with the last 15 miles taking us over 2 hours. Only to find that Ohio Ave. (that encircles the tidal basin where all the Japanese cherry trees are) was closed for the day. Traffic and throngs of people made it nearly impossible to get through the city. I had hoped to drive the circle, take a few pics. and get out. Well, that didn't happen. We were fortunate to leave that mess before dark set in. I've been in many cites during rush hour and none came even close to this. It was total grid lock! It's likely that so many pedestrians would have made it difficult even if I had taken the Metro and I doubt I would have lasted to walk. In short, today was a disaster.
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