Saturday, June 5, 2010

Full day- even though we didn't start til after NOON

Since we arrived so late we decided to sleep in and get some much needed rest.

Wes was sweet enough to go downstairs and get us some muffins and coffee from the lobby Starbuck's. Personally, I am addicted to the Mocha Frappuccino and blueberry muffins. Madison likes the apple fritters.

While the girls showered, dressed and settled into the room Wes went down and asked the concierge for information on getting to Mt Vernon for the day. For $145 the four of us got a bus ticket to Washington's home and farm. The bus arrived in front of the hotel at 12:30. The driver drove through old Alexandria and pointed out several historical buildings and such. We arrived at Mt Vernon about an hour later and had the afternoon to see Washington's home, farm, burial site, and several buildings on property.

It was my second trip to Mt Vernon. Also Sara F's second trip. But Wes and Madison had never been. My favorite is the house- I love how it looks like stone on the outside. But really Washington built it from wood planks and covered the wood with sand- to make it appear to be stone. That man was a genius. He had a great house- the back overlooks the Potomac River. I could have sat on that back porch for hours enjoying the view.

I also loved the 16-sided barn. It was not there when I went summer of 1988.

We hiked the short trail from the 16-sided barn up to the main road. As we climbed we heard gobble gobble gobble coming from the woods nearby. I thought it was a speaker, fooling us into thinking that we would hear/see live turkeys. But we kept hearing them as we climbed the hill-gobble gobble gobble. At the top of the hill we saw movement in the woods- 3 or 4 turkeys were headed out. I followed them with my camera, determined to get a picture. I think all I captured was tree trunks and leaves. Pooey.

We also went through the museum (speedy gonzales style) and enjoyed the special effects movies- where snow drifted down on us at one point in the theater! Since Mt Vernon closes promptly at 5pm and we knew that the bus was picking us up at 5pm, we rushed to the gift shop to make a few purchases. Unfortunately we got there at 4:55 and only had a few minutes to look. But we found a few Christmas ornaments and a book on Mt Vernon and made it back to the bus just in time- and we were not the last ones to board!

We were so tired on the way back to the room... but really wanted a nice dinner. We had only eaten the muffin/coffee and a couple of cracker snacks at Mt Vernon so we were hungry. I suggested supper at Old Ebbitt Grill. I had eaten there a few years before and loved it. The gang agreed.

We shared an appetizer- Crab and Artichoke Dip- to die for. We devoured it.
I had the Chicken Fettuccine with mushrooms, red peppers, garlic, peas, roasted red onions, olive oil and romano cheese. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I ate until I was sick!

We walked back to the room. Wes and Madison got settled in and Sara F and I decided to walk around outside a bit. We walked closer to Washington's Monument and tried to get to the front of the White House. It was totally closed off- you couldn't even see the house at all. But some nice guards encouraged us to walk around to the back of the house to get a good view. So we walked and walked and walked some more and found a small group of people taking pictures. We also took some pictures. It was difficult since it was late and we had very little light.

We walked around a little more and called it a night. I am so glad she went with us to DC- everything is always more fun with a friend! We definitely made some memories that we will never forget.

We went back to the room and tried to settle down to prepare for another day of touristy fun the next day. It was hard because sweet Sara F got a bit sick that night... I worried about her all night, hoping that it was just a short-lived virus that the rest of us would not get!

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