Random musings from a Wife, Mom, Homeschooler, Student, and Friend

Yesterday was a perfectly glorious day to tour one of my favorite historical homes! I love Monticello. We were treated as guests, not corralled like cattle as we were at Mount Vernon. It was such a different experience that I think George Washington would be embarrassed of the way they are treating his home in comparison to the way they are treating Thomas Jefferson’s home. Our tour guide was joyful and knowledgeable. I could hear the guide from the tour behind us highlighting objects that meant something to her, just as our guide highlighted her favorite objects. I have a feeling that I could tour Monticello and never get the same tour twice. Again, this was in stark contrast to the Mount Vernon tour where the guides were stationed in one area, reciting the same tired phrases over and over. One final comparison was the condition of Monticello in comparison to Mount Vernon–it was clean! Dust free! Lovingly cared for! I was stunned at the state of Mount Vernon, but I was pleased to see that the quality of care for Monticello has been meticulous. Oh, and the books! I could have spent hours, days, years in Thomas Jefferson’s library.

This view of the house just never gets old:

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Please note the look of sheer delight on The Boy’s face. No, it was not because I agreed to take a picture of him in front of Thomas Jefferson’s potty. It is because of the humongous wolf spider on the back of the toilet. I’ve never seen a spider that big outside of a zoo! See that thing that looks like a clod of dirt? It’s a SPIDER!

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Writing with feather quills:

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Ah, Monticello. We love you!

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If you are visiting central Virginia, make Monticello a “must see” while you are there. I haven’t been to the site since high school, but it never disappoints. The foundation has added some new features, including a discovery room for children. This place is wonderful! Children are allowed to see and touch and explore replicas of many of the curious objects featured in the mansion from the alcove bed to an interactive blueprint creator. Plan at least 2-3 hours minimum to tour the house and the grounds.

Also included in our tour price was a 50% off coupon to tour Popular Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s private retreat, located just outside of Lynchburg, VA. We toured it last summer, and I cannot recommend Poplar Forest enough. Although it is not fully restored, Popular Forest gives one an intimate look into the private life of Thomas Jefferson.

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