Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas at Mount Vernon

I love to enjoy holiday weekends with lots of sightseeing and fun activities for the minnies and me. Yesterday we visited Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate located on the banks of the Potomac River. Mt. Vernon is beautiful at any time of the year, but this visit was particularly special because we got into the holiday spirit with Christmas at Mount Vernon.


The Christmas trees at the Ford Orientation center each had a different theme and are so pretty. You can buy all of the ornaments on display at the gift shops, too. Be sure to see the orientation video at the welcome center; it’s very interesting and the Twincesses liked it a lot. They also enjoyed the miniature replica of the mansion. It’s a great preview of what you will see on the mansion tour.


Before our mansion tour, we checked out some special Christmas activities. First, we met Aladdin the camel. George Washington loved exotic animals and novelties and brought a camel to Mount Vernon in 1787 to share with his guests. Can you imagine what his holiday guests thought about this unique animal? We also saw Liberty, the pardoned White House turkey, but he was not in the mood for posing for pictures!


Chocolate was a delicious delicacy during George Washington's lifetime. Interpreters shared the history of the special drink and showed how the beans were turned to paste, then bricks, and how this was ultimately used to make a hot chocolate drink. Natalia said that the process was just like chocolate in Oaxaca and she is right! George Washington even liked to add a little bit of chile peppers to his hot chocolate!  Martha's Remedy, a combination of hot chocolate and butterscotch Schnapps, is also popular on the menu at the Mount Vernon Inn.


The mansion, the gardens, and the commanding view of the Potomac are so amazing, that it is no wonder that George Washington loved his home so much. "I can truly say I had rather be at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the seat of government by the officers on state and the representatives of every power in Europe" George Washington.

The mansion is decorated for Christmas with greens above each doorway. The table in the dining room includes treats that would have been served for dessert at a Christmas dinner. The guides told us that the “German tradition” of a Christmas tree had not yet been introduced at this time. As a special treat, we were able to see the third floor of the mansion, including the room where Martha Washington lived after George Washington’s death.


The Twincesses like to explore and play as I enjoy the view of the Potomac.


There is so much to see and do at the numerous buildings and gardens at the estate.  Children will enjoy the adventure map with questions and interesting facts to find. 



After the mansion, we saw the education center and museum. I'm not sure which part I enjoyed more, the mansion or the education center. The education center has so many hands on activities and the Twincesses learned so much from this visit through the interactive exhibits. One theater is complete with special effects like fog, snow!, and seats that rumble when the cannons fire.

A gingerbread replica of Mount Vernon is on display during this special event. The gingerbread house created by former White House pastry chef, Roland Mesnier, is incredibly detailed with chocolate trees and lifelike figures of people.


Our adventure ended with a delicious meal at the Mount Vernon Inn.  Be sure to order the fried green tomatoes as an appetizer.  They are out of this world delicious! 


xoxo



4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing these pictures! It has been 20+ years since I've been to Mount Vernon. I can't wait to take my kids. I have such fond memories of visiting there! -e

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  2. Looks like so much fun! Definitely adding this to my list for next year!

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  3. I had forgot how beautiful Mount Vernon is. I haven't been since the 4th or 5th grade.

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  4. My family and I went one year and we froze! Funny how this year we were in t shirts! Crazy DMV weather =]

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