Saturday, November 22, 2014

Monticello and UVA

On Saturday morning we got up early again and headed off to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. It's about a 2 hour drive and we had to make a pit stop for diapers, snacks and water along the way. The drive was beautiful with rolling hills and deciduous trees all along the way. Once we passed through Charlottesville we were able to see the beautiful forests that Jefferson would have walked through. We purchased our tickets at the visitor center and boarded the shuttle up to the house. First we explored around the house and then we went on our tour. The house is amazing with all sorts of ideas and inventions that Jefferson included such as beds in nooks so that no space was wasted, pocket doors, storage in the wall above the beds and desks, many portraits and gifts he received from friends. After the tour of the house, we continued exploring the grounds, the slave quarters and below the house where Jefferson had a dumbwaiter, wine cellar, beer brewing area, huge ice house and many other items ahead of the time. Last we walked to Jefferson's grave and his family cemetery.

After leaving Monticello, we stopped by the Jefferson Winery for a small wine tasting. Then we went to Charlottesville and wandered around the University of Virginia. It's a beautiful campus with tall brick buildings with white trim. Declan was able to get out and crawl around a bit. We spent a bit of time on the lawn in front of the rotunda peeking into the tiny single person dormitories. It's an honor to be selected to live in one of the original dorms with it's own fireplace designed by Jefferson. We headed for our hotel soon after leaving UVA.

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