A Travellerspoint blog

The Man Who Could Be King

Mount Vernon, VA, September 6, 2012

rain 85 °F

The strangest thing happened this morning-it rained! We haven't seen much rain at all and we don't even think about it when planning our day, but today was a problem. We planned to go to Mount Vernon and going in the rain did not appeal to either of us. So we killed some time and waited it out and after lunch the rain finally stopped, so we went. The Mount Vernon Ladies Association, which was founded in 1853, was specifically started to purchase and preserve George Washington's estate. The Association has done just that and never accepted any state or federal funding for its mission. They have done a fabulous job of it.
When I think of Mount Vernon I think of a house, but there is so much more than that. There are 25-30 things to see when you are there and we tried to see them all. First and foremost is the mansion. It originally belonged to George's father who bequeathed it to his oldest son, Lawrence. George acquired it from his step brother and made lots of changes. The original house was only 4 rooms, so he first added a second and third floor with 10 bedrooms for all their guests. After that he added on to both ends of the house, one side was family quarters for him and Martha, the other a large dining, conference, ballroom. All the rooms have been lovingly restored to 1799 appearance, when George died.
The President, Martha and 25 family members are buried in the tomb on the property and about 150 of his slaves on the property as well. There are so many outbuildings that it is like a small town. George was very forward thinking and tried to be as self-sufficient as possible, so he had just about everything they needed right there at the estate. They grew their own food, made their own cloth and clothing and took care of all other aspects of daily farm life in the 1700s.
The homestead

The homestead

Washington's beautiful home

Washington's beautiful home

Tomb of George and Martha

Tomb of George and Martha

Scores of buried slaves here.

Scores of buried slaves here.

Slave quarters at Mt Vernon

Slave quarters at Mt Vernon

Washington's carriage

Washington's carriage

View of Potomac from porch

View of Potomac from porch

Yes, a working farm!

Yes, a working farm!


Also on the property is a wonderful orientation center with a terrific movie to get you going. At the end of the day is a the fantastic Musem and Education Center. This is a state-of-the-art facility with 23 gallery and theatre spaces designed to show you the real George Washington. You can even take the oath of office. One truly amazing thing was done by a forensic lab to determine what he would have looked like at 27 and 57 years old. All portraits of him were from his older years, so there was never anything from when he was a young man or boy. How sad. The George Washington they came up with looks a bit different from the one we always think of.
Inauguration day, 1789

Inauguration day, 1789

George at Valley Forge

George at Valley Forge


I guess you can tell we had a fabulous day and loved Mount Vernon in spite of the weather.
It was hot and humid and the rain made it worse this morning. Finally, this evening, the skies cleared quite a bit and the humidity seems to be down some. Hallelujah!

Posted by jcorilio 17:20 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Don't Give Up the Ship!

Annapolis, Maryland, September 5, 2012

sunny 90 °F

Lee and Sandy were up early because they were heading to Georgia today which worked out well for us because we were heading to Annapolis. It was only 82 miles for us and we got into town about 10:30. Parking was an issue, so that took some time, but then our first stop was the US Naval Academy. We did a walking tour of the campus that included the Chapel, Crypt of John Paul Jones and a wonderful Museum among others. The chapel was beautiful as was the crypt and the museum was one you could spend all day in. Upstairs in the museum was an incredible collection of antique boat models like we have never seen before.
Entrance

Entrance

Officers quarters

Officers quarters

Naval Academy chapel

Naval Academy chapel

John Paul Jones' Crypt

John Paul Jones' Crypt

The original flag from Revolutionary War

The original flag from Revolutionary War


We found an eclectic little spot for our lunch and the. Did our own walking tour of Annapolis. I found a walking tour app for my phone and it was great. There were 33 different sites on the tour and we managed to hit 14 of them, including the State House, old Treasury, Government House, a couple churches and a wonderful Museum right at the water. The museum was very deceiving because it didn't look like much from the street, but contained 3 floors of exhibits. We learned about some interesting people that have been to Annapolis like Amelia Earhart, Abraham Lincoln, Queen Mother Elizabeth and Clara Barton. They were each here at a different time and for a different reason. Amelia Earhart was here to address the graduating class of 1937 and was the first woman to do this. Lincoln was here exactly 10 weeks before his assassination.
Downtown Annapolis

Downtown Annapolis

Old Tavern in Annapolis

Old Tavern in Annapolis

City Dock

City Dock


Dinner was a combination of leftovers from various restaurants that we enjoyed right here in our room, but then we went out for evening entertainment. You know how unusual this is for us! There is a new Cirque Du Soleil show, called Totem, playing at the National Harbor and we went to see it. If you have ever been to one of their shows you know how unusual, but excellent they are! And this one didn't disappoint. There was a little bit of everything, from rings and 6 foot tall unicycles to Indians and clowns. It was amazing to watch and sooooo entertaining. We loved it!
Title of Cirque Show

Title of Cirque Show

Cirque Du Soleil tent

Cirque Du Soleil tent

Sunset over Alexandria, Va

Sunset over Alexandria, Va


We had another hot day today, 90° with sun, clouds and even a short downpour.

Posted by jcorilio 20:54 Archived in USA Comments (1)

What Did Della Wear?

Lewis, Delaware, September 4, 2012

sunny 93 °F

After a good night's sleep we had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel and were on our way by 8 am. We started out by crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Unfortunately, it was overcast so we didn't have a great view, but it was interesting anyway. There are three bridge spans and two tunnels, each one mile long. We saw three Navy helicopter ships in the distance, but they were so far away it was hard to see them.
Bridge Tunnel info

Bridge Tunnel info

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

fishing bridge at tunnel

fishing bridge at tunnel


Our trip up the coast took us from Virginia into Maryland and finally Delaware, where we are visiting our Florida friends, Lee and Sandy. If you remember the last time we saw them was when they came up to Sylvan Beach. They have a beautiful, brand new house in a lovely new community. When we arrived Sandy gave up a tour of the house. They spent most of the Spring and Summer unpacking and settling in, and they have done a wonderful job. The decorating they did is just perfect. Next they took us on a driving tour of the area and we saw downtown Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach and many other beautiful places. Lunch was at the Taste of Italy in Downtown Lewes and it was delicious. The place is a combination deli, bakery and restaurant. After lunch we walked around town for a bit, then drove to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal. The ferry wasn't in, but there was a tall ship that we admired. It is used for excursions and pirate trips in the area even though it is really from Wilmington.
Mills new home

Mills new home

Crepe Myrtle in bloom everwhere

Crepe Myrtle in bloom everwhere

Downtown Lewes

Downtown Lewes

Tall ship at Cape May ferry port

Tall ship at Cape May ferry port

Cool suspension Bridge in DE

Cool suspension Bridge in DE

Episcopal Church

Episcopal Church

Lewes Episcopal Church

Lewes Episcopal Church


Dinner tonight was ice cream from a local dairy. The ice cream is made right there using the milk from their own cows. We ate in the car due to the odiferous cows!
Working farm ice cream

Working farm ice cream


The day started out very overcast, but cleared up nicely, with high temps and humidity. 93°.

Posted by jcorilio 17:59 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Northward Bound

Norfolk, VA, September 3, 2012

sunny 93 °F

After Steve, Donna, Ryan and Khristina left this morning we did a little cleaning up and finished packing. We had to be out by 10 am, so we dropped the keys off and the four of us remaining killed a bit of time before brunch. Brunch was held at Molly Darcy's Irish Pub right on the ocean. We were outside with a wonderful breeze and umbrellas to keep the sun at bay. It was another food orgy with drinks off the menu, wings, Mac and cheese bites and spinach dip being brought out constantly. If you were still hungry you could order off the menu! Yikes! I'm glad we went because it gave us a chance to visit with some friends and family that we hadn't been able to visit with before.
About 12:45 we said our goodbyes and headed north. We drove about 350 miles from South Carolina, through North Carolina into Virginia and came to a stop in Norfolk. We were able to do all our driving in the light and we were getting tired, so this was a good place to stop. The boys and their wives made it home safely as did Steve and Donna, so we can all rest up for tomorrow.
It was hot, 93° and sunny.

Posted by jcorilio 16:58 Archived in USA Comments (0)

It's a Family Affair

North Myrtle Beach, SC, September 2, 2012

sunny 93 °F

The day of our niece's wedding finally arrived and it was a beautiful one. After a run we went to the ocean for a bit and then to the pool and lazy river. Jersey Mike's Subs was the lunch choice with dessert being ice cream from Barefoot Landing. We all spent the afternoon relaxing and trying to stay cool.
At 6 pm we were picked up by a shuttle and taken about a mile to the North Beach Plantation. What a beautiful place, much of which is in the process of being built. We were treated to fruit skewers, white wine and ice water while waiting for the ceremony to begin. It took place outside in a secluded courtyard to the music of a steel drummer. Everyone looked beautiful, especially Jessicia, and the ceremony was lovely, with some traditional and some non-traditional parts. The bride and groom each said their own appropriate vows to one another and the minister had them recite the traditional ones, as well. Immediately following the ceremony the bridal party had photos taken and the guests went inside (to the wonderful air conditioning) and had fabulous appetizers. There were so many different kinds with more coming out whenever we turned around. We were starting to feel full! Finally we were directed to another part of the room for the sit down dinner reception. After all we had just consumed, we had the choice of filet mignon, blackened mahi-mahi, herb crusted chicken or vegetable lasagna with crab cake appetizer! Yikes, where were we going to put all that? Needless to say we managed to at least try it all and it was delicious. By this time the party was in full swing with the house band from the House of Blues. There was lots of dancing interspersed with bouquet and garter throwing and dancing with parents. By about midnight we had to call it a night, but others stayed on. It was so nice to see family members we hadn't seen in a long time, as well as fiends we knew. We all had a terrific time, but Ryan, Khristina, Steve and Donna had a long trip home today and we all needed some rest. It was a great wedding and everyone was glad to have come. The whole weekend was so much fun and being able to stay in the condo together made it even better for me.
Our kids

Our kids

Joe and Becky and girls

Joe and Becky and girls

Yep, its us.

Yep, its us.

Dad walking bride down aisle

Dad walking bride down aisle

Brother, Nick overcome with emotion

Brother, Nick overcome with emotion

Here they come!

Here they come!

The bride's parents

The bride's parents

Kids having a good time.

Kids having a good time.

Happy Bride and Groom

Happy Bride and Groom

All of the cousins.

All of the cousins.

Father/Daughter dance

Father/Daughter dance

Don't want to get wedding cake on that dress.

Don't want to get wedding cake on that dress.


This morning we got up early. Ryan and Khristina left about 6 am for their long drive home and Steve and Donna left about 7. For once, Justin and Gwen have the shortest trip and the four of us have one more event to go to today.
The weather was typical Myrtle Beach weather, hot and humid with temps in the low 90s, and sunny.

Posted by jcorilio 03:52 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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