Saturday, April 20, 2013

The storm last night was all done by 10:30PM.  It was quite noisy and there was lots of rain, but that is why it is so lush and green here all year round.

We got up this morning and decided we needed to get out and see the sights.  Well we left with no cell phone, GPS, or map of the area.   Well take that back we did have a sort of a map of Charlottsville only and all the places we were planning on going.  The day started of quite cool, but warmed up very nicely with clear bright skies.   
 We decided to visit Monticello first.  This is Thomas Jefferson's mountaintop home.   He was our 3rd President, author of the Declaration of Independence and founder of the University of Virginia, which is located in Charlottsville.  Charlottsville is the town where these homes are located.  
This is the front entrance. 

Thomas Jefferson was a very intelligent man and loved his country.  After hearing about these two men, Jefferson and Monroe,  I wonder if we have any men around as dedicated and smart as these guys?  We really need them.  
 This clock, which is right over the front door, has a bell that could be heard over Jefferson's entire estate so all could hear.  They have now toned it down to be nice to their neighbors and keep the clock working longer.
We did do the tour of the inside, but were not allowed to take any pix. (darn)  After the tour we are taken out onto the terrace then we could look at the rest of the estate at our leisure. 
Jefferson's design of Monticello linked together spaces for working, living and storage beneath the main house, terraces, and pavilions.  The hidden  "dependencies"- the wash house, carriage bays, horse stalls, ice house, storage cellars, kitchen, cook's room, dairy, smokeshouse, and living quarters for some slaves- preserved views of the landscape and kept domestic activities mostly out of sight.  This is the bathhouse and later laundry. 
Stables and carriage house
stall for horses
This was the underground cellars, and storage areas under the house part.
On the other side of the house under the terrace is the kitchen
Another pic of the back side of the house where the gardens are.

the gardens went around the whole area in the back.
Interesting flowers.  They are all flowers that would have been in Jefferson's gardens
lilac one of my favs and boy does it smell great.   I am so glad I was here when they were blooming.
These are the veggie gardens as was back in the day
And below the veggie garden were the berries, grapes, and fruit trees.  

  Rog and Jefferson are exchanging a few words.  

We had a great time at the Jefferson estate and headed to a place to have lunch.  

 The tavern was established in 1784 by Scotsman William Michie. The Tavern served as the social center of its community and provided travelers with food, drink and lodging.
Today, visitors experience the Tavern’s past through an historical journey which recreates 18th-century tavern life.
Servers in period attire offer bountiful Colonial Midday Fare.  The rustic restaurant setting renders a lunch dining experience rich in southern culture and hospitality for families to enjoy.  Get a taste of the 18th-century as they feature a buffet of southern fried chicken, marinated baked chicken, hickory-smoked pork barbecue, stewed tomatoes, black-eyed peas, beets, buttermilk biscuits and so much more.
   The tavern

    Inside where we ate.

  Another view of the tavern.

After our hearty Midday Fare,  it was OK, we headed off to Ash-Lawn Highland Estates. 

   Part of the name came from the entrance road that was lined with Ash (the type of trees)  Highland is what James and Elizabeth Monroe called their home.  James Monroe was our 5th President and authored the "Monroe Doctrine".

He served in the army during the first years of the Revolution and was wounded at Trenton. He then entered politics. In 1794, he was appointed minister to France and in 1803 to help to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. He was elected president in 1816 and ran unopposed for his second term (1820). The only other president to run unopposed was George Washington.  He is best remembered for the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 which declared against foreign colonization or intervention in the Americas. He died in New York City on July 4, 1831, the third president to die on the anniversary of Independence (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died five years before.)

 - James Monroe fought with General Washington at the Battle of Trenton and survived the difficult winter at Valley Forge. As a lieutenant, Monroe crossed the Delaware River with Washington on December 25, 1776. He was wounded at the Battle of Trenton and carried a bullet in his shoulder the rest of his life.  

In the famous painting of Washington crossing the Delaware River Monroe is the young man in green behind Washington holding the American flag. 

  You notice the house has two levels and two colors.  This is because this estate has two owners.  The part of the house that is painted white is the James Monroes  house.  The other is some other dude.  He is the one who planted all the Elm trees along the long driveway into the estate.  That is why the two names also.  

Monroe moved here because his good friend Thomas Jefferson lived not too far away and thought James should live near by.   

  Some of the out buildings for his 50 slaves.  He had 5,000 acres at one time under his control and grew cotton, lumber, etc.  

We decided that we had had a day and home sounded good.  Remember we left home without a cell phone, GPS, or a real map of the area.  Rog decided it would be fun to take the road not on our little map.  So off we went.  I'm not saying we were lost or anything, but there was a time that we had no idea where we were.  The country drive was great and we saw homes that made Jefferson's look small, and pasture so peaceful, and rivers flowing.  Well in no time, maybe and hour or two we were on the road to home.  It was a great day even the long way home was fun.

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