But first, lunch. We found the Historic Downtown region of Charlottesville. It's a few blocks long with a wide brick plaza that isn't opened to traffic. A pretty, peaceful setting.
There were restaurants and funky art stores. Everyone needs their own metal giraffe don't you think?
We ate at a quaint little pizza place with a weird assortment of pizza...the boys ordered cheese pizza....no weird stuff for them. I liked the sunflower in the window.
Then it was on to Monticello. There is a brand new visitor center there. We were treated to an air conditioned theater (it's still hot here) to watch a short video about Jefferson's life. A quick picture of Brian with one of his favorite presidents. I think it was a life size statue. Mr. Jefferson appeared to be a long, lean man.
We took a short bus ride up to the home. The views were beautiful. Mr. Jefferson chose this spot on what had been his father's land because it was where he played as a boy. It reminded me of home...and it reminded me of the spot on my folks place where I always wanted to build my house.
I tried to get a couple of pictures...I try to be quick about it....but I almost always get someone wandering into the shot. Hey lady, why would I want a picture of you?? So I wait, and wait some more....
...and sooner or later they wander away and I click as quick as I can. The colors are off on my laptop, so I'll have to wait until I get home to see if it was worth the effort....I hope so.
The gardens were pretty. Wanna know how many people walked between us before I could get this shot? I didn't think so.
On to the house. We weren't allowed to take photos inside, so this is all you get. :-) It was a lovely home, but smaller than I expected. I never liked history very much when I was in school, so I'm learning a few things on the way. Brian, our history lover has been soaking it all in. It's fun to see.
Eric likes history too....he was reading up on something here. Probably reading about the gardens...or not.
Look at the size of this tree trunk! Amazing. The terrace behind Brian served another purpose. It actually covered up buildings that were built into the ground on each side of the home. On the left side there were stables, an ice house, and the laundry area. That led into the basement of the home where there were wine and beer cellars. On the other side there was a smoke house and the kitchen. Jefferson didn't like out buildings....it was a clever way to disguise them.
The grounds were well kept. This is a double hibiscus on the terrace outside of the greenhouse.
The home wasn't huge, but it was stately. Brian is about 6 feet tall and standing in front of the front steps...so you can get an idea of the size of the home.
This little building is where Mr. & Mrs. Jefferson lived before the home was finished. Unfortunately it took 10 years to complete the home and Mrs. Jefferson died before it was done.
It was an informative unplanned stop along our way....
....and I'm glad that we did.
It's good to know a little bit more about that face on the nickel. Makes me wish I had listened a little harder in history class.
We traveled on from Charlottesville to Gordonsville in the Shenandoah Valley. I have to say that one thing I don't like about Virginia is that all the roads are lined with trees...you can't see anything but trees, trees, trees. Oh Shenandoah...I long to see you....but then, when you reach your destination you are treated to views like this. Ahhhh.