Monday, April 16, 2012

A day at Mount Vernon...

"No estate in United America is more pleasantly situated than this."
- George Washington, 1790

I do believe I have to agree with George on this one.  

Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate, sits in the middle of 8000 acres of the most beautiful land you have ever seen.  An estate that sits slightly above the Potomac River...full of rolling hills, beautiful forest and developed farmland. 

 I was amazed at the adherence to historical accuracy throughout the estate.  I truly felt as if I was seeing the exact images George Washington saw as he walked through his estate. 

{ an aerial view of the estate }

{ Mt. Vernon's cupola }

{ The view from the backside of the mansion }

{ The curved walkway joining the kitchen to the house }

{ Though the house looks as if it is built of is actually built of wood that has been beveled, painted and "sanded" to look like stone.  One of the many tricks Washington employed in the building of Mt. Vernon }

Photographs are not allowed inside the mansion, but are allowed in the out-buildings connected to the house by the covered walkways.  

{ One of the prep rooms off the side of the house }

{ The kitchen storage room- for dishes, pots and pans }

{ The kitchen }

{ The formal dining room }

{ The family dining room }

{ the downstairs bedroom }

{ The Nellie Custis bedroom }
Most of the rooms in the house, were painted bold bright colors.  Because of this, I loved the fact that Washington's bedroom was very simple- white walls with white bedding.  There are hardly any photos of his fact this is the only one I was able to find.  The photo does not do the room justice though.  The room was full of light and there were only a couple paintings on the walls.  It seemed regal to me in spite of it's simplicity. 

What struck me while walking through the house, was how small all of the beds were.  George Washington was not a small fact he was 6' 2".  He could not have slept comfortably in any of the beds found in his home.  Washington died of pneumonia and an infection in his throat in this very bed, in 1799. 

{ George Washington's bedroom - my favorite room by far in the house }

The grounds surrounding the mansion were extensive and spectacular.  Great pains were taken to make sure the the same plants grow in the garden today, that Washington grew when he lived there. 

{ Dogwoods were sprinkled throughout the landscape }

{ The vegetable garden }

{ The saddles for the horse drawn carriage }

{one of the feeding areas for the horses }

{ Sheep were plentiful on the estate }

{ the informal gardens leading to Washington's tomb }

{ the trail leading to Washington's tomb }

To see the home of the man who could have been king of our country, had he not valued the idea of democracy above his own was a humbling thing.   

Mount Vernon is about 30 minutes away from DC, but well worth the drive. 

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