Wednesday, July 15, 2015

2015 Road Trip, Day 25: Monticello

We went "back in time" to the colonial era and visited the home of one of Jude's favorite founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson. 

 This makes a home visit to two of his three favorite colonials. (We have already visited Mount Vernon, home to the great George Washington.)  I told him we could visit Benjamin Franklin's house, too.  At first he was excited, but then he asked, "Wait...How many hotels is that?"  It's only an hour away from home!  I'm thinking he's ready to go home, too.

We had a fantastic tour of the house.  One thing they offer is a "Children's Tour" - it's interactive, with roles for the children, props, and a slightly modified presentation so it's exciting and not "someplace else Mom dragged me." Damien got to be an "explorer" and hold a replica of the Lewis and Clark peace medal, while Jude got to be TJ himself!

Did you know that one of Jefferson's favorite colors was pink?  Even his bedspread was pink.  He didn't call it that, though.  He named it "Crimson Thunder."  Luke said, "It's salmon." (I don't have any pictures, though.  No pictures allowed in the house.)   For all of his public service, Jefferson was an intensely private person, who installed a dumbwaiter into his wine cellar, and a service turntable for food to be delivered without anyone needing to enter the room.  He had an incredible wine cellar, and the estate produced wine and beer as well.

Also under the main mansion was one of the finest colonial kitchens. Modeled after French kitchens, it had not just an open fire but an early "stove" for using with copper pans.

The gardens were beautiful.  Because it's summer, the orchards are in fruit, and all the flowers are blooming.

All of the plants are well labeled.  This one is called "Joseph's Coat."

I'm not sure the name of this plant...I was distracted by the butterflies.

There were also some gorgeous trees. 

There are two graveyards on the property.  One is the Jefferson family grave, still in use; the other is a graveyard that holds the remains of some of Jefferson's slaves.

The back of Monticello graces the "tails" side of the nickel.  The engraving on the coin doesn't do this neoclassical mansion justice.

We have one day left of our journey.  Topping tomorrow's agenda: see Daddy!

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