Friday, July 2, 2010

Seeing the General!!

This morning the teachers had a tour of the grounds and gardens of Mount Vernon. We started early, promptly at 8:00 am.

This is the path to the porch from the North Lane of house. And as we came around the front of the porch......................

............The General was standing on the porch. It is said that Washington's favorite time of the day was the morning. He was ever so gracious to allow us to take photos of him.

This was many one of many, many highlights of my trip to Mount Vernon!!!! He was preparing for the upcoming 4th of July festivities at his home. One of which is these new daytime fireworks they were testing just down by the river front.

They looked like cotton candy as they exploded! We are hoping that the General will be joining us tonight for drinks on the porch!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Of Farming & Livestock at Mount Vernon

Part of my day here at Mount Vernon is devoted to various lectures about George Washington. Yesterday one of the lectures focused on Washington as a Pioneer Farmer. In the afternoon we had interpreters give us a tour of the farming here at Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon is restored to the year 1799, the year that Washington passed away so everything is centered around that time. One of the most famous buildings here is the 16 sided barn located in the Pioneer Farm Site. Washington use to refer to this area of the farm as the "Hell Hole" of the property because it would often get flooded from the Potomac River.

The barn is a replica of the original barn and was built from Washington's original prints.

This is the approach to the barn where horses would run for 3o minutes in the barn non-stop to thrash the wheat on the barn floor. The grain would then fall through the slats in the floor and would be gathered on the floor below.

Of course, I needed to find the sheep. This is one of the Hog Island sheep that Washington raised on the farm. The sheep are located on various parts of the farm today, keeping up with Washington's belief in rotational grazing.

This is the spinning house.........

Washington firmly believed in the spinning of the wool as a necessity to the farm especially during the time of the Revolution. I am thinking that those spinning wheels might be a tad large for my house.

Opps.........another sheep picture! This is one of the Longwool sheep that Washington also raised on the farm.

This is the stable here at Mount Vernon......I think my sheep would like this!

Washington has been credited with being one of the original breeders of mules here in the United States. These are 2 of the mules that live in the paddock adjacent to the stable. I have been walking around in the morning to take pictures and because it is so peaceful.

I have taken soooo many gardening pictures. The gardens are just wonderful. I am going to do a garden post hopefully within the next day or so. This was one of my favorite gardens located right near the spinning house.

I thought I would leave with this interesting picture. Any takers on what this is and where it might be located at Mount Vernon?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A House with a View

Monday morning I was up and dressed by 6:30 am at Mount Vernon. I thought this would be a perfect time to go do a bit of sight-seeing and take pictures of the grounds. I was not sure if I was allowed to be out and about at this time so I located one of the security guys on the grounds, showed him my identification badge for the institute, and he said I was free to stroll around.

To say I was in history heaven is a bit of an understatement. Just to think I was walking the same grounds that George Washington did in 1799 was/is too exciting for me. There was no one around. It was completely quiet. Just the sound of the sprinklers in the upper gardens and 2 of the historical gardeners who greeted me as I strolled through the gardens. I have been to Mount Vernon three times with my students and each time is jammed with tour buses of school kids all waiting an hour to get to the mansion. This time, I had it all to myself:)

This is how Mount Vernon looked at 6:45 am from the south drive as I approached.

Since the sun was pretty bright, I walked to the North drive to take this picture. The mansion is truly a beautiful site to behold.

The piazza faces East and was already full bathed in the morning sun.

I was so excited to finally get a picture of the porch chairs without a hundred students sitting there!! Of course, I wanted a picture of just me sitting there but since I was the only one there......... I decided to come that evening to get the sun setting over the Potomac River....

and I took along a fellow teacher to my picture in one of those chairs!!! I could sit there all day just taking in all of this history.

I am thinking that George Washington, truly the greatest of the Founding Fathers, picked one of the most beautiful places to live.
Have I mentioned what a wonderful time I am having here at Mount Vernon?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Me at M.V.

After a 7 hour drive from my home, I have safely arrived at Mount Vernon for the week. It was a tad 100 degrees upon my arrival but my excitement over saw this insane heat and humidity.

This is the main entrance onto the grounds of Mount Vernon. More of what is behind the gates as the week progresses. I am staying in the residence area behind another set of gates. It is quite nice to say the least.

This is the area in which I am staying. There are 25 teachers here from all over the U.S. We each have our own rooms and then there is a common area where the kitchen is.

This is my room for the week. Yep, I am really liking this set up. And the bed is a comfy as it looks. I need to find out where I can buy the comforter:)

The decor is very "Colonial America" and tastefully decorated. Oh, and I want these shutters for my windows at home.......very nice!! Each room has its own bathroom also with all these nice personal touches. I am actually going to have my own bed for a week and not have to push around cats and dogs for a space.......what shall I do???

This evening the group took a moonlight trolley ride around Washington D.C. So, tomorrow morning I am going to be up early to stroll through the gardens and find the animal stables and paddocks. I have a 8:45 class to attend so I shall be busy including dinner at the Mount Vernon Inn in the evening.......busy, busy, busy but I love it!!!