Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Break: Monticello (our last day)

Our last day in Virginia and the rain has held off... yay! We spent the morning at Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello. It's a pretty cool place and the only site where we actually participated in a guided tour.

Thomas Jefferson was a pretty amazing guy and I knew this before visiting his home, but it was very apparent during the tour: writer of 19,000 letters; reader extraordinaire (he had a 5-book reading stand on a thing like a lazy-susan); designer of buildings, clocks and other cool stuff (how about a machine that wrote a copy of his letters as he wrote them); writer of the Declaration of Independence; writer of the Constitution; one of the Founding Fathers; and family man. Okay, he had affairs, that's not so great. Oh yeah, and slaves, that's definitely horrible.

Then to lunch with Beth, a woman I went to high school with, and her two girls. That was really fun. After our late lunch we wandered around UVA. Now that's what I call a college campus! I like it when you enter a college campus and can tell: there's an entry, there's only cars on the periphery, and there is a sense of learning, socializing, etc.

11 comments:

missrantsypants said...

Im jealous, always wanted to see his home!


clarkmurdock.blogspot.com

Helen's Book Blog said...

Miss Rantsy Pants--His home was pretty darn cool and I am not even a US/Colonial history fan (my tendencies lean to modern World HIstory)

Aths said...

When I was in DC this weekend, I checked out his library. Or at least the recreated library - with a lot of books that were originally in his collection. It was really amazing. He read across the spectrum.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Aths--A lot of his house was about books, which was really cool

Alyce said...

I agree, Monticello and UVA are both very cool! I got to spend some time there when my husband was there on business a few years ago.

I'm glad the rain held off and you were able to have a good time there!

Helen's Book Blog said...

Alyce--I love the grandeur (without being overdone) of the red brick buildings and white columns. We are so used to Spanish style out here in southern California

christina said...

I am so ignorant when it comes to history. I can't believe how amazing Thomas Jefferson was. I might have to seek out a biography.

Also, why am I so close to the DC area (relatively speaking, since I'm on the east side) and I still haven't been to ANY of the presidential monuments or homes?!

Helen's Book Blog said...

Christina--I definitely like World History better, but it is a wonderful experience to go places where something interesting and historic took place. I think we tend to do things farther away and forget about places closer to home.

softdrink said...

I read The Women Jefferson Loved earlier this year, and it talked a lot about Monticello. It failed to mention the lazy Susan reading stand, though! ;-) I'd love to be able to visit someday.

Adrianne said...

I love Monticello and was particularly impressed by Jefferson's collection of woolly mammoth teeth. Interesting man.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Jill--Not only a lazy susan reading stand, but a lazy susan closet! It's a pretty incredible place

Adrianne--It is definitely cool how the entrance to the house is filled with Lewis and Clark "stuff" and I also liked the calendar/clock he created