Really Tough for a Florida


Really Tough for a Florida Boy

. . . but worth it. The family packed into the motorized chariot last night and trekked our way out to Mount Vernon where we spent the better portion of the evening doing a candlelight tour of the house and grounds. Now, this tour consisted mostly of waiting. (Something one grows used to if one frequents the amusements near my home). The first stretch in a tent with hot cider and ginger cookies, next near a stage with two performers giving sense of some Revolutionary Era amusement and around bonfire singing Christmas Carols. Finally the tour begins, and it was quite lovely. Walking up the grat oval loop toward the house, you could see the candle (real candles) coachlights lining the lesser-oval drive in front of the house. We were greeted by one of the "Mansion Guests" who were spending the Christmas season visiting the Washingtons, and then volunteers explained the house and grounds as we walked through.

I've been in Mount Vernon countless times. (Every time I visit home, I visit Mount Vernon at least twice.) This may have been the loveliest visit of all. It also gave a very clear sense of what life in the time might have been like. It would have been more accurate had the rooms and passages been heated only by the fires in the fireplaces, but for reasons of preservation, one can easily understand why that bit of reality was not injected into the visit. The tour concluded with a visit to the major nearby outbuildings.

If you live in the area and have not treated yourself to this experience, you should really consider it. But then, in case you haven't guessed it over the past week or so, I am really a history buff--enjoying to the maximum visiting old homes and famous places.

Oh, and even Samuel enjoyed it. He asked everyone dressed in period clothes if they were John Adams, George Washington, or Thomas Jefferson. Early on, when we first visited, Sam had asked where George Washington was. My reply (after a futile attempt to explain the reality) was that he was with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Having a mind like a steel trap, he retained this datum. The last person we met, he started the usual litany of questions, "Are you George Washington?" The Man responded, "No, I work for General Washington." Samuel must have misheard him and gave him a big hug--much to the man's surprise--and said, "I love you, George Washington." Quite amusing and I hope heart-warming for the person thus addressed.

A similar experience plus dinner is planned for later this week at Gunston Hall, home of George Mason. I regret I am not going to be here for the Woodlawn Candlelight tour. Oh well--it will be good to get home.

We'll also be visiting Kenmore (George Washington's Sister's Home in Fredericksburg), the Smithsonian a second and perhaps a third time, and possible Stratford Hall (boyhood home of Robert E. Lee and Family Seat of Lighthorse Harry, and Richard Henry).

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on December 2, 2002 8:05 AM.

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