Two weekends ago I drove to Charlottesville because my best girlfriend from undergrad moved there. My excitement was through the roof! No more making the long driving to West Virginia just to see her - she and her main squeeze are just a short, hour-long drive from me now. Her mom followed them in on Friday to help them unpack, purchase furniture, etc. and I drove in Saturday morning to do the same. I had beat the unpacking part, but I did offer my furniture-putting-together expertise (only one piece though - her man did the rest). We made several trips to Wal-Mart, Target, Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Pier 1, and Office Depot (I'm sure I'm leaving one out). Even though I was exhausted at the end of the day, it was just like old times - driving all over town shopping together.
The next morning, I planned to let them sleep in, but ended up waking them anyways because I locked my phone in their apartment - fail on my part. It was like 10:30 though, so not too early. After retrieving my phone, I headed to Bodo's for a delicious bagel. Plain bagel, lox, and fresh veggie cream cheese - Bodo's is a must if you're ever in C-ville.
I resisted my bagel for about 20 minutes and made the drive to Monticello. The weather was significantly nicer than in Richmond, so I took full advantage of the cooler temps and light breeze. I had intended to only walk the gardens and take pictures, but it's a lump sum ticket price so I went for the tour also. I hadn't been to Monticello, Michie Tavern, or Ashlawn since I was about 12, so I definitely had a much larger appreciation seeing it all again. Growing up, I was all about going on house tours, history museums, and things of the like. It's how my Nannie and I spent a majority of our weekends together. A lot of the things that the tour guide mentioned I definitely didn't remember from before - one of the cons of visiting these places as a kid (you simply forget or don't retain).
Some of the things she shared included Monticello meaning little mountain. Did you know that? It's Italian. Tell all your friends the next time you're having tea and crumpets. It's sure to impress them. Why not French or any other exotic language that Thomas Jefferson perfected? Beats me. I'm going with the idea that "little mountain" didn't sound nearly as pretty as it does in Italian. Or how about the fact that Monticello is the only presidential home on a piece of currency - cue the nickel. Perhaps you thought that we have always had left and right shoes? Wrong-o. We didn't have left and right shoes until the Civil War. Ol' TJ was way before all of that.
The most inspiring part? Thomas Jefferson was seriously educated. He knew seven languages that he taught himself. He believed in reading things that were written in their native tongue(s). Talk about impressive! He was a horticulturist, inventor, writer, lawyer, educator, our president, etc. He too wore many hats. He was not a money manager though. His grandson took care of that for 30 years after he passed. Talk about a burden! Even though he contributed many things to our country, Thomas Jefferson wanted to be remembered and known for three things in his life - the author of the Declaration of Independence, responsible for the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and the Father of The University of Virginia.
I couldn't take any pictures inside Monticello, but I think I covered everything outside including his beautiful gardens. It was a beautiful day with intermittent clouds and sun. Let the pictures speak for themselves.
Thomas Jefferson was such a smart man. This wind vane is actually attached to a compass directly underneath of it on the ceiling of the porch. Rather than having to walk all the way out in the yard to see the weather vane and determine which way the wind was blowing, he just had to step out on his porch. Genius or lazy? If I were his daughter wearing one of those huge dresses during Virginia summer heat - I'd say genius!
This porch was just off of Jefferson's "Book Room." He would read here in the afternoons and take in the beauty of his flowers.
This is SOOC. It's beauty completely blows my mind and rocks my socks off.
Woo baby. Would you look at those lines?
It was springtime when I visited Monticello as a kid - probably the most highly visited time because everyone wants the beautiful tulips that are always in bloom in their photos. I must say - I'm more into the summertime flowers and beautiful fall trees.
The sun came out to play!
Jefferson sure knew how to pick a mountain didn't he? Beautiful!
Overlooking his fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens.
Red and green 'maters!
Look at these artichokes!
Rather than take the shuttle back, I took the trail back to my car and passed by TJ's family cemetery.
As a thank-you for visiting, he was there waiting for me when I returned.