A few years ago, I went on a reading binge on the Colonial period and all of the founding fathers and mothers. And the player who fascinated me the most was Thomas Jefferson.
So this Memorial Day weekend, my sweetie and I hopped into his really cute convertible and headed for Charlottesville, Virginia to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's plantation.
The ride down was gorgeous, with a detour down Skyline Drive, with it's amazing views of the Shenandoah Valley. We had the top down, and while the skies were pretty blue over the Shenandoah, on the other side of the mountain, the sky was black with scary looking clouds. Still, it didn't really rain on us!
When we got to Monticello, the tour started with a film about Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence. But I was more interested in seeing the house where he lived. That came next.
The plantation has been restored to much the village it was in Jefferson's time. It housed over 200 people, including around 150 slaves, owned by the man who wrote about all men being created equal in the Declaration of Independence.
They wouldn't let us take photos inside the house, but you can find them on the gallery official web site . Being in Jefferson's private rooms, with his books and surveying tools, and the bed with a cool clock at the foot, was a little voyeuristic, especially when I spotted his boots set against the wall.
The kitchen was set apart from the living quarters, because Jefferson's father lost his house to a kitchen fire years earlier. The cooks and servers then had to run the food through this hallway, up a back stair, and then they delivered it to the guy who served it. They did allow photos of the kitchen, the brewery (yes, the had a little micro brewery thing going) and the cooks living quarters.
Then there were the gardens. There were flower gardens and space for produce.
And if you are a history buff, the gift shop has the best collection of books that I've ever seen on the revolutionary period.
So here are the photos of the kitchen and the gardens that I promised!