7 Year Tea Party Winners: Susan Craft's winner of her trilogy novels - The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia is: Lucy Reynolds, The winner of a copy of The Backcountry Brides is: Tammy Cordery, the winner of a silver quill charm is: Kathy Maher, Choice of one of three books by Carrie Fancett Pagels in paperback: Joy Ellis, A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas winner is: Becky Smith, Janet Grunst's Selah-Award winning novel, A Heart Set Free, is: Sherry Moe.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Visit to Mount Vernon

In April I had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. with my mom, my mother-in-law, and my two daughters. We saw amazing sights, listened to countless tour guides, and overloaded our senses with museums. But by far, the two most poignant place we visited were Ford's Theater, where Lincoln was assassinated, and Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.

My daughter, me, my other daughter, my mom, and my
mother-in-law in Union Station.
As a history lover and a writer, I get giddy when I stand in the place where history happened. To see, smell, hear, touch, and sometimes taste my surroundings allows the stories I read and write to come alive. I didn't simply read about Lincoln's assassination, I stood where he stood. I sat where he sat. I looked at what he saw in his final moments. There's really nothing quite like it.

We went to Mount Vernon in a similar fashion as Washington traveled there many times: by river. Though, I'm sure our boat was much more comfortable than his. :) We took the boat down the beautiful Potomac to the Washington's home. It was a lovely trip with various points of interest brought to our attention along the way by the captain.

Upon seeing Mount Vernon, I must confess I was impressed. It wasn't quite as palatial as I had imagined (I had pictured Twelve Oaks from Gone With the Wind), but it was enormous by their standards out in the wilds of Virginia. There were so many people visiting, they literally herded us through in a single line and we only heard snippets of what the tour guides were telling us as they were stationed in each room. There was also no photography allowed inside.

Having read Washington's Lady, by Nancy Moser, I had certain images in mind, but my whole perspective changed upon walking through the house. I can't wait to reread the story and put all the characters in their proper setting. I know it will be a richer experience for me.

It was wonderful to walk the grounds and see the small community that made up Mount Vernon. The slave quarters, the blacksmith, the stables, the smoke houses, etc. The gardens were lovely and one of my favorite pictures from the trip was taken there.

My favorite. :)
The most important thing I walked away with after visiting Mount Vernon was a sense of really knowing George Washington. Not as the war hero or immortalized father of our nation...but as a man who loved his home, his family, and his country. He became real to me.

Your Turn: Have you been to Mount Vernon or Ford's Theater? What historic location has had the most impact on you?

Gabrielle Meyer:
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  1. I've been to Ford's Theater and, like you, it left quite an impression on me. The historical site that has made the biggest impact on me was Antietam Battlefield. If you've never been there ... go. You know you're standing on hallowed ground. I've been to many of the Civil War battlefields from Gettysburg to Vicksburg, but none of them hit me as hard as Antietam.

  2. I would love to go visit there. Thanks for inspiring me to do so, Gabrielle, and so glad you had a nice visit!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful trip. What a great way to share history with your children!


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