Somehow, the Friday after Thanksgiving seemed like an appropriate time to visit Mount Vernon. More than a few people had the same thought. The place was packed, so I basically waited two hours for a 15-minute tour of George Washington's estate. The wait was made longer when an EMT pulled up to the front door. After 20 minutes, a geriatric in a green pant suit was escorted down the steps by a medic and loaded into the ambulance. My guess is she couldn't handle the steps leading to the second floor.
But hey, it was beautiful day, and if you've got someone to hold a place in line, you can stroll aorund the estate and look the stable, the smokehouse, the laundry, the clerk's office and "the necessary." Three holes in a bench. Washington may been a founding father, but he didn't have indoor plumbing.
But he had an awsome view of the Potomac. We also made friends with the people in line in front of us. The dad was a State Department employee who was in charge of security at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. It was his most challenging assignment, he told me. I couldn't imagine.
However brief the tour, it's worth it to walk through Washington's personal space. The best part was his study. It was a large room, but certainly not the fanciest. In fact, aside from the large bookshelf on one wall, it was rather spartan. My background in pop psychoanalysis tells me this is where Washington came to be Washington, a place where he could escape from the pressures of helping to build the country that became what it is today. One can only imagine the deep thinking that went on in that room.
That said, I definitely recommend devoting the majority of your time to the newly-opened Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, especially if it's your second tour. The museum uses incredible interactive technology and traditional exhibits to give visitors a truly three-dimensional view of the Father of Our Country. You'll never think about him the same way again.