Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday - Our Trip to Mt. Vernon

Welcome to the first day of our vacation and a wonderful tour through Mount Vernon, Virginia, the home place of George Washington...
(Click on pictures to see them enlarged!)
We arrived at Mt. Vernon late morning on Wednesday, June 10th. We were famished and so our first stop was the Mount Vernon Inn...

The Mt. Vernon Inn Restaurant was built in modern times to match the architecture of the main house. The food consists of regional and colonial cuisine and is quite good. The waiters are dressed in period clothing and the ambiance is warm, friendly and enjoyable.

Our next stop, was the Visitors Center, where we watched a wonderful 40 minute film on the life and times of our first President.
Main House.. Following the Visitors Center, we continued on to the main house...

The land that comprises Mt. Vernon was in the Washington family from the 1670's. It was handed down to George Washington's grandfather, Lawrence Washington, where upon his death, it was bequeathed to his daughter, Mildred (George's aunt). Washington then bought the land from Mildred and lived on it from 1754 until his death in 1799. The house was rebuilt several times always on the original foundations and once George Washington owned it, he built additions to it until it looked as it does today.

After Washington's death in 1799, the plantation passed to several different relatives, but none could afford it's upkeep, so it fell into disrepair. Then in 1853 Mt. Vernon was saved from neglect by a group of women who organized the Mt. Vernon Ladies Association and bought the property. This same association, which cares for the land today, has never accepted government aid, but restored and maintained the house and grounds entirely with private donations. Ticket prices to tour the house and gardens (coming up!) also go to the upkeep of this national treasure.
Here is a winder view of the house and lawn (also known as the Bowling Green)...

No photography is allowed inside of the main house, so I am only able to show you the exteriors. Interior furnishings include some original furniture, artwork, and artifacts owned by the George Washington, as well as other period pieces.

Following our tour of the house we visited the exterior buildings:
The Carriage House ...
..including a carriage owned by George Washington...
..and a "Riding Chair" (similar to one owned by the Washingtons), for use on back roads and areas difficult to negotiate with a bulkier carriage...
The "Necessary" ... ...an outdoor privy used to centralize the collection of waste (rather than just using lots of "out houses"). Human waste was collected in large, removable wooden drawers below the seats. Waste was recycled as fertilizer.
The Threshing Barns ...
...kitchen vegetable garden and tobacco patch(originally plantation's main crop)...
...a group of wild turkeys...
...a kind reinactor ... ...who patiently explained the art of tobacco farming to us.

He showed us that they only keep the first 8 leaves on the plant, allowing them to grow, while pinching off any additional leaves on the plant. These 8 leaves are all the each tobacco plant grows. That way, the leaves grow strong and healthy.

This is a frisky, black sheep (literally and figurately), who continually jumps over the wood railings of his pen to feast on tender grass elsewhere.
These two are behaving themselves (for sheep).
My two, tired out young 'uns, plum tuckered out by the humidity.
The Tomb ...
...which holds the remains of both George Washington and his wife, Martha (the columns in front memorialize their nephew who owned the property later).
The Slave Burial Ground ...
The site of the slave burial ground was located using visitor accounts, oral tradition and a circa 1860 map. Both free blacks and slaves worked this plantation from the 1750's through the 1800's. Among the ones buried here is William Lee, George Washington's personal valet, who was with him during the Revolutionary War. He was granted his freedom and an annuity in George Washington's will. A view of the "back porch" of the main house...
...and the glorious view seen from there.
Sarah, Aunt Jeanie and Robert.
Robert's picture of the main house's cellar door.
Around the side of the main house, towards slave quarters and the greenhouse.
Side view of the greenhouse.
The Greenhouse...
The Gardens...gloriously based on English gardens popular at the time.

...the lovely magnolia...

This ends your tour of Mt. Vernon and our wonderful afternoon spent there. I highly recommend this wonderful experience for the whole family. It has something for everyone and the view and grounds, from what you have seen, are spectacular.

Visit Mt. Vernon any day of the year, it is never closed. Grounds are open at 8 a.m. (9 a.m. September through March, including Christmas). The entrance closes at 5 p.m. (4 p.m. November through February).

Admission rates are as follows:

Adults $15 ; Seniors, ages 62+ $14 ; Children, ages 6-11 $7 ; Children . under 6 FREE!
For additional information, please call (703) 780-2000 and/or visit http://www.mountvernon.org/

Don't forget to stop by A Southern Daydreamer for more Outdoor Wednesday posts!
Have a great day!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Here we are at Menu Planning Monday again...Have fun perusing my menus.
Monday - Beef Bourguignon, and tossed salad.
Tuesday - Tuna Noodle Casserole, fresh fruit salad and green beans.
Wednesday - Stagg Chili, tortilla chips, avacado and grapefruit salad.
Friday - Chicken/Veggie Stir Fry and Brown Rice
Sunday - Roast Pork Tenderloin, Caesar Cole Slaw and Corkscrew Pasta Salad (will share these recipes later) and Easy Summer Pie
For more menus, please check out Laura's blog, Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Home From A Wonderful Vacation

Hello, dear friends! We are back from our trip back East. It was a wonderful two weeks that went all too quickly...
With happy hearts we hit the skies on Tuesday, June 9th. We hadn't traveled back East as a family for a number of years and we were very excited for our vacation.
The fist leg of our trip took us from Utah to Atlanta. Unfortunately, bad thunderstorms in Virginia, our destination, kept us grounded for three hours. We finally made it to my sister's house late, but we were happy and thankful to be there!
Isn't it beautiful to be above the clouds?
I will be sharing much of our trip over the ensuing weeks and days. It was all wonderful, but all good things must come to an end. :(

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer Vacation

Sweet Friends,
The children and I leave tomorrow morning for our trip back East "home" to Virginia and our beloved NC. I will miss reading all of your posts and "visiting", but I look forward to meeting you back here and on your own blogs on June 24th. I hope you all have happy, healthy weeks.

God bless,

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Show and Tell Friday

Hello and Welcome to Show and Tell Friday!
Today I'm highlighting some things that I love most about this time of year...Birds!
My husband let me buy these for Mother's Day some years back and they are some of my favorite things.
Aren't they chubby and cute? They are carved from stone.
Here are some new flowers in my backyard garden...

And here is a nifty feeder I bought last year at a yard sale. I'm going to repaint it soon!
So, there you have my humble things. I love them all so much.

Now, go check out the other blogs participating in Show and Tell Friday, at Kelli's blog, HERE.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Frugal Makeover

My sweet Sarah and I today shared some girl time. We treated ourselves to small ice cream cones at a local fast food restaurant and then swung by a local discount store, where we perused nail polish, some much needed make-up for Mom, and other feminine treats. On a whim, we decided to give me a makeover. We bought a hair color for me that was on sale and then went to Fantastic Sam's to get me a quick cut. I was nervous, because I'm never sure if what I'm trying to convey will actually come across accurately to the hairstylist and we weren't at an expensive place where we could even choose whom we got...Anyway, we crossed our fingers and dove in, so to speak...

Here is the "Before"...

And here is the "After"...
~ The best part is that I only spent $25 in total for everything and I feel like new!
Have a great day ~ Elizabeth