Christmas Eve at Mount Vernon

When Beth suggested we go to Mount Vernon on Christmas Eve, I thought it was a great idea.  While I’ve travelled to Virginia quite a few times, I had never had the opportunity to visit any of the monuments nor American history exhibits in the nation’s capital.

I was SERIOUSLY impressed with Mount Vernon.

We arrived bright and early at the home of George Washington and his wife Martha (as in before they even opened!)  It was a little bit cold, and although rain was in the forecast, we got REALLY lucky and stayed dry.

My brother opted not to join us on this trip (not sure why!) but chose to do electrical work at the house instead.  Here’s the rest of us in front of the gates of MV

Once inside, we were welcomed into the visitor center to look at their festive displays and to watch a movie about the Washingtons before we headed out to tour the family home.

Also, as a bonus… Mount Vernon had a few special exhibits for the holiday season, including a camel on property.

As history tells, GW and Martha used to have a camel brought to the property every year during the holidays to entertain the estate guests.  During a single year, it was said that Martha and GW had nearly 700 guests!  Can you imagine??

In addition to seeing the camel, we also had the opportunity to tour the third floor of the estate (which is usually closed), to see a chocolate demonstration, and a display of Mount Vernon-inspired gingerbread houses.

Our walk to the home was certainly cold, but definitely worth it!  We pretty much had the grounds to ourselves as it was still early and Christmas Eve.  As the day went on, the property began to fill up.  Our first stops were to visit the gardens and the recently pardoned Presidential Thanksgiving turkey.

So, after visiting the floral gardens (which lacked flowers due to the season), we popped into a gift shop for a second to warm up… and try on some hats!

Afterward, it was time to view the other buildings on the property.  We stopped by the smokehouse, the slave quarters, and blacksmith’s shop… to name a few.

The best part of the tour was the estate itself.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures inside of the estate… but the exterior had the most amazing view of the Potomac.  GW said that there wasn’t a finer piece of land to have a home at than Mount Vernon.  I’m pretty sure he was right.

Touring the interior of the estate, we got to see all the rooms where the Washingtons and their family lived.  I was pleasantly surprised at how brightly colored the rooms were inside the home.  The fabulous dining room was teal, and they had another dining room that was kelly green!  Way to use that color!  The last part of the tour took us to Martha and George’s final resting spot.

Afterward, we made the trek back to the museum and to have lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn restaurant.

When we arrived back at the museum, we were sitting waiting for my parents to finish the tour and Hailey, Beth, and I were met by a family who was doing “26 Random Acts of Kindness” for the families at Newtown.  Hailey opened their nice card, and enjoyed some of their generous chocolates on the way home.  There are so many people participating in these 26 acts… it was fun to be the recipient of someone else’s efforts!

Overall, I HIGHLY recommend the tour of Mount Vernon if you have never been before.  Beth and Jason are season pass owners, and I am hoping I have a chance to go back with them in the spring or summer when more of the vegetables and flowers are in bloom.  I’m sure the property is just gorgeous during every season…

Did you do anything different this Christmas Eve?  Have you ever been to Mount Vernon?

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