Sunday, March 14, 2010

Monticello and Ash Lawn Highland

On Tuesday of our trip (wow, that was two weeks ago. Sorry ‘bout the long delay!), the Hubster had a conference to attend for work – that was actually the driving reason for our trip – so Roaming Tigger and I went off to do ‘hysterical’ stuff as my mother would say.

We spent the bulk of our day at Monticello. Which simply reminded me how much our third POTUS intrigues me.

RT and I zipped into the shiny new visitors center just in time to catch the welcome video, then take a shuttle bus up to the mansion. I hadn’t pre-purchased a ticket as I felt that their fees (both entry and processing) were a bit high and I took a gamble that the first Tuesday in March wasn’t going to be a maximum-traffic day for Monticello. I was right. There was one bus full of school kids, but the welcome center staff was awesome about making sure that the “regular people” didn’t have to share tours with the kids.


We hopped off of the shuttle and waited a few moments for our tour to begin. Photos are not allowed inside the house, but we walked up to the front of the house on the path pictured above. Although there was a good bit of snow on the ground, a lot of the area was shoveled/cleared enough that I could walk pretty much anywhere I wanted to go on the grounds.

After the formal tour of the interior of the house – I hear they’ll be opening the higher floors of the house soon. I’d go back for that in a heartbeat! – RT and I walked around the dependencies, which included access to all spaces in the "basement" of Monticello. The access and maintenance in that area was amazing, as was the planning and forethought that Jefferson put into Monticello. I didn’t take many pictures in that area …


But RT likes beer, so he wanted a picture in the Beer Cellar. Heh.

Since the back side of the house is the more famous view … it IS on the back of the nickel, after all! … Tigger wanted a picture there


I could have spent a week walking around every inch of Monticello, but the weather wasn’t getting any better. Tigger and I walked down to Jefferson’s grave


And we paid our respects. We walked around the Gardens a bit,


Then we went back down the hill to check out the bookstore and other available pieces of information. It was a bit of overload by the end of the day, but I’m glad I went!

Thanks, Mr. Jefferson! Sorry the shuttle bus wouldn’t move out of the background!

On a whim, instead of turning left out of Monticello to head back to our hotel on the UVa campus, we decided to turn right and visit Ash Lawn Highland, one of the many homes of James Monroe.


We had a very … unique … tour guide who obviously loved his job. About half of the house burned down a very long time ago, but it has been restored as well as possible and was an interesting (if MUCH quicker) stop. The back side of the house shows its size


There wasn’t much of the grounds to see, but we did do a bit of walking around. Here’s a shot of the entrance to the house


There were cows down a different spoke of the path. We could smell them before we saw them! As I mentioned, the weather had been getting yuckier as we went along. Tigger wanted his picture with the former homeowner


But then he decided he didn’t look good in gigantic snowflakes, so we went back to the hotel to crash. There was one more day of the trip, but that was plenty for one Tuesday!


Bezzie said...

Sounds like a good time! I love stuff like that.

Did you stay at the Hampton Inn in C'ville? I've got them on speeddial. ;-)

turtlegirl76 said...

Yay Beer Cellar! RT has his priorities straight.

Donna Lee said...

It always feels like those guys were all neighbors, sort of an old boys club. I'll bet it's gorgeous in the warm weather (and very crowded)