My friend is in town from Canada and it was awfully boring around Blacksburg, Va with the students away for Thanksgiving. So I thought it might be nice to show my buddy some of my beloved state of Virginia.
On Tuesday afternoon we headed northeast and landed at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. Both of us admire Jefferson, and had a good time there. My friend especially enjoyed asking the docent some question about the relationship between Jefferson and an obscure British baronet, and its impact on the Declaration of Independence. But that’s my friend: he likes to pull people’s chain. (The docent actually said in reply, “Yeah, I’ve heard of that.”)
The interior of the house begins with a foyer which is even today cluttered with memorabilia from Indians and hunting. It was even more “busy” in Jefferson’s day. Of particular interest was the bed he died in on July 4th and the dining room overlooking the gorgeous grounds.
I recall as a young man just driving up to the estate. Now there is a spectacular visitor’s center complete with rooms for classes and a small cafe. One docent told us that they host home schoolers, State Department groups and others for classes.
I was on crutches, but the tour is equipped for people with disabilities. The bus had a lift and the house a ramp. I was offered a wheelchair, which I declined, and I could sit down in a couple of places.
It was a great start for refreshing my knowledge of Virginia history and entertaining my buddy.