Washington DC Trip- Day 3- George Washington's Home, Mt. Vernon

>> Saturday, April 7, 2018

We were so happy to have Jared join us for the rest of the trip! 




We took a day trip out to Mt. Vernon. 


We Ubered over there and Alayna snapped a couple of pics. :P 




I don't know what the significance of this one is. But I thought I'd put in here anyway. :P 


 We absolutely loved Mt. Vernon!!! The forecast  called for snow, rain and sleet. The weather thankfully held out for us. It was a very windy & brisk 54 degrees and had just a few snow flurries. ❄️ It was cold but not too bad. 






In the building you enter they have statues of George, Martha, Martha's grandson Washy and granddaughter Nelly. Martha was married before and had 2 children. Nelly and Washy were his step-grandchildren. 



There is a very detailed model of George Washington's Mansion inside as well. 





















This is the view as you come out of the entrance building. 


Our first item for the day was a cruise around the Potomac River. 🛳️🛥️ But first we had to walk about 15-20 min. down through the estate to get there. 



I love how they have kept everything true to how it would have been done in 1700's. The fence is really neat!





~ Tulip Poplar circa 1766 ~

That's one OLD tree!!!








Alayna is laughing because her eyes are watering so bad from the cold. She kept saying, "I can't stop crying!" Haha! 




We made it down faster than we thought. So we took some pics to kill the time. :) 




I'm not very good at the selfie. My arms are too short so my head takes up the whole picture. Haha! I let Jared take over the selfies for the rest of the time. :P 






Alayna photo bombing us! Stinker! :) 





Alayna wanted to get a family selfie. Look at Eli in the back. Almost every shot we took there is one like this one where he's 'creeping' in the back. LOL! He did this the entire trip!!! He cracks me up!


I LOVE this picture of us! It was the best one of the trip I think! 



Killing time on the pier. 















It was SO cold out and on the boat is was even colder! But the cruise was really nice and relaxing. We could stay inside or go out on top and take in the views that way. 



This is the view from the Potomac of the backside of the Mansion. The white tents are not part of the estate. They are there for a special event they were going to be hosting. 












If it looks cold ...it's cuz it was! :P




This map was drawn by Washington himself. 



We toured the grounds and learned about how they cooked and prepared their food. Being on the river provided endless amounts of fish. They filleted it, tacked it to the boards and cooked it next to the fire. The farm still grows items similar to what they would have grown in the 1700's. George Washington was quite the business man & meticulous book keeper. He had a fishery, farm, & grist mill & distillery that kept the estate running. 






  



I thought the 16 sided barn was really neat.



George Washington had 8,000 acres of land. Over time he purchased smaller farms to build his estate. 




My goofball kids! LOL!





 I don't know why but I just loved that big 'ol tree out there! :)



His wife Martha loved the gardens & prided herself on having fresh fruit and vegetables at every meal. It wasn't typical back then to have them at every meal. The house includes several other out buildings that housed different things to help the place run efficiently.










There were many out buildings that were necessary to keep the estate in working order. 











 George Washington was a man of order and wanted his estate to be symmetrical. From the driveway to the gardens and everything in between. However, if you look closely at the mansion, you will notice something is "off". I won't spoil it. You can figure it out. 😉 It took 40 years to complete. It went through several additions. Washington only lived there a few years since the war took him away. 



We upgraded our tour of the Mansion. We got those fancy stickers that said so. :P We were able to tour the basement/cellar and the private bedrooms which the regular tour doesn't go to. We are waiting for our tour to begin.



They took us down to the cellar first. It's under construction as they've found a drainage system they hadn't ever discovered before. They also wouldn't allow photography inside any part of the Mansion. But "someone" (ahem....Jared) did anyway. :P He' was super sneaky! I have no idea how he managed it! LOL!!!!! He didn't get every room but he got a good portion of them. :) 


The mantle was hand carved & given as a gift (downstairs). It depicts the agriculture that was so important to Washington. 


The formal dining room with green paint (downstairs). Washington said this color of green, "Was grateful to the eyes." 😍 




The gold bedroom was where Martha stayed after George passed. (upstairs upgraded tour)


The storage room has the original baby walker and rocking horse the family used. (upstairs upgraded tour)



The white bed was George & Martha's. This is also where he died. (upstairs upgraded tour)



His study downstairs. The floors were sound proof which was important since it was above the basement. He had the original "man cave". 😜


Keeping it real here folks....lots of  walking = tired kids. :P 




Washington planned for a new tomb to be built upon his death, to replace the old family burial vault. His body, along with the bodies of Martha Washington and other family members, was moved to the new tomb in 1831.






His tomb is on the right & hers is on the left. In the middle door between them is a tomb that holds 25 of their relatives. 


More of the outbuildings. 














Loved everything about house! <3 



Black Smith Shop.







They had a "Meet Mrs. Washington" experience. She told stories from her life and interacted with the audience. We didn't stay very long. But I loved the costumes!



Washington also owned slaves. There were women's quarter's and men's quarters. In his will he stated he wished his 123 slaves to be freed upon Martha's death. However, a year after he passed, Martha had no more desire to run the farm as before & she freed them all. *Note Washington had more slaves he rented from other owners. They were returned upon his death but his 123 remained until Martha freed them.






I thought this was super interesting. I never really thought about the fact that they would need to have a cobbler full-time to keep everyone in shoes. You wouldn't be able to run down to Famous Footwear that's for sure! :P 



The Education Center had so many cool things to look at and do. We didn't have time for all of it. 



I love the women's clothes! I'm sure I wouldn't in the middle of summer but the detail is gorgeous! A stark contrast to what the women slaves wore.




Sort of hard to see this but it's a model of the grist mill and distillery. You can actually take a short bus ride over to it as apart of your admission but we just ran out of time. I was super bummed. I heard it's really cool!









Some political cartoons Alayna liked. :P 








I don't know what it is but I love to see old money. When we went to NY and visited Ellis Island I loved to see all the different types and forms that were used all over the world. So of course I had to get a pic of what our currency used to look like! 




Washington's death was pretty sad. I actually never knew how he died until this trip.

"On Thursday, December 12, 1799, George Washington was out on horseback supervising farming activities from late morning until three in the afternoon. The weather shifted from light snow to hail and then to rain. Upon Washington's return it was suggested that he change out of his wet riding clothes before dinner. Known for his punctuality, Washington chose to remain in his damp attire.

The next morning brought three inches of snow and a sore throat. Despite feeling unwell, Washington went to the hanging wood area on the east side of the Mansion after the weather cleared to select trees for removal. Throughout the day it was observed that Washington's voice became increasingly more hoarse. Friday evening, as typical for most evenings, Washington read from the newspapers with his secretary Tobias Lear and his wife Martha. Due to the increased throat irritation, Washington asked Lear to complete the reading.

After retiring for the night Washington awoke in terrible discomfort at around two in the morning. Martha was concerned about his state and wanted to send for help. However, having just recovered from a cold herself, Washington would not allow his wife to leave the comfort of their room. When Caroline, the house slave, came to light the fire at daybreak, Martha sent for Tobias Lear who rushed to the room. There he found Washington in bed having difficulty breathing. Lear sent for George Rawlins, an overseer at Mount Vernon, who at the request of George Washington bled him. Lear also sent to Alexandria for Dr. James Craik, the family doctor and Washington's trusted friend and physician for forty years.

While waiting for Dr. Craik's arrival, Rawlins extracted a half-pint of blood. Washington favored this treatment—despite Martha's voiced concern— as he believed that it cured him of past ailments. Washington was also given a mixture of molasses, butter, and vinegar to soothe his throat. This mixture was difficult to swallow causing Washington to convulse and nearly suffocate.

As the morning progressed Washington did not feel any relief. Martha requested that Tobias Lear send for a second doctor, Dr. Gustavus Brown of Port Tobacco. Brown was a physician that Craik felt had an excellent reputation for diagnosis and moderate medicating. Dr. Craik arrived at nine in the morning, examined Washington and produced a blister on his throat in an attempt to balance the fluids in Washington's body. Craik bled Washington a second time and ordered a potion of vinegar and sage tea prepared for gargling.

At eleven, Dr. Brown had not yet arrived and Craik sent for a third physician, a definite sign that he felt the ailment was serious. At noon an enema was administered, but there was no improvement in Washington's condition. Washington was bled for the fourth and final time. It was later reported that a total of thirty-two ounces of blood was extracted during the last bleeding.

Another conference of physicians occurred. Craik administered an emetic to induce vomiting, though without beneficial results. Despite the care and attention of three physicians, his beloved wife, friends and servants, George Washington's condition worsened. At four-thirty in the afternoon, George called Martha to his bedside and asked that she bring his two wills from his study. After review Washington discarded one, which Martha burned.

George Washington then called for Tobias Lear. He told Lear, "I find I am going, my breath can not last long. I believed from the first that the disorder would prove fatal. Do you arrange and record all my late military letters and papers. Arrange my accounts and settle my books, as you know more about them than any one else, and let Mr. Rawlins finish recording my other letters which he has begun."

At five in the afternoon George Washington sat up from bed, dressed, and walked over to his chair. He returned to bed within thirty minutes. Craik went to him and Washington said, "Doctor, I die hard; but I am not afraid to go; I believed from my first attack that I should not survive it; my breath can not last long." Soon afterward, Washington thanked all three doctors for their service. Craik remained in the room. At eight at night more blisters and cataplasms were applied, this time to Washington's feet and legs. At ten at night George Washington spoke, requesting to be "decently buried" and to "not let my body be put into the Vault in less than three days after I am dead."

Between ten and eleven at night on December 14, 1799, George Washington passed away. He was surrounded by people who were close to him including his wife who sat at the foot of the bed, his friends Dr. Craik and Tobias Lear, housemaids Caroline, Molly, and Charlotte, and his valet Christopher Sheels who stood in the room throughout the day. According to his wishes, Washington was not buried for three days. During that time his body lay in a mahogany casket in the New Room. On December 18, 1799 a solemn funeral was held at Mount Vernon."




They said he basically suffocated to death from a bacterial infection of the throat that if it were to of occurred today antibiotics would have saved him. 






The ration of food was something to be desired. 😔







And of course George Washington's famous teeth!!  😁 



We ran short on time because we had reservations at the Mt. Vernon Inn Restaurant next door at 4:30pm. But it was soooo worth it!!!!

We pretty much ordered everything on the menu. LOL! We were all starving and we dove in before I could take a picture of half of the stuff. We ordered 

fried green tomatoes, 




colonial hoe cake,  
 


cornbread, 


and an AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL cheese charcuterie board that I'm so upset I didn't get a pic of cuz it was stunning and soooooo goood!!!! I've tried to look online for one someone else may have posted but I haven't had any luck. You'll just have to trust me. :P 


Jared ordered shrimp and grits. 


I ordered a citrus crusted salmon with candied bacon brussel sprouts. 


Eli got the pork chop with mushrooms and a demi-glaze sauce with grits from George Washington's grist mill and asparagus. 


Walker got the crab cakes with a black bean and corn relish and green beans. 


Alayna got a caesar salad (not pictured) and the fried chicken, mashed potatoes and carrots. 


We also ordered cherry pie (cuz hello...we're at Washington's house! LOL!), bread pudding, & chocolate peanut butter pie. Ummm yes we are piglets!!! We did share dessert though..hahaha!!!



We were stuffed to the gills!!!! 








We hung outside waiting for our Uber in the freezing cold. Snow flurries were falling and it was pretty magical for these Native Arizonians! <3 



 This day was by far everyone's favorite thing we did on the trip! It was phenomenal!!


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