|Mount Vernon ~ all pics taken 4.23.11|
Rain showers were predicted for Saturday... gathering our rain gear (umbrellas & coats), JPE drove the four of us + Sea-Bass (MB's guide dog) to visit Mount Vernon ~ the 200 acre estate of the first president, George Washington.
|Upper Garden w/Fleur-de-lis-design|
Taking a pleasant walk up the hill to the main building (for the 4:15 entry to the Mansion), we were showered ~ not with the wet stuff, but with petals blowing from the trees along the graveled paths!
The Upper Garden was still wet, with puddles of water pooling around some of the flowers & the newly sprouting lettuce.
Luckily, we missed the rain showers... having only to dodge the mud puddles and low areas of the pathways.
While SLE, MB, & JPE explored the Slave Quarters, the Blacksmith Shop, the Spinning House & the Gardeners House, I wandered the gardens (actually, I was trying to give JPE a break from pushing the wheelchair & MOI!!!)...
Looking across the Bowling Green, you see the Kitchen! On large estates, the kitchens were detached from the main living quarters to keep the smells of the food away from areas where people congregated to chat.
Washington was ahead of his time!! although these buildings don't appear on the map of the estate, we noticed several of them just off the path leading to the Mansion! the sign called them the "Necessary" or "Privy"... Washington had all human waste collected, which was then recycled as fertilizer for the gardens. In addition to having a convenient way to centralize the waste, Washington understood the importance of sanitation.... JPE jokingly stated, "...these were the original porta-potties!!"
|Timmy + George|
Of course, Timmy was part of the adventure (see him sitting on George's hand??). We took a moment to "record" him meeting our first president, George Washington, for ACE's kindergarten class. If you missed the first episode of Timmy's Washington DC Adventure, please click HERE.
|delicate, lilac colored flowers|
Our trip to Mount Vernon started a bit late (due to impending rains), so we missed walking over to Washington's Tomb (YES, he's buried at Mount Vernon, along with his wife Martha, and some other family members), the Whiskey Distillery, and the Potomac River Wharf.
George Washington wanted to create an estate that could be visited, and that displayed an aristocratic view of life in the 1800's.
A visit to Mount Vernon could be a full-day event... kids activities are available in the Hands-on-History Room (Education Center) - and they can solve the PUZZLE by completing an Adventure Maps (best for 8 year olds & older)... CLICK HERE for more information about Mount Vernon...