Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jenkins Family Roadtrip Day 2, July 2

Our room at the Omni Shoreham in D.C. was fabulous. It was a suite actually, with a large bedroom with two oversized queen sized beds and a large sitting area with a sofa bed for Laura. The hotel was built in 1930, so the room sizes were generous, tall ceilings, large windows, etc. And because we would be staying during our anniversary, which was July 4, we had a plate of chocolate covered strawberries, blood oranges, cranberries, and almond brittle along with a bottle of champagne and a note wishing us a happy anniversary. A beautiful touch to begin our vacation.

Because we arrived around midnight the night before, we decided to let everyone sleep in as long as needed, had a brunch in the hotel restaurant and decided to head to Mount Vernon. The home of George Washington. It was a gorgeous sunny day, perfect for some outdoor exploration. Mount Vernon is in Virginia, so we drove through the heart of cross over to Virginia. Traffic was interesting to put it mildly.

Mount Vernon estate was 8,000 acres when George Washington owned it. He inherited it from his older half brother who died without any heirs. Right now, it is obviously no where near 8,000 acres, but still an impressive size nonetheless. And the main house overlooks the Potomac River. Stunning.

Mount Vernon as it is today. We looked at some older pictures just before renovations started in the late 1800's, looks somewhat different, especially in the roof line, but overall they have tried to stay true to how the home was originally at the time of the American Revolution and when Washington was President. During the American Civil War, Mount Vernon was considered a peaceful area by both the Union and Confederate armies. It was required they could enter the grounds of the estate but they were to leave the arms at the entrance.

We were not allowed to take any pictures inside the home, they have as many original pieces from George Washington as possible, and they recreated the d├ęcor as close to how George and Martha Washington had decorated their home in the 1700's. George and Martha had no children together, but Martha had children from her previous marriage to Daniel Parke Custis, and she was a wealthy widow before she met George. When they both passed away, the estate went to nieces and nephews who slowly sold off the estate bit by bit.

Here is a the few from the back porch. I can imagine the number of people over the centuries who would sit here during hot lazy summer afternoons and watch the day go by on the Potomac.

View of the back porch from the bottom of the hill. The porch and surrounding hillside had people trying to get some shade and relaxing the afternoon away. Couldn't resist, the large tree on the left is a Pecan tree, wonder if it stood there when George Washington lived there.

After the house, we wandered the grounds and just past the slave quarters was the barn, where Laura found some residents she couldn't resist saying hello to. The horse girl that she is, she was like a homing beacon in finding them.


Heather said...

The photos are gorgeous!!! Nice treat for your anniversary -- yum!!!

Deanna said...

Looks like you had fun!