Jen and I are back from a quiet trip through the Virginia countryside to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
We stayed at a quiet cabin in the woods called Montfair, which was better than any Motel 6 could have been. The cabins are owned by a family who are reviving an older campsite, and I’d recommend the cabins to anyone, including families with children. Every detail is thought of, from extra towels and fresh organic coffee to corkscrews and air conditioning. (By chance we met one of the owners of the campground, who turned out to be a fellow MICA graduate.)
Monticello is a beautiful, inspiring place set high on a hill overlooking the rolling mountains. There’s a ton of things to do and see, and now that the second mountain is open, tours are available to learn about the history of the area as well. I learned more about the Founding Fathers on this trip than during twelve years of public school. Luckily, we missed most of the rain that plagued northern Virginia and Maryland, and by the end of our day we were strolling the grounds in sunshine.
Monday’s journey back home took us north and through sleepy one-lane backcountry until we hit Montpelier, purely by accident. We stopped and took the tour of James Madison’s country estate, which was also worth every penny. The house is currently under a massive restoration, so we were able to walk through stripped plaster and lathe and see the generations of changes made to the house since its beginnings in 1760.
What was meant as a relaxing, inexpensive getaway turned out to be more than we could have hoped for—we returned back to Baltimore happy, relaxed, and invigorated.