Monday, November 29, 2010

Washington DC Trip Day Four 11-29-10

We woke up at 8:00 today, a gorgeous day, sunny and mild.  After the hotel breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, tortillas and potatoes, we got on the road.  It was already 11:00, a bit later then we wanted to leave. Part of the fault was the rental GPS which could not be programmed to go to Mount Vernon! Hubby was getting mad because he didn't know which way to go and it was putting us behind schedule.  Hubby had his panties is a big wad!  Yelling at the GPS, yelling at us, totally frustrated.  We stopped to look at a paper map but it didn't give us any details so we dug our own portable GPS from deep in the luggage and plugged it in. Now we had directions , straight into a construction zone. Oh well. We finally got past the construction.  Hubby calmed down after we got our GPS set up with the driving instructions.
Our GPS did get to Mount Vernon and it was a pretty drive along various highways, but I bet it was spectacular earlier in the fall. Now the colors are muted and many of the trees are bare.  We got there about 11:30, parked, and walked up to the entrance to get the tickets.  The building was decorated for Christmas so it was very festive!  We walked a longish path, passing a camel, a pardoned turkey, and a colonial chocolate making demonstration before we got to the mansion.  When we got up there it was gorgeous.  There is a huge lawn and in the distant there is the house in all of its glory.  There are two paths on either side that go up to the house.  When we got closer we got a glimpse of the wide Potomac that is behind the house through a covered walkaway.  So pretty.  The tour started in the newest room built by George Washington.  It was a dining room that had a big huge table and a huge fireplace.  The house was originally a 2 room farm house but the Washington's added on several rooms.  They were known to entertain 600 people there.  We got to see the 3rd floor that is only opened during the holidays.  After the tour we went out back where there is a veranda that runs the length of the back of the house where one could sit down in the chairs and enjoy the lawn, hill down to the water and the trees.  The view was gorgeous and I bet really pretty when the trees in their full fall colors.  It was so quiet and peaceful there.  One could see why the Washington's chose to live there.
We spend a couple of hours there.  We had some lunch in the cafe and looked at the gift shop.  It was late afternoon when we left to go to Williamsburg.  It was too late to stop at Williamsburg because they close at 5:00pm and we wouldn't be there until 6:00 or so.  We decided to just push on through to Virginia Beach where we are spending the night before moving on to Philadelphia.  It was smooth sailing until we got closer to Virginia Beach then we ran into the commute traffic.  We didn't realize that that area is a major commute corridor.  We decided we will leave early tomorrow so we can see Williamsburg/Jamestown area.  We have to double back but it is an hour away and we want to see that area before heading up to Philadelphia.  We got to our Virginia Beach hotel at 6:30.  The room faces the ocean but it is dark so we can't see the water. We can look out the window and see Christmas lights including arches of colored lights over the board walk which cars were slowly driving through.  We will see it tomorrow before we leave.  We found a place a block away for dinner.  It was OK.  A bar and grill.  The hamburger and fries I got was good, the pork chops hubby got were overcooked and the boy enjoyed the crab Alfredo he ordered.

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