Now that the kids are all finished with school for the summer, we headed out Friday afternoon for a summer road trip to see a few sights that have been on my bucket list for a few years. First stop on the agenda: Monticello. I've wanted to bring the kids here to visit for years, but I knew that we should wait until Finn was old enough to participate in the tour without Paul and I having to stress over his touching the artifacts. They really are now the perfect ages to enjoy the Monticello.
I didn't realize until we started the tour that the entrance to Monticello is not the typical Monticello picture (like the shot on the nickel).
We weren't allowed to take photographs inside the Monticello, but I thought this compass was an interesting shot. It hung on the ceiling of front porch, connected to the weather vane (that you can see in the first picture), and indicated the weather direction. Thomas Jefferson had so many interesting inventions. I wish I could have photographed more of them!
Some of the glass in the house was original, some, like this front window, was replace about 150 years ago and still has the wavy, bubbly texture of the fabulous original glass.
Here is the view you typically think of as the Monticello look: taken from the rear of the house. I really had no idea!
The kids enjoyed a few of the activities geared toward children. They learned how to write with a quill and inkwell.
Paulie got the hang of quill-writing quite quickly.
The slave quarters and other cellar rooms, like the kitchen, were quite interesting to wander through. I wish we would have planned more time here. We really could have spent more time here and doing the children's activities.
Another area that I really didn't have time to explore were the gardens. They were lovely to wander by on our way down the path to Jefferson's graveyard, but that was all I saw of them.
The Jefferson graveyard is still in use by his descendants. His grave is, of course, prominently displayed by one of the gates, and visitors can really only wander around the outside of the gate.
In all, I would highly recommend Monticello as a road trip experience. I would plan a full-day though instead of the 2/3 day that we spent here. Nearby Charlottesville has a cute downtown area with lovely restaurants along a foot path Main Street that makes for a nice break at the end of the day.