Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon has been on our Washington, D.C. bucket list for quite some time, but we didn't want to go there until the crowds were gone (in other words, not summer).  Several of the exhibits and activities are only available March through October, so we didn't get to experience everything Mount Vernon has to offer.  However, we were there for six hours, and we ran out of time before running out of things to see.

First up was a tour of the house.  Julia kept getting Washington's house confused with Jefferson's house...I thought this might happen, since we visited Monticello only a couple of weeks ago.  Evelyn liked this house tour better than Monticello because we got to see both levels (and most of the rooms) of the house.
 The blacksmith's shop was up and running today, where we saw a door hinge being made.  I think the girls could have watched this guy all day, making the iron hot with the bellows, then hammering it into the right shape.
 After prying the girls away from the blacksmith's shop, we headed to the east side of the house.  (The picture below is a view of the north side of the house.)
 I strategically took this picture of the girls in front of the house so that I wouldn't get any other visitors in my shot - there's a line of people waiting to go into the house for a tour, but they're hidden by the hill.
 We three girls, hanging out on the porch on the east side of the house.
 After lunch, we joined the "Dinner for the Washingtons" walking tour.  We learned about the fruits, vegetables and herbs in the garden; we saw the smoke house; we got a peek at the basement under the house (where food was stored and rat terriers kept vermin away); and the tour ended with some apple cider in the greenhouse.
 We had heard how impressive Martha Washington was, and she did not disappoint.  This lady knows everything, and I mean everything, about Mount Vernon and the Washingtons.  She stays in character and doesn't miss a beat when asked questions.  Evelyn asked her where George Washington was, and the first lady's reply was that he was overseeing the building of the new President's House in D.C.  Evelyn also wanted to know what Mrs. Washington's favorite vegetable was...she said she had two:  asparagus and artichokes.
We really enjoyed our day at Mount Vernon, and we highly recommend this historical site.