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Sunday, May 23, 2010

East Coast Extravaganza: DC - Mount Vernon and National Cathedral

The past two days have been filled with excitement. After a long flight, layover, and another flight, we finally arrived in North Carolina. After a quick trip to the Waffle House, we went to bed to get ready for our nice long drive in the morning. After waking up bright and early with the sun, we loaded the car and hit the road.

Destination #1: Mount Vernon.

This plantation home was the home of General George Washington. Though it started as a simple 4 room farming house that he inherited from his brother, Washington converted it to a 3 story 21 room plantation mansion over the course of many years. Mt Vernon Manner was also one of the first restoration projects in US history.

The Mount Vernon lower gardens are where all of the veggies and herbs are grown. They are still planted and grown the way they would have been done in the time of Washington. There were lots of lettuces and miniature fruit trees among the many other produce.

In the house itself, we weren't allowed to take any pictures. There were 10 bedrooms, a large dining/ballroom, George Washington's study with his presidential chair, and many other reception rooms. It was stunning. I hope to some day have a house that rivals its splendor and glory. Though, mine will obviously have electricity, a large kitchen (that is actually attached to the house), and a nice music room.

Can't you just see me owning a house like this, standing in front taking in the glory. . .

My personally favorite section of the house actually came from the back side. There you will find a wonderful large porch that spans the length of the entire house, and overlooks the large Potomac river. A large grouping of chairs on the porch allows for the many guests of the manor to sit and enjoy the wonderful view.

The view from this house is utterly spectacular. A large, green, rolling landscape to the river makes it complete. I could just envision the presidential family sitting peacefully on the porch on a Sunday afternoon, lazily watching the ships go by and enjoying each others' company.

This simple joy is one that is being lost is our West Coast culture. Not only do we not take much time to just enjoy life, we don't even have real porches from which to do it. As we were driving home from the airport in North Carolina, one thing I immediately noticed is that almost every single house I saw had a nice big porch, and some kind of rocking chair or swing on it. These people know the simple joys of life, and live them to their fullest. Something we could all learn to do.

Destination #2: National Cathedral

After our time at Mt Vernon, we headed to the National Cathedral in Washington DC. We attended Evensong and an organ recital. It was lovely. The cathedral is huge, the resonance intense, the organ dynamic, and the service. . . well, it was more catholic than I had originally expected (since this is an episcopalian church).

The service performed by the bishop spoke of how we should trust in the Lord and the Spirit to guide us down the right path. There were also flags and seals for each state. The interior was actually really clean (unlike the ones of Europe) and still very light.

All in all, day one was rather successful!


  1. sounds like you are having a great time already! I have been to Mount Vernon too and i agree it is very very pretty! Keep us all posted :)

  2. Lee, Guess who's using your PC right now? Be sure to attend the temple of the true church as you go past. Bon Apetite!