Wednesday, April 11, 2007

MTV Cribs Featuring George Washington’s Mt. Vernon

The weekend before last, my SO’s father and stepmother visited to do the touristy things during the cherry blossom bloom. It was fun despite the hoards of people who had the nerve to visit the cherry blossoms at the same time. 1st piece of advice for anyone visiting Washington D.C. during the cherry blossoms…walk an extra two blocks and use the Metro station that comes before the Smithsonian in your direction. The Smithsonian platform was more full than any rush hour backup I’ve seen. Who knows how anyone got on/off the train because the unwritten rules of Metro travel (that should be written for tourists and DCers alike) were not in service.

On Sunday, we drove to Mt. Vernon to see how GW spent what little free time he had after his days leading the country. This was my first trip and I was very impressed. For $13 you get a tour of his home, get to walk the entire property, and see a newly-built education center and museum. We wait a good 45 minutes before entering the home. Once inside, each room had its own tour guide to make like an animatronic creation at Disneyworld. He or she repeated a script over and over again. On a typical day this wouldn’t be an issue, but when the line was as long as it was, and people were cutting ahead by going around a velvet rope, we were treated to information about the George’s dining room, living room, and game room exploits three times.

After the tour, we walked the grounds and enjoyed a great view of the Potomac. We hiked back up the hill, though a bus was available every 30 minutes for those not crazy enough to walk up the path after a full day of DC walking. We returned to the general area and visited the new education center. I was blown away at how well done this area was designed. If I had the mindset of a child and visited this part (not to say I don’t have a child’s mindset at times) I would have loved all of the sites, multimedia theaters, sounds, and interactive exhibits. It surely keeps the attention of any visitor. We skipped the more adult museum because we had had enough GW for the day.

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