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A Quick Trip to Charming Charlottesville, VA

Shelly and I were looking for a short get-away before Covid-19 takes hold for the winter.  She found a great deal at the Boar's Head Resort in Charlottesville, VA.  We'd never been to Charlottesville, never toured Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello, and we wanted to see the fall foliage changing colors.  So we booked a two-night stay for October.  A big plus for the trip is that our dear friends, Pat and Lani Morrissey, live nearby, so we could spend some time with them too.  

We had a nice, scenic 2 1/2 hour drive and checked into the resort.  Shelly asked if the resort was full, and when told no, asked for a complimentary upgrade.  We were given a very nice room with a balcony overlooking a lake.  


We unpacked, then headed to downtown Charlottesville to get a bite to eat.  We decided on brunch at Hamiltons' at First & Main.  Shelly had Virginia Ham Biscuits, a bowl of Blue Crab and Corn Bisque, and Home-Fried Potatoes.  I had Stuffed French Toast.  Both meals were good and took our hungry edge off.  We then walked around a bit and ventured into a few shops.  It was raining steadily so cut our walk short and went back to the resort for the night.  

The next morning, we headed to Monticello, the home of founding father and author of the Declaration of IndependenceThomas JeffersonMonticello was a 5000-acre plantation with hundreds of enslaved people to tend it's fields and the house.  It was both an agricultural farm, where wheat, tobacco and other crops were grown, and a site of "cottage" industries, including a textile factory, a blacksmith shop, nailmaking and barrelmaking operations, and water-powered mills.  Thomas Jefferson called slavery a “moral depravity” and a “hideous blot,” but continued to hold human beings as property his entire adult life.

We took a small bus to the entrance and listened to a 5-minute talk about the history of the house.  Jefferson was given land by his father and expanded it to 5000 acres.  He was a lawyer by training, and had a great interest in architecture.  He spent much time in France, and included many French designs in the house.  Monticello is the autobiographical masterpiece of Thomas Jefferson—designed and redesigned and built and rebuilt for more than forty years—and its gardens were a botanic showpiece, a source of food, and an experimental laboratory of ornamental and useful plants from around the world.  The entryway to the house makes it difficult to get a good picture.  Here's a picture of the front entrance.  


Here is a picture of the house front entrance from an angle that shows the famous dome that is the highlight of the entry hall.  

The tour of the house was rather short, just 20 minutes or so.  We saw the main entry hall, parlor, dining room, team room, library, and Jefferson's bed chamber.  There are three floors in the house, and we only were able to see half of the first floor.  I wish we could have seen more.  The Monticello website has a nice virtual tour of the entire house.  I recommend viewing this tour to see details that my photos do not pick up.  Here are some photos I took inside the house.


After the tour, we drove to Pat and Lani's house.  Pat has been my best friend since 5th grade, and I've been friends wit Lani since I was 18.  We vacationed with them in Florida this past February.  Both Shelly and I were excited to see them.  They have a beautiful house and we promised we'd stay with them the next time we visited.  We spent over 4 hours with them, and it was great catching up.  

The next morning, we checked out of the resort and headed home via Skyline DriveSkyline Drive runs through the Shenandoah National Park in western Virginia.  The rain had finally stopped, but we encountered dense fog.  We could barely see any trees.  The fog cleared a bit in some spots and we stopped and took some pictures.  The colors were not at their peak, but still very pretty.  Here's some pictures.


We had a wonderful time, and we look forward to visiting Pat and Lani again.  

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