Day 17: October 15, 2015--Monticello, VA

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Today we took a Greyhound Bus to Charlottesville (yes, that Charlottesville) to visit Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello. (Official site)

Not much happened, really. Just the fulfillment of a life-long dream.

When I was a little kid, I was crazy about U.S. history. I had flash cards with all the presidents on them, as well as "U.S. State" cards that had an outline of a state--no name--but the names of the states around it. I could name them all.

I asked my dad once, "Dad, I like history. What can I be when I grow up?" and he said, "I don't know, maybe President?"

So for a while, this kid--who had always wanted to be a farmer--went around saying he wanted to be President when he grew up.

T.J. was both.

A portrait of Thomas Jefferson
(by Alton S. Tobey) in The Golden
Book History of the United States
by Earl Schenck Miers. Dr. Miers
writes of the "over six feet"
tall Jefferson in his college
days at William and Mary in
Williamsburg, VA: "He had hair
the color of a carrot, and with
his bony arms and spindlelegs he
made quite a sight jogging down
Duke of Gloucester Street for
his daily exercise."
When I was in third grade, Mom bought me a set of history books--one every week for three months--that I have here with me now. And in recent years, I've twice viewed Ken Burns's 1997 Thomas Jefferson.

So yeah, seeing Monticello filled my heart.

After that, there's not much to say. We boarded our bus at Washington's Union Station at 9:40 AM; though the ETA was 12:55, Lila's one picture in C-Ville is time stamped 12:15. We took a cab up (yeah, yeah) and were on the mountain by 12:45. After eating in the Visitor Center, we took the shuttle bus up to the top. The ticket says we had to enter the house before 2:20. And we did.

All you'll see in the Gallery are exteriors, as no photos were allowed inside. Besides, I'm not sure how well I'd shoot with tears in my eyes and my mouth hanging open.

With plenty of time before our bus departed, after viewing his grave site, we decided to walk down the mountain. It was glorious.

But then we had a little trouble getting back to town; we called the number our cab driver had given us, but he was busy. So we called dispatch, and before too long, a nice lady--a mom of teen-aged kids who had just started driving for extra income--came and got us.

We made our 5:05 bus with room to spare; the ETA back in Washington was 8:15 PM. I have no idea what time we actually arrived.

But we did.

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