Monday, September 30, 2019

Visiting George Washington's Mount Vernon

My son and I took our first trip to Mount Vernon in August. What an incredible way to spend a day! If you ever come to Washington, D.C. to tour the Smithsonian Museums and other sites, I'd highly suggest adding a day at Mount Vernon to your schedule. It's a day well spent!

The first thing you should do is visit the Mount Vernon website. Check out their calendar of events to see if anything is happening the day you're planning to visit. Check as soon as you decide to plan the trip because their events fill up rather quickly. The next thing you need to do is pick out a time to tour the mansion. It's part of your ticket, but you don't want to show up and realize you don't have a time set up.

Before you purchase your ticket, be sure to check out their social media. Facebook and Instagram will show you if they have any promo codes you can enter. I used their code "SMF2019" to get 20% off the regular ticket price. Also, if you're military you receive $6 off the adult ticket. If you have a Purple Heart entry is free year round!

The drive to Mount Vernon is beautiful. It's a partially wooded drive as you cruise along the Potomac River. When you arrive, parking is free! You'll start your day (more than likely) at the Ford Orientation Center and enter the grounds from there.

We passed by the slaves quarters, shoemaker's shop, and stove room. I don't know about you, but looking through these rooms is very difficult. A brief glance into what their lives looked like is a harsh reminder of our history, a place we never want to return to. They received 2 shirts and 1 pair of pants... for a YEAR!

From there we walked around the path until we made it to the mansion entry line. We learned so much about the mansion from the volunteers! It started off being owned by George Washington's father and it was only 1 1/2 stories. Seriously, they couldn't have picked a more picturesque location!

The tour of the mansion was delightful. I think I was most fascinated with the beds we saw and the study. It would be amazing to have a bed like the one in the Blue Room or Lafayette's Bedchamber. The plaster decoration on the ceiling is stunning and the carving on the marble mantle piece is spectacular. They point out how George Washington paid homage to his heritage of working the land with the intricate designs above the doors and on the mantle.

After we completed the tour we saw a fife and drum band from Michigan dressed up in period apparel getting ready to play period music. It was awesome! Next to the Bowling Green is the Upper Garden. You know I had to walk through there. Oh, you have no idea how much I loved it! The flowers and the garden are wonderful. What's fantastic is, they harvest the seeds from the plants AND sell them in Lady Washington's shop as well as the larger shop at the front of the grounds. They have a sunflower that I absolutely MUST get my hands on next spring or summer.

My son and I decided to have lunch after the tour. Since we didn't have reservations at the restaurant we went to the food court. We should've checked with the restaurant. I would say in comparison to what you'll spend at the food court, it's worth your while to eat at the restaurant. I'll share more about my experience enjoying their food in a future blog post.

After lunch we wanted to check out Washington's tomb. Thankfully since we were full, we took a shuttle down to the wharf and then walked up to the tomb. We passed by the pioneer farm, but we didn't see any activity down there. What I didn't realize was, there's also a slave memorial & cemetery. It's a beautiful area on the grounds just past Washington's tomb.

We wandered the grounds some more passing by the coach house, stable and lower garden. We didn't spend much time because it was getting late in the day. I was bummed we didn't take time to walk through the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center. I did take time to walk through the two big shops. My daughter would love the smaller one as they have an entire Christmas section! In the larger shop they have some amazing creations made from wood that was found on the grounds. There are also books galore!

Trust me, this is one visit you won't want to miss! You come to VA or Washington, D.C. It's well worth your time and you will thank me later! My next visit I hope will be by candlelight during the holidays!


Patricia said...

Thanks Mimi! This post was very interesting! I really hope to get to visit Mt. Vernon.

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.