MONTICELLO & MICHIE TAVERN

A 1-Day Bus Trip to the Commonwealth of Virginia


A short photographic review of Grandma Bert and Grandpa Roy's 1-day trip to the homes of presidents Jefferson and Monroe and the famous Michie Tavern.


 
 

On 22 October 2005, just a few weeks after your grandparents returned from Egypt, they clilmbed aboard a bus one grey Saturday morning and headed for Virginia.  Neither one had ever seen the famous home of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, which has been portrayed on the back of the American nickle for many years.

The day started out cool and grey, and it even sprinkled a bit on the way into Virginia.  By the time the bus reached the visitor's center with its small museum devoted to Jefferson's era, the day had brightened a bit.  It stayed that way for the drive to Michie Tavern, where a feast of home-made all-you-can-eat fried chicken, potatoes, salads, baked beans and desserts was provided for the hungry travellers.

Before lunch, however, there were tours of the old tavern, which included the upstairs bedrooms, where your grandparents learned that as many men as could fit into the room would try to get a night's sleep.  There were other rooms for women or families, but they weren't as nice.  Then, downstairs, a doctor right out of the 18th century and his nurse explained how ailments and injuries were treated in America's historic past.  Some of the treatments were downright horrifying by today's standards!

Your grandparents walked around the grounds after the filling lunch and visited the gift shop, where Grandpa Roy bought a Virginia cookbook.  Then the passengers returned to the bus, which continued on to Monticello, Jefferson's famous mansion.  The weather again turned somewhat gloomy, but the rain held off for a bit longer.  Tickets were handed out for guided tours of the inside of the home.

The first thing pointed out on the tour was how Jefferson had a weather vane installed that he could view from beneath the roof of his porch.  Inside the home, among other things, visitors learned that people slept sitting up in the late 1700s.  It was thought sitting up prevented certain ailments.

There were guided tours of the gardens once an hour and Grandma and Grandpa intended to take one, but the rain began.  Your grandparents stayed out of the rain as much as possible while still exploring the gardens and the other buildings on the property.  Some brave souls, however, did take the walking tour of the gardens.  And Grandma and Grandpa joined in near its end as the rain began to slow once more.

At the gift shop your grandmother bought a book about Jefferson, which she since has read.  Then, your grandparents began a slow walk back to the bus parking lot.  Along the way they visited the Jefferson family cemetary where Thomas Jefferson is buried.  Your grandparents took their time returning to the bus, as there still was half an hour remaining until departure time; however, when the arrived at the bus 15 mintues early, it turned out they were the last to board.  The others had been waiting for them for several minutes.

From Monticello the bus travelled to President Monroe's home, Ash Lawn.  James Monroe was America's fifth president.  His house was not as imposing as Monticello, but it was interesting nonetheless.  After a tour through the home and around the grounds, your grandparents made their obligatory stop at the gift shop and then hopped on the bus for the return home.

Although the weather remained mostly grey and damp, it did not spoil the adventure, photographs of which may be seen by following this link.