It was a great feeling to be in a very historic place like Mt. Vernon. Although I learned American History in my college years, the only thing I knew about George Washington then was that he was the first American President and was responsible for the surrender of Gen. Cornwallis that lead to American independence from England. But by going to Mount Vernon and actually walked in his yard and saw his mansion, his huge farm (8,000 acres and 316 slaves!), his vehicles and everything around his mansion, I had a grasp now of how he lived and how hard life was then even for a rich person like him, much more for ordinary everyday people especially the slaves. I can't imagine travelling from Virginia to pennsylvania (160 miles more or less) even on a horse carriage like he had in a very rough road. Much more that I can't imagine fetching twenty to thirty buckets of water just to wash a load of laundry. Slaves assigned in the wash house must be one of the hardest tasks. It was such a tough life. It made me appreciate more the things and comforts that we have now.
I want to share some of the photos that I took but please bear with me if they are not really good. With the number of tourists there and the very limited space that I could move to get a good angle just to get rid of many distractions as I could was such a challenge. And it was one o'clock in the afternoon when we started the tour so I also had a hard time with the lighting. It was an educational and not a photography tour for me so I didn't worry about these technical stuffs so much.
the front gate of the mansion
back porch of the mansion
view of Potomac River from the back porch
the passage connecting the kitchen to the mansion
the blacksmith shop
the paint cellar
the smoked meat from wall to ceiling in the smokehouse
the laundry essentials
the clerk's quarter
the entrance to the slaves' burial site
the tomb of Pres. George Washington
It was a quality time for me and Rhea. Not only that, we also learned more about the history of this great country we now call home. We plan to see another historic place the next time we are both off from work. We don't have to go far and we don't have to spend money. "Historic Virginia" is a place to be if you like history. And many of these places are within ten to thirty miles from our home. We are blessed to be here.
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