on August 25, 2011
Mount Vernon was the home of our first President, George Washington and his wife Martha. The property of Mount Vernon is situated in Alexandria overlooking the Potomac River. The property is quite extensive with the main house, gardens, distillery, farm, wharf and several other houses along the property that were used for farming and domestic staff. The shear size of the place is incredible; I can only imagine what the property would be worth in present day currency. The property is also the site of Washington's Tomb where George Washington, his wife Martha and other family members are entombed. The tour begins when you enter the visitor's Center. Here are shops, a film that tells the story of the saving of the property, food court, Restaurant, and a museum. She shops have a nice assortment of historical books, house wares, local wines, souvenirs and even some Presidential themed Christmas ornaments. My wife enjoyed perusing the Christmas ornaments and even bought a Gingerbread Martha and George ornament for our Christmas Tree.The grounds are extensive and it is amazing to walk in the gardens, under the historic trees, touring the houses and enjoying the beautiful views of the Potomac River. The gardens in the summer are amazing with bright colored flowers as well as the large blooms of the Magnolia trees that dominate the property. In the gardens and on Bowling Green there are staff members dressed in period costumes demonstrating local crafts, gardening, music, dance and games. It was quite amusing watching people dance along to colonial dances and kids playing with old fashioned toys. Our last visit to Mount Vernon was for a special Memorial Day weekend event in 2010. It was a sunset tour of the property complete with music, food and a splendid sunset view. It was a fun time enjoying some champagne and cupcakes while sitting on the main lawn overlooking the river. The weather was excellent for our outdoor activities as it was not too warm and there was a breeze off the river. We enjoyed a guided tour of the house that explained in detail the daily life of Martha and George while at Mount Vernon along with the lives of their servants. The museum is a must stop before leaving the property and returning to the Visitor’s Center. The museum showcases the life of George Washington from simple colonial farmer, to soldier and then to President. I especially enjoyed a film they had highlighting some revolutionary battles; which had special effects such as snow falling into the auditorium during winter battle scenes. Mount Vernon is a perfect stop while visiting the nearby Washington D.C. sites and is fun for the whole family. I would definitely recommend visiting in the summer to enjoy the full bloom of the gardens.
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