Tuesday, November 14, 2006

East Coast Trip Part 2

To begin I must tell you , be patient, there's a lot in this one.

As we left the Sant'Agatas we headed north through the lush fall colored trees of northern North Carolina and Virginia. Just before leaving NC we made a quick stop in Hillsboro, home of the last headquarters of the Confederacy. Located in Orange County in the middle of fall it was definitely more orange than the county we live in. The town is pre-Revolutionary as evidenced by the street names King and Queen.

Next, our travels brought us to Natural Bridge. This is a giant stone bridge that was carved out by the natural flowing river below. One of the seven natural wonders of the world (I don't know completely what all seven are) it certainly commands the same awe as the Grand Canyon in it's scale. At night they have a light show while they read Genesis' account of the Creation. On one of the walls George Washington carved his initials (which we weren't allowed to do). Thomas Jefferson purchased this property from the King of England who himself purchased the land for $2.60. Also on the site were natural caverns with beautiful mineral formations. Watch out for bats.As if the Natural Bridge was hurting for tourism, some Professor that was described as "creative" (I'd choose eccentric) decided to create a scale replica of Stonehenge out of foam. This attraction was free, and so are the samples you can take home from it.
Unlike the real Stonehenge in England you can walk right up and touch this one. For the rest of the day I was singing Spinal Tap's song Stonehenge to myself. (If you think foamhenge is completely stupid as I do, just think, it still got two pictures on this blog)
Lexington is the home of Washington and Lee University. All buildings are bricks and columns. If I had College to do all over again I'd probably like to study here, but that's just based on looks.
Just behind the picture above is the Chapel that Gen. Robert E. Lee built. He was the President of this University. One interesting thing I learned about him was that his Great Grandmother was Martha Custis. She gave birth to Robert E. Lee's grandfather before she was widowed at 27. Martha Custis did remarry to George Washington our nations first President. In case you missed the connection: George Washington is Robert E. Lee's Step-Great-Grandfather. Inside the chapel is a sculpture from a single slab of marble of the late General just behind the pulpit. Even though he and his family are buried in the crypt below, this is not a depiction of him on his death bed. It's him sleeping on a pile of hay out on the battlefield. Yeah, right.
Moving right along; on our way to Charlottesville we climbed up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you get a chance I recommend driving it; it's almost 500 miles of pure beautiful vistas. But if your trip is pinched for time only spend a little time on it, I averaged about 20mph along the ridge highway.

Once in Charlottesville our first stop was President James Monroe's home. It's surprisingly small for being the home of the man who held the highest number of important government roles of any president ever. I'm sorry that I don't have pictures of the home as I'm not allowed to take any. If you're interested, I'm sure you can google up some pictures.
Just down the street is Michie (Mickey) Tavern. An old Tavern-Inn for travelers through the area. I'm not sure of the historical importance of this particular installation, but as a record of times gone by it's pretty interesting. Such as, did you know that we get the term "Bar" because that's what the person serving drinks had to do, bar the patrons from getting to the drinks? And, next time you see us ask us the origination of the song "Pop, goes the weasel."
Yes, this is a four-seater outhouse for guests of the Inn. A little privacy please.
For dinner, we found the perfect place about a block and a half from our hotel. They have the best fish and chips I think we've ever had. One look at the name and you'd think, of course, it was made for us."

Tomorrow, Monticello, Lord Hardwicke's for lunch, Washington D.C.

6 comments:

Rachel said...

I am so impressed. Mike and I are horrible at site seeing on vacation. We would have been happy to pick a little cotton and see the bridge. Sounds like a great trip so far!

Tara said...

Twice at Lord Hardwickes? We got some good recommendations for restaurants in Colonial Williamsburg from some of our friends. Be ready to eat!

Joshua said...

Tara, will they have hushpuppies? Our trip has been severely lacking them since we left you.

Tara said...

I can't believe you didn't get hushpuppies with your fish and chips! That's a crime.

jenna said...

wow guys, sounds like an awesome trip! I think it's kinda funny that Jay and I have been to Japan but not to the east coast! Now that we're even closer, we really have to go someday.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

We love you both and will miss you when we move.

BLESSINGS,
Jason and Nicole