Saturday, July 24, 2010

Road Trip to Mount Vernon

A heat advisory was issued because of the blistering temperatures but it didn't stop my friend Sid and I from taking a road trip to Mount Vernon, which is the plantation home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. The 14 room mansion is built of wood in the neoclassical Georgian architectural style and is situated along the shores of the Potomac River. It is beautifully restored and furnished with original objects dating back to the 1740's. It is one of the most scenic attractions in the Washington, DC area.
You're asked to not take pictures inside the mansion, so I found the below photo online to give you an idea of one of the rooms. This is the formal dining room. The paint color is said to be the original color it was when George resided there. I personally don't think it's the most appealing color and it kind of makes me lose my appetite.
One thing that I found interesting was a key from the Bastille. In 1789, a Paris mob sparked the French Revolution by storming the Bastille, a political prison and symbol of absolute monarchy. The next year, Lafayette ordered its demolition and sent an original key to the Bastille to his former commander. They key is still where George Washington displayed it. (I probably would have just put it in a drawer and wondered later what it went too). Washington added a stunning two-story porch, or "piazza," overlooking the Potomac. Here family and guests would gather in warm weather to enjoy the breeze off the river. We sat and were cooled by the breeze too! Another Washington addition to the house was a cupola which served as both a decorative rooftop element and a practical device. With windows open, the cupola helped to cool the house on sultry summer days like the ones we've been having. After the war, Washington added to the Mansion its final crowning touch, a dove of peace weather-vane atop the cupola.

It's an amazing view to sit and enjoy! That's Virginia on the left and Maryland to the right. I'll let these next two pictures speak for themselves... The gardens are amazing! There are flowers for every season: hollyhocks, peonies, primroses, heliotrope, larkspur, and dozens of other specimens, all of which were grown here by the Washington's. There were butterflies everywhere! There are also many varieties of trees. Some of these magnificent trees were planted by George Washington himself. This Tulip Poplar tree was planted by ole George in 1785. I really love old trees and if this one could talk, imagine the tales it could tell!

I wonder if this little fella had ancestors that lived here when George Washington resided here...

The heat left us exhausted, so we needed a place to cool off! Upon arrival at the Krispy Kreme the "Hot Doughnut" sign was not turned on, so there were no freshly made doughnuts. However, this was okay; there's nothing nothing like a COLD Krispy Kreme Doughnut on a hot July day! I think George Washington would have thought so too!

It was an enjoyable visit with my friend! She left this afternoon and my brother arrives tomorrow. He comes every year, and as always, I'm looking forward to his visit. Carl is too because that means he'll be getting dinner every night!

I hope you've had an enjoyable weekend too!!

18 comments:

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Thanks fur sharing that GReat tour!

Mom was there many many many years ago!

As fur enjoyable? TOO FREAKIN' HOT to enjoy - akhtually, I'm khurrently sulking bekhause Mom says it is still TOO WARM fur me to go fur a walk -

Enjoy your next guests!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

The Rocky Creek Scotties said...

What a fun day - I love Mt. Vernon.

Miriam said...

I feel like I've been on a trip with you! Thanks for sharing the photos and stories, and I hope you have a wonderful visit with your brother.

Ms. ~K said...

I visited Mount Vernon many years ago, when I was too young to appreciate it! I enjoyed your photos.
Glad the heat didn't stop you from having a fun day!
Thanks for the photo of KK...I can add 5 lbs. by just looking!
Hugs and belly rubs to pups,
~K

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Hi Kim
Your journey was amazing. It must have felt so awsome to visit these famous sites. Your photos were beautiful.
And the photos of the squirrel and butterfly specatular.
I see one of those donuts that I am drooling over right now
love
tweedles

Barbara said...

You have to wonder how his garden smelled, and how many people got sick from shoveling his poop!

Looks like a fun trip - you guys have all the fun!!

Samantha said...

Oh my goodness! Took that tour with my own dear sweet Ma when I was 11 years old! Still have the fondest memories of Mount Vernon to this day! Thanks for bringing back those sweet memories!
Hugs xoxoxo
Sammie and Ma

Doc said...

Mount Vernon was one of my favorite tours. I spent the entire day there and had the most wonderful time. The head groundskeeper took a liking to us and gave seeds he personally gathered from the perennial garden. And I purchased four boxwood cuttings taken from the original Boxwood's that Martha Washington planted around her Kitchen garden.

MAXMOM said...

Oh Kim...
What a most beautiful and interesting post! You have done and awesome job today of sharing your trip with us.
That building: Mount Vermont is truly beautiful...and they have preserved it so wonderfully!
Yeah, light blue for a dining room is not my favourite either, but the gardens and the view make up for it!...It all oozes nostalgia!
I am so glad you got your doughnut that you were planning (a few posts ago)!!! They look delicious!
Sending lotsaluv to you and all your Golden charges.
MAXMOM IN SOUTH AFRICA

Angus said...

Love the Presidential necessary.

Louise said...

It's a beautiful place, isn't it? Something that everyone should see when they are in Washington. Did you drive down the Geo. Washington Parkway to get to it? Maybe not, if you came in from the West. I've always thought that was a beautiful drive, though.

Now, I have an awful confession to make. We had Krispy Cremes outlets around here and they went out of business. They couldn't compete with Wegman's and Tim Horton's doughnuts.

Sam said...

How very cool! The house is so beautiful. I've lived on the west coast all my life, and have never had an opportunity to visit sites like this!

Sam

Little Island In The Med said...

Great photos and I have learned a new word today - cupola! :-)

I did chuckle as well when I got to the end of the post and saw the doughnuts - you are making me miss my Boston creams from Tim Hortons!

PaigeandSimba said...

A few years back I went there and took pictures while the tour guide wasn't looking! LOL! I got one of the bedroom, and the green dining room. In between the tour guide has his eyes on me, so I stopped trying before I got in trouble.
What a great tour you had! I hope you had a great time!

Sharon said...

Very interesting, love the piazza and the privy!

Good trip, too bad about the heat, maybe go again in the fall?

Doughnuts! Making me hungry!

The Witch said...

Kim,
Thanks for sharing your trip with us.I really enjoyed the weather- vane because that's what we are planning on putting on the top of the Gazebo. Do they still use the outhouse? It was pretty fancy for it's era.
Donuts Yum, and so many to choose from Yum!!

The Life of Riley said...

Thanks for the tour and all your photos. I enjoyed learning about Mount Vernon. Mum was also interested to see the doughnuts, as there was an article in our newspaper a couple of weeks ago saying Krispe Kreme was considering opening their first New Zealand store sometime soon!

Catherine said...

Cute squirrel!!!