Grandmas are not just for baking cookies anymore!! This grandma loves to travel!! Join me as I visit great places, enjoy museums, historic sites, hotels and bed and breakfasts and offer loads of visitor tips and musings.
n 2010 we spent a very enjoyable vacation traveling through England in January. We stayed in Wells which is in the county of Somerset. We stayed at Stoberry House which gave us views of Wells Cathedral from the grounds. On Saturday, we went and took a tour of the cathedral. It is always fun, you learn the most interesting and fun facts.
Vezelay is a city
on a rock that rises from the valley below. It is one of the four cities from
which the route to Santiago de Compostelo begins in France. It was from Vezelay
that St Bernard called for the Second Crusade and it was in Vezelay that
Richard the Lionhearted and and King Philippe Auguste met to go on the Third
Crusade. But the main claim to fame of Vezelay is the Basilica of St Madeleine.
We being the
stellar citizens that we are parked at the bottom of the hill as requested by
the signs. We then proceeded to follow the pilgrims route up the steep streets
leading to the Basilica. In January most of the stores lining the streets were
closed but I can imagine what it must be like in the summer. Then as we finally
arrived at the Basilica we were greeted by the parking lot in front of it. They
got us again. We could have driven right up.
religious foundation at this location began in the 9th century. It has
undergone many changes and much destruction over the centuries. The Huguenots
in the 16th century and then the Revolution had brought the building almost to
the point of collapse. Violet le Luc finally took responsibility for its
rebuilding in the mid 19th century. Today, it is a lovely church that will take
your breath away with its beauty and its location.
Must sees here
include the relics that claim to be St Mary Magdalene. They are what made this
Basilica famous in the middle ages and still do so today. They are in a golden
box behind a grill.
You also must
check out the capitals. They are fantastic and we spent a good amount of time
trying to locate the different ones we found in our guide book. There is a
beautiful one of Adam and Eve with the tree and serpent and another one of Noah
building the ark. There are almost 100 bible stories represented and the guide
book documents each one. Finding them is the fun.
adoration going on in a small chapel and we joined the nun who was there for
prayer. There is a new monastic community who has taken charge of the spiritual
life of the Basilica.
There is an honor
box to pay for the guide books. There was no gift shop in the Basilica. There
is however a small gift store right across the street and we made a short stop
there. Take your time to enjoy the view from here it wonderful.
Childhood moves quickly. Don’t miss these 15 adventures before they graduate.
Does it feel as if the kids are growing up so quick? Where is the
time going? You’re not alone, and we are here to help. Ferris Bueller
said it best: life moves pretty fast… if you don’t stop and look around
once in a while, you could miss it. So, don’t wait for their 18th birthdays to explore, learn, and rediscover your children.
Educational, creative, artistic, athletic, or just downright fun.
Here are 15 Lehigh Valley family adventures. In each of the area’s three
biggest cities: Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. Take some time to
Discover Lehigh Valley with the most important people in your
life–you’ll be glad you did. Here are our top 15 places for fun-filled family memories in Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Mary Ball was no
wilting flower even though as a young woman she had been known as the Rose of
Epping Forest. She married a widower, Augustine Washington 14 years her senior
when she was 23. At his death, 12 years later, her 11-year-old son George
inherited Ferry Farm. She remained there running the farm for 29 years. It was
only at the importuning of George that in 1772 she allowed him to buy her a
house in Fredericksburg and she moved their to be closer to her only daughter
In an age where
women were encouraged and expected to remarry quickly Mary was a standout, not
only did she not remarry quickly, she never remarried. She was financially
independent through inheritances from both her parents and brother and she
cherished that independence.
The house that
George purchased for her was a two room cottage on a half acre of land. He
purchased an additional half acre of land, added the porch and greatly
increased the size of the house. When Mary moved from ferry farm she brought
with her a cow, a dog, two horses, and six servants. Actually they were six
slaves and at her death she still had six slaves which she willed to members of
The house must be
visited on a guided tour, and since it was a rainy day they escorted us to the
rear veranda overlooking the garden to await the beginning of our tour. The
garden was redone in the late 1960s to be an English Garden. The sundial in the
garden made of Acquia stone belonged to Mary and came with her from Ferry Farm.
After Mary died in
1789 her daughter Betty held a public auction to sell the items in the house.
The list of the items auctioned still exists and it has help the Association
for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities identify items to be acquired for
the house. Some things have been donated back to the house and some have been
purchased and some are on loan. Everything else is of the period.
After Mary’s death
the house was turned into a school for boys, and the Association purchased the
house in 1890 to keep it from being dismantled and taken to the St. Louis
World’s Fair for $4,050. It took 40 years to open it as a museum.
We begin our tour
in the parlor where we are shown the chair rail and the crown molding made in
the candle and flame pattern by indentured servants. Mary’s original teapot is
in the parlor. Upstairs there is a case of personal items as well as the
Washington family genealogy.
The most historic
room in the house is Mary’s bedroom. George came here to get her blessing
shortly after he was elected president and shortly before she died. She was too
sick to understand the significance. In that room be sure to look for her
"very best dressing glass ".
I could not find my photos of this part of our trip. This photo is from Wikipedia "Closeup of Mary Washington House, Fredericksburg, VA IMG 3997" by Billy Hathorn - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Closeup_of_Mary_Washington_House,_Fredericksburg,_VA_IMG_3997.JPG#/media/File:Closeup_of_Mary_Washington_House,_Fredericksburg,_VA_IMG_3997.JPG
we stayed at the Holiday Inn at the Toison D'Or Shopping Center we ate
our first nights dinner at the hotel. While it was okay, it was nothing
special and like most hotel restaurants was a little pricey. Since we
had arrived a little late and totally exhausted from having been lost
and trying to find our way here, we were glad not to have to worry about
second night, we ventured into the mall to see what they had to offer
and we discover the cafeteria. One thing I have to say, cafeterias in
France are quite common, well priced and have amazingly good food.
most cafeterias you grab your tray and head for the salad and
appetizers. It is sold by weight so be careful about what you put on
your plate. Be warned, when we were here, no one spoke English so you
need to at least know how to read French to order your meal. The meat
will be cooked to order if it is a steak or fish etc.
ordered the choucroute which is an Alsatian dish of ham, sauerkraut,
sausage and potatoes. it was good enough that I ordered it again the
second night. They have lots of dessert choices and an ice cream bar. You will be surprised just how economical it is to eat here.
Illinois State Fair Promises Fun,
Excitement for the Entire Family
Springfield, IL – Plan to visit Springfield for the Illinois
State Fair August 13 – 23 for 10 days of fun and excitement for the entire
Fairgoers love trying new and unusual
foods, and whether you’re craving apple strudel or sirloin on a stick, you’ll
find something different to try this year. For a list of new food (and other)
vendors, visit www.agr.state.il.us/isf/vendors/whats-new/.
Other highlights this year include
grandstand acts such as Justin Moore, Sammy Hagar, Fall Out Boy and Rascal
Flatts; USAC and ARCA auto racing; harness racing; livestock judging; and dozens
of free entertainment stages, contest, exhibits, and a carnival midway. A
complete schedule of fair events can be found here www.agr.state.il.us/isf/.
Springfield is the capital of Illinois
and the home of Abraham Lincoln. In addition to the fair, the city offers
numerous historic sites and museums, including the Lincoln Home National
Historic Site and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Visitors
will enjoy planning a trip to the fair that also includes the city’s attractions,
interesting local restaurants and variety of lodging options.
Gina Gemberling, Executive Director of
the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau said, “The Illinois State Fair
is something everyone should experience. It celebrates the rich agricultural
heritage of the state and truly offers something for everyone. It’s a fun
getaway for the whole family before it is time to go back to school.”
Interested in visiting Springfield to
experience the Illinois State Fair? Let us help you plan your trip by visiting www.visitspringfieldillinois.com or calling 800-545-7300.
The Springfield Convention & Visitors
Bureau works to promote, service and sell Springfield, Illinois as a leisure
and convention destination of distinction.
"He has lost
his left arm, but I have lost my right arm." Lee commented on Jackson’s
We were on the
road after lunch heading for our next stop, Richmond, when I saw the sign for
the Stonewall Jackson Shrine. How could I pass that up? I had no idea what it
was, but a shrine to a general had to be worth a detour. It actually is quite a
detour, maybe 4 or 5 miles of back roads from where I saw the sign.
We pulled up the
long driveway and stopped to read the signs that were posted around the
roundabout. I hadn’t really been aware of what an important stop this would
turn out to be. The Stonewall Jackson Shrine is the farmhouse where the famous
Confederate General died. It is owned by the National Park Service, which I
always love because it keeps things more natural.
A graduate of West
Point, Thomas Jackson was teaching at the Virginia Military Institute at the
beginning of the Civil War. He was made a brigadier general after the first
battle at Manassas. It was here that he earned his nickname when General Bee
declared, “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall.”
His prowess as a
general made his fame grow to mythic proportion on both sides. He was loved and
feared in equal parts by his men and his enemies. It was one of those horrible
turns of fate that saw him be shot by friendly fire on May 2, 1863, at the
Battle of Chancellorville. It was as it turned out a major turning point in the
war. It was not a fatal wound, and he was taken from the battlefield to a safe
place to recuperate. His arm had to be amputated and his severed limb was taken
to be buried at the family cemetery of his chaplain, B. Tucker Lacy.
Ultimately, it was pneumonia that took his life.
He had been taken
to Guinea Station, and the farmhouse where he died was part of Thomas
Chandler's plantation. It was an office building that had been used as a
doctor's office by one of the sons of the house. This building was chosen over
the main house because it was private and quiet and he would be able to rest
after the long, hard ambulance ride. It is hard to even imagine today what a
horror that ride must have been. His left arm had been amputated at the
battlefield hospital, and it was 27 miles in a wagon over rutty dirt roads to
the house. That alone would have killed a normal man. He survived for six excruciating
About 45 percent of the
interior of the house is original. It is very poignant to see the bed and the
original blanket that covered the general. His wife, Mary Anna, and his baby
daughter, Julia, arrived to on May 7th. The tiny house must have been bursting
at the seems with the doctor, the staff, and the family. There are only four or
five rooms on the two floors, but still, this is one of the most emotional
places we visited on this trip. He was an amazing man and his death was a death
blow to the Confederacy. He was also a highly religious man whose last words
reflect the duality of his personality.
moments before he died, he cried out in his delirium, 'Order A.P. Hill to
prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front rapidly! Tell Major
Hawks'—then stopped, leaving the sentence unfinished. Presently a smile of
ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he said quietly, and
with an expression, as if of relief, 'Let us cross over the river, and rest
under the shade of the trees.'"
Later in our trip,
we visited the house he and his wife shared in Lexington while he was a
teacher. I wish I had known more about him and his life before I visited the
place he died.
On October 29th 1118, 13 monks from Clairvaux led by St.
Bernard himself, founded Fontenay Abbey. It was not until 12 years later that
they settled on the site where the Abbey now stands. Their order was
Cistercian and their goal was to found a monastery that would be totally
self-sufficient and autonomous from other Cistercian monasteries. Much of
Fontenay owes its existence to English money ironically, brought first by
Ebrand of Arundel and later by a grant from King Edward III of England.
Religious life continued here for 672 years. In 1792, the Directoire of Semur,
took possession and a paper mill was created on the property.
Fontenay, it came into the possession of Marc Seguin a 19th century engineer. He
kept Fontenay from being destroyed by being a sympathetic landlord. He used the
property without destroying its original beauty. He leased it to his
son-in-law, one of the Montgolfier brothers. It finally ended up in the
possession of Raymond Montgolfier's son in law Edward Aynard. It was he who
began the restoration of Fontenay to its former splendor. Its restoration has
now involved 5 generations of the Aynard family.
You enter through
the gift shop which isn't such a bad idea. This was the only place we went where
they wanted us to pay in Francs if we had them. We did. We picked up our guide
books first to help us as well walked through the site.
The first building
we visited was the church. As you enter you are greeted by Gregorian chant,
very effective I thought. The building is simplicity itself, no stone steeple,
no soaring roof, the interior in the shape of the Latin cross but it is
imposing nevertheless. At the far end stands the beautiful statue of Our Lady
Of Fontenay which dates from the 13th century. There are also the tombs of 2 of
the abbey's benefactors Seigneur de Mello and his wife from the same period.
We walked around
the courtyard in the cloister much as the monks must have once walked and
visited the warming room, the Chapter House, the Scriptorium and the
Calefactory. All of it beautifully restored.
You must also take
the time to visit the Forge which has been restored. From there you can visit
the pool which has some very large fish and also the beautiful fountain and the
In warmer weather
there are also gardens that may be visited.
We finished up
back in the gift shop where I got myself a silver medal with Our Lady Of
Fontenay on it and we visited their small cafeteria which is really just a few
machines. It was a rainy, cold day and the hot chocolate was very welcome.
Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Fine Craft Fair (July 25 & 26)
The Brandywine Valley’s largest premier fine craft fair returns to the
Chase Center on the Riverfront. Described as an indoor shopping
experience, the show features an unparalleled collection of beautiful
items all of which are handmade in America. Find one-of-a-kind
clothing, jewelry, ceramics, glass, sculpture and fine furniture and
meet the artisans who craft them. www.pacrafts.org America On Tap Craft Beer Festival (August 15)
Fifty of the country’s finest craft breweries will showcase their new
releases in Wilmington’s Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park on Saturday from
2:30 until 6PM. Sample more than 100 exceptional beers in an
atmosphere filled with live music, food and an assortment of great
vendors. Tickets to this open air event can be purchased online at a
discounted price or at the gate on the day of the event for $35.00. www.americaontap.com/delaware-on-tap August Quarterly (August 23-30) The August
Quarterly—or Big Quarterly—has the distinction of being the country’s
longest-running African American heritage festival. The festival has
evolved from a one-day meeting into a week-long celebration of religious
freedom commemorating the founding of the Union Church of African
Members by Peter Spencer in 1813. This year’s celebration climaxes on
August 30 with a 9AM Sunday service at the Chase Center on the
Riverfront and afternoon festivities in Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park
from 2 until 9PM. www.augustquarterly.org Arden Fair (September 5; Rain date is September 6) The
Arden Fair is a time honored tradition in the Brandywine Valley. Held
on the Saturday before Labor Day on the Arden Gild Hall property in
North Wilmington, it draws over one hundred twenty vendors offering
hand-made crafts and jewelry and fifty antique and flea market dealers.
The day-long event runs from 10 until 6PM and features music in the
grove, food, drink, amusement rides and children’s games. www.ardenclub.org/about/arden-fair/
Riverfront Blues Festival (July 31-August 2)
This three-day event in Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park features a
stellar team of top blues artists. This year’s exciting lineup includes
Brandon Santini, Lil Ed & The Blues Imperials, Mississippi Heat and
Low Rider band. The fun kicks off on Friday afternoon at 4PM and
continues through Sunday. www.riverfrontbluesfestde.com Brandywine Festival of the Arts(September 12 & 13)
The Brandywine Festival of the Arts has been a perennial favorite for
over fifty years. Typically listed among the top one hundred national
shows, this annual event in Josephine Gardens in Wilmington’s Brandywine
Park attracts hundreds of visiting artists and craftspeople from the
East Coast and beyond. Although the show is juried for quality, it is
not pretentious. Remarkable, one-of-a-kind pieces in a wide variety of
media are available at an equally broad range of price points. In fact,
the festival is considered to be one of the foremost places in Delaware
to purchase original pieces of art that are sure to satisfy both the
casual consumer and the avid collector. Live music, a food court and
free admission to the Brandywine Zoo are added bonuses. Admission is
$5.00 and children under 12 are free. www.brandywinearts.com The Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau is a
non-profit organization founded in 1978, chartered by the Governor of
Delaware, the New Castle County Executive and the Mayor of Wilmington.
Its mission is to serve as the community's customer-focused destination
marketing organization, generating economic growth through leisure
travel and meetings development by aggressively marketing attractions,
facilities, amenities and services for visitors.
Hugh Mercer was
born in Scotland in 1725. He was a field surgeon at the Battle of Culloden Moor
on the side of Bonnie Prince Charlie so it became expedient for him to flee
after the defeat. He worked as a doctor on the frontier in America. He joined
the Pennsylvania militia and served as a Col. In the French and Indian War. It
was here that he first met George Washington. It may even have been George who
suggested that he make his home in Fredericksburg.
Now if his story
had ended here, it would have been a fascinating tale but it is just the
beginning. He opened a medical practice in Fredericksburg in 1761 and when we
enter the front door of his shop the year is 1774. All visits are done on a
guided tour and you are assigned a guide.
Our guide loved her job, her enthusiasm was contagious. We begin our
tour by learning about some of the herbs that the typical apothecary would have
used. Amazingly, many of them are things we still use today in a more refined
form. Not for the faint of heart the medical practices of yesteryear and Hugh
Mercer was very much a man of his time. We are shown instruments that look like
they belong in a torture chamber. We learn that he was able to remove a
cataract from an eye, and when you realize that this was in the days before
general anesthesia you get a small idea of how much pain this would have
Soon we become
familiar with terms that must have brought terror to the people of the 18th
century, cupping, purges, enemas, inoculations, leeches, yuck. I bet you
leeches were used to draw blood, well yes they were but if you had an ear
infection they put a leech on a string and lowered it into your ear. Talk about
the cure killing you.
Some of the
practices seem barbaric to us today, we got a whole lesson on amputation, which
was one of the leading causes of death in battles, it wasn’t the wound that
killed you it was the infection from the amputation.
It is a
fascinating if a bit disturbing tour. After we visit the shop and the office,
we visit the upstairs on a self-guided tour. There are some interesting
displays including an account book belonging to General Washington.
joined the Continental Army and fought at the Battle of Trenton in 1776. He was
killed in hand-to-hand combat at the Battle of Princeton in 1777. He was 55
years old. Had he lived, he would have been remembered as one of the great
leaders of the American Revolution. He passed his military prowess on to his great, great, great grandson George Patton. Be sure to visit his statue which
is located close to Kenmore on Washington Avenue.
Beauport, The Sleeper McCann House, is a historic destination in Gloucester, Mass. It is maintained by Historic New England. It was May when we went to visit and the flowers in the garden were in full bloom. The gardens alone are worth a visit.
XIV's architect, is responsible for most of the building of the Citadel in
Besancon. It rises 100 meters above the old city and reminds me very much of
the citadel in Quebec City. Once in Quebec we walked up the wooden stairs from
the rue de Champlain below and I vowed never to do it again, little did I know
that I would do something even harder.
As you enter Besancon, you are warned
not to park in the city so we grabbed the first parking lot we found, right
below the citadel. We started the walk up; it wasn't too bad if you're a
mountain goat, and it got progressively worse. The stairs are very steep, in
poor repair, and have no hand rails. We all made it up alive, but I was shot
for about an hour.
Be warned, the
restaurants are closed in the cold weather, so you won't be getting any
restorative tea or coffee. There is an
information booth as you enter the compound and by the way a very large parking
lot, so don't make the same mistake we did, drive up.
You can spend the
better part of a day visiting all the museums here. There is a permanent
exhibit on Vauban and his work on the Citadel. There is the Franche Comte
Museum which is history and cultural museum. But what you really don't want to
miss is The Museum of the Resistance and the Deportation. This is not a display
for young children however. It is graphic and extremely violent, as the times
warranted. It details the French Resistance fighters and the violent end that
many of them met. It also covers the Deportation of both Jews and Christians to
the Concentration Camps of Eastern Europe. Very graphic and very touching.
For the children,
though, there is a zoo, an aquarium, a Noctarium and an Insectarium. Certainly plenty to keep them occupied.
Classic American Comedy The Foreigner to open on Main Stage at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; In Repertory with Henry V
Center Valley, PA – A "real, live foreigner" creates
hilarious misunderstandings while delivering heartwarming laughter in
Larry Shue's award-winning comedy, The Foreigner, in the Pennsylvania
Shakespeare Festival's production previewing July 8 and 9 and opening
Friday, July 10.
Playing on the Main Stage through August 2, the production features the same repertory cast performing in Henry V.
Madcap mischief ensues when a diverse cast of characters
meet in Betty Meek's Fishing Lodge Resort in Georgia. Sgt. "Froggy"
LeSueur, a British munitions expert, PSF veteran Carl N. Wallnau,
insists on bringing his pathologically shy friend Charlie Baker, played
by Jacob Dresch, across the pond for a vacation.
The widowed innkeeper, Betty, Jane Ridley, is thrilled to
meet someone from another country—even when Froggy tells her that
Charlie does not speak English and should not be asked questions. The cast includes a real-life married couple with
extensive PSF credits playing an engaged couple: Emmy-nominee Marnie
Schulenburg, who portrays the Southern debutante Catherine Simms, and
Zack Robidas (It's Complicated, Arbitrage), who plays the Rev. David
David Button appears as Catherine's younger brother,
Ellard Simms, who's presumed not to be the sharpest tool in the shed.
The county property inspector with designs on the resort, Owen Musser,
is Anthony Lawton, whose many PSF credits include twice portraying the
clown Feste in Twelfth Night. The ensemble includes Philadelphia actors
William Zielinski and Brian McCann, and Emmy winner Wayne S. Turney.
Long-time PSF actor and director Jim Helsinger, who
directed last year's Lend Me a Tenor, leads a creative team that
includes six-time Emmy winner Bob Phillips, set designer; Marla
Jurglanis, costumes; Thom Weaver, lights; Kristian Dereck Ball, sound.
Jane Ridley serves as dialect coach and Alison Hassman as production
Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects is production sponsor
for The Foreigner; co-sponsors are Bazzini and Keenan-Nagle Advertising,
The show runs July 8- August 2 on the Main Stage in repertory with Henry V. Preview: Wed. July 8th, 8pm
Preview: Thu., July 9th, 8pm
Opening: Fri., July 10th, 8pm
Tue. July 14th, 7pm
Wed., July 15th, 8pm
Sun., July 19th, 2pm
Wed. July 22nd, 8pm
Fri., July 24th, 8pm
Sat., July 25th, 8pm
Sun., July 26th, 2pm & 7:30pm
Tue., July 28th, 7pm
Thu., July 30th, 8pm
Sat., Aug. 1st, 2pm, Audio Description for patrons who are visually impaired.
Sun., Aug. 2nd, 7:30pm Amaranth Foundation is the 2015 season sponsor. Associate
season sponsors are the Szarko Family, Harry C. Trexler Trust, Dr.
James and Penny Pantano, and Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth. The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, a professional
company in residence at DeSales University, is the Official Shakespeare
Festival of the Commonwealth and a professional, not-for-profit theatre
company. An independent 501 c 3 organization, PSF receives support from
DeSales University and relies on contributions from individuals,
government agencies, corporations and foundations. PSF is a constituent of the Theatre Communications Group
(TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, and a member
of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Shakespeare Theatre
Association, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and Discover Lehigh Valley. For tickets, call 610.282.WILL  or go online to www.pashakespeare.org. The Festival's 24th season continues with Around the
World in 80 Days (through July 12); Henry V (July 16- August 2);
Pericles (July 22- August 2); Shakespeare for Kids (July 22- August 1)
and Rapunzel (through August 1). One night events include Jeremiah James performing a
special concert, Choose Love, on Monday, July 27 at 7:30pm on the Main
Stage. James recently played Javert in PSF's record-breaking production
of Les Misérables. Tickets are available by calling 610.282.9455, or online at pashakespeare.org.
First let me warn you, if you think that you are going to come to Ferry Farm to see the house where George Washington spent his childhood, you are going to be disappointed. Ferry Farm is an archaeological project. The original farm is long gone. Having said that it is still a very interesting place to visit.
You begin your visit at the Visitor Center. This is where you are going to paint the picture in your head that will carry you through the grounds. We arrived on a rainy Saturday afternoon and we had the site to ourselves. Even had we decided not to walk around the grounds there would have been plenty to read and enjoy in the Visitor Center. Ferry farm is included on the Passport but if you haven’t purchased one be sure to ask for the AAA discount.
The exhibit in the visitor center was entitled "George Washington, Boy before the legend". We learn that he moved here in 1738 at 6 years old with his father Augustine, his mother Mary, and his younger brothers Samuel, John, and Charles, and his sister Betty. His older half-brothers were off in England getting their formal education. On Christmas Eve 1740 the house burned down. Then in 1743 his father died. His elder half-brother Lawrence inherited the main family home, Mount Vernon.
At age 15 he went off into the far reaches of Virginia with Lord Fairfax and it was the beginning of his career as both a surveyor and a soldier. Much of his reputation was being developed during this period. He was the quintessential gentleman, as a young man, he copied the "Rules of Civility, a guide to gentlemanly behavior. In many ways, it became the benchmark that he modeled his life upon. He was an elegant dancer, he loved to gamble, to fence, to foxhunt, and he was a superb horseman
I could continue for an hour with all we learned in the visitor center but do take a walk out into the grounds. It was October so the archaeological dig was closed for the year but there is plenty of evidence left uncovered. There is ongoing research on the property. They have not yet discovered the exact location of the house built after the 1740 fire. They also know that there were several warehouses, a kitchen, and at least one slave quarters. They have excavated more than 500 exploratory holes. The items removed from the holes are being identified and when they have more information that will begin large-scale digs.
You can take a walk that goes along the Rappahannock and goes to the site of the Ferry crossing which gave the farm its name. It also played a vital part in the battle of Fredericksburg. If you are interested in George Washington this is a must visit and even if you're not, it is a fascinating look at mid-18th century life.
Carrefour- La Toison D'Or Mall- This is one of the
cornerstone stores of this Mall. It is a sort of combination Sears-Sports
Authority-Super Walmart. They have everything from ski equipment, to appliances
(stoves, washers, etc.), fresh fruits, vegetables, and a huge fish department.
Need wine? They have it. Want to buy a leather jacket? This is your store. Talk
about one stop shopping. I even bought mustard flavored potato chips here. You
can get a fresh roasted chicken or a cold sandwich. Toothpaste or shampoo, I
had a ball here and got some great mustard, vanilla bath scrub, hippo shaped
cookie cutters and if we could have figured out how to carry them in the car, we
would have picked up some really inexpensive downhill skis.
though, I got in one line and tried to pay cash, nope not that line,
you also bag your own purchases, hey for these prices who cares. This
was definitely the place to go to get the best deals on any gifts you
want to purchase to take home.
I was so busy shopping, that I never took any pictures but you get the idea.