After our first unplanned detour of the trip (but not the last), we arrived at our first D.C. stop: Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon is George Washington's 8,000 acre plantation on the Potomac River. The grounds are beautiful--before (and after) Washington was a general and president, he was a farmer. We walked through the grounds to discover a taste of the 18th century, complete with farm tools, actors from Washington's life (we personally met Martha Washington and William Lee, Washington's personal servant), colonial houses, elaborate gardens, and, well, hundreds of other tourists. But we had a great time. Here we are at the outset of our afternoon with George, Martha and the kids.
Here's the General's mansion, all 21 rooms. The building inside is astounding, complete with guest rooms, a study, a master bedroom, several dining rooms, and even the original key to the Bastille. The stories of the mansion would awe any red-blooded American. Decisions made over dinner between Washington and the likes of Monroe, Madison, and Jefferson shaped our nation as we know it. And oh yeah, there were fans inside as well. The relief from the southern humidity was heavenly.
Here's Washington's tomb. Presidents and national leaders from across the globe have come here to pay their respects.