Monday, October 3, 2011

Mr. Jefferson and Baltimore

On our way north to Baltimore several weekends ago, the 500Jerk family visited Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson and kin.  Why, here's the handsome fellow himself.

I have mixed feelings about Mr. Jefferson, author of the magic words invoking liberty in the Declaration of Independence AND slaveowner.  What I like on an unqualified level about Mr. Jefferson, however, is the vegetable garden at Monticello.  The main garden is just like Mr. McGregor's garden in The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, only bigger and without cats.  It has rows and rows of cabbages, beets, basil, lemon balm, melons, gourds, and lettuces. 

Most impressive of all is the house itself.  It is well-kept and, all these many years later, beautiful and comfortable.  No pictures allowed inside, though.

Apparently Mr. Jefferson built this house, tore it down several times, then re-built it, all at great expense.  This offends my Yankee sense of thrift.  Build a house, then live in it, that's MY motto.

The views from Monticello are endless.  Mr. Jefferson could see for miles around, and he owned much of what he could survey. 

After Monticello, we headed over to the University of Virginia, then north to Baltimore, where we picked crabs, shopped, and saw the Orioles play the Red Sox.  On the way back home, we stopped in at Daleville's  Blue Collar Joe's for some handcrafted donuts, the Boston Cream Pie being our favorite. 

It was a fun long weekend, albeit one with a lot of driving.  Fall is the best time in East Tennessee, and we didn't want to miss too much of it.  As Mr. Jefferson so artfully wrote, "The happiness of the domestic fireside is the first boon of heaven."   

I know we certainly were glad to get home. 

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