My American Vacation Highlights – Part One

Mr. T, my 11th grade Advanced Placement American History teacher, would be proud of my recent vacation. My trip back home turned into an American history road trip, which was fine by me because I want to be an American history ace.

I’ve been putting off posting this blog because there are way too many photos I want to upload and I know it’s going to take forever … so enjoy it!! [or else]

First can I say, if you are planning a trip to Virginia to see things like Monticello and Mount Vernon, then maybe a short day trip to DC, plan at least double the amount of time! On the drive to Monticello alone we saw several other Civil War sites of note, as well James Madison’s Montpelier and James Monroe’s house.

Here are a few of my favorite pics from the vacation:

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, which I would rate as a must-see destination. It was amazing and so informative. He studied architecture on his own, and then built this:

He built Monticello on a mountain in Virginia so the views are spectacular. He also had an extensive garden which was just beautiful. If you work at Monticello you get to keep the vegetables!

It’s no secret that Thomas Jefferson spoke out against slavery yet he had many. Underneath Monticello is a huge tunnel with rooms for slaves and storage spaces for food and drink. Along the garden are markers of where slave cabins used to be. Virginia was a slave state so there are many memorials to slaves or monuments to keep people from forgetting.

In Fredericksburg, a major Civil War battle site and VERY cute town,  the old auction block has been preserved. The sign on it says “Fredericksburg’s Principal Auction Site in Pre Civil War Days for Slaves and Property.”

On the drive to Monticello we discovered Montpelier train station, which has been preserved and is now a post office. The two separate but equal” rooms are still marked, but each room now serves as a mini museum about the days when things were separate but NOT equal in reality.

Memorials to slaves were also prominent at George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. Washington freed all his slaves upon his death because he was conflicted about fighting for liberty yet being a slaveowner.

Upon entering Mount Vernon you’ll see a quote from Washington saying, “No estate in United America is more pleasantly situated than this…”

At first I thought, “George was a little conceited!” but when I stepped on his back porch and saw the Potomac river and mountains in the background I decided he probably had a point. It was spectacular, and pictures can’t capture how nice it was. I’ll post one anyway, but just know that when you see it in person it’s an experience.

This is also the place that a German tourist family were taking a picture and said, “Eins, zwei, drei, CHEESE!” Hilarious.

And Washington’s backyard:

Karen in front of a picture showing all the places in the United States named after Washington (towns, schools, parks, etc.)

I have to go to work now, so it looks like this post is going to be a part 1. I still have DC and the Civil War stuff to show. I’ll leave you with a picture that I feel symbolizes America:

This was taken at a restaurant called Smash Burger in Dayton, Ohio. Yep, those are fried pickles with a tub of ranch dressing and then a few fried onions on my cheeseburger. I’d have to say fried pickles are pretty much my favorite snack. It just doesn’t get much better!



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4 responses to “My American Vacation Highlights – Part One

  1. Three things:

    1. It’s weird you had a teacher named ‘Mr. T’ and still grew up without hearing about the A-Team.
    2. I can find my Washington on that map.
    3. In regard to gym post, I am totally reading this while scrunched up in my chair knees to chest. Someone asked me earlier if I was in the fetal position because I was feeling overwhelmed or sad. I said it was just how I sit.

  2. I feel more comfortable in the fetal position! We have so much in common.
    And yes, Mr. T had a sticker on his podium that said, “The Mr. T Experience.” I always wondered how he got that. It was probably some A Team reference.

  3. Great stuff. Mt. Vernon was my favorite surprise spot in the last few years. They have amazing technology in there for a sweet experience. Nice pics.

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