George Washington’s birthday, Mt Vernon, 2009

Ron and Tanya were in town for the long weekend, and I tagged along as they visited George Washington’s home at Mt Vernon for their first time. I hadn’t realized until we got there that this is President’s Day weekend, a national holiday based upon the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln.

Nor had I been to Mt Vernon in about five years. I had heard that big changes had been made to the grounds, and that a high-tech museum had been created since my last visit. Not only did that prove true, but much construction has altered the entire visitor view of the estate, at least upon entrance. The house and garden lands seem untouched.

As we entered the historic area, it was evident that many more “re-enacters” were around than I’d ever seen before. Perhaps, for the weekend, but perhaps even at other times, now that the whole estate has been upgraded.

We got in line for the mansion tour (I could do this one everyday; word has it that the queen of England remarked that Mt Vernon is a pretty piddling place for the ruler of a country, but I’ve always found the scale of the house and its rooms to be some kind of ideal), and as it was ending, we learned that we’d arrived at the moment that George Washington would speak to the large crowd that had gathered in honor of his birthday. There was a parade that went with this, and as you can see in the pictures, this was just one gorgeous day anyway.