(Ft. Meade, MD) Hi 75 Lo 41 – The weather here sure has been great. Today it was cool in the morning but warmed up to the mid-70’s by early afternoon, with bright sunny skies.
We’ve always wanted to see Mount Vernon, so today we headed south about 50 miles, through D.C., to the beautiful home of George Washington on the banks of the Potomac River.
The mansion is only part of the Mount Vernon experience. The estate is very large, with many buildings and gardens, and you really have to devote several hours to take it all in. We started at the Orientation Center where we paid our admission price ($16.00 for seniors) and watched a 22-minute film about Gen. Washington’s heroic exploits in the Revolutionary War. The lobby had a very pretty stained glass window.
And a very detailed model of the mansion. (Pardon the glare, but the model was inside a glass box.)
After the film we walked a couple hundred yards to the mansion for our scheduled group tour.
We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the mansion (boo!). It was very informative and lasted about a half hour, and took us through several rooms with the original furnishings from 1799, the year George Washington died. It was amazing to see the actual bed that he died in.
After the tour we were free to wander around the grounds. The back (east) side of the mansion faces the Potomac River, and the view from the back porch is pretty spectacular.
The mansion from the east (river) side.
It really is a majestic looking place, isn’t it? All around the mansion are many other buildings to explore.
You can check out the slave quarters, blacksmith shop, spinning house, and various other storage houses and stables. We did make sure we saw George Washington’s Tomb:
After having lunch at the Food Court, we spent about three hours walking through the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Educational Center. It was the nicest museum experience we’ve had in a long time. We always get frustrated with museums that are laid out haphazardly, with rooms here and there and no logical pattern. This museum was wonderful! It was very well laid out and covered Washington’s entire life, with very informative exhibits and many personal items that belonged to him and Martha. We even got to see his famous false teeth (which despite popular legend, were not made of wood).
With our usual lazy morning of coffee and computers, we didn’t get to Mount Vernon until about 11:30am. So as a result, we had the wonderful experience of negotiating Washington, D.C. traffic during the afternoon rush hour. Yes, it’s as bad as they say it is. We got home about 5:15 and, after Dee cooked a wonderful chicken dinner, we ate and then chilled for the rest of the evening.