10 years ago on August 12th I was on bed rest and 29 weeks 5 days pregnant. I had preeclampsia and had been in the hospital for about a week. I ended up getting transferred from my local hospital to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. I ended up having out daughter that very night. She was born at 10:48 pm and weighed 2 pounds 9 ounces. During our month in the UVa NICU we saw lots of articles and signs about the local history of the area. We always said we would come back to enjoy the better side of the region than a hotel room and the hospital.
It took us 10 years but we finally got down there to take in the sights! We decided to head down for two days and do it on my daughter’s birthday right before school starts again. We took my mother-in-law along with us because near there is the town that the tv show “The Waltons” is based on. She LOVES watching “The Waltons” so we thought it would be neat to see where the creator, Earl Hamner, grew up. After doing some research I found out about The Walton Museum. We decided to add that to our touring list. On Friday we planned on touring Thomas Jefferson’s home Monticello and thanks to Brigitte at the Charlottesville Visitor’s Bureau learned that right next to Monticello is James Monroe’s home Ash Lawn-Highland. Brigette shared that there’s something called the Neighborhood Pass that allows you to visit both homes and Miche Tavern. I’m so glad I contacted the Visitor’s Bureau because I had no clue!
After getting our tickets secured I did some research on hotels. I came across the Holiday Inn at Monticello and it looked great and reasonable in price. The location looked close to everything we wanted to do and it had a restaurant so we wouldn’t have to venture back out after arriving after a long day of driving and touring Waltons Mountain.
Now I needed to figure out how to make touring a long dead found father’s house interesting to a 10year old. Lucky for me the staff at Monticello already did it for me! They have a wonderful website and even have a book you can download that is written as if Thomas Jefferson’s grand-daughter is telling her friends about her grandfather’s plantation. I downloaded that and we read it on out drive. I also went to the Miche Tavern website and found that they too have taken the stress off us parents and created a few resources to help make the visit more enjoyable for children.
I can’t wait to tell you about our trip and all the interesting things we saw and learned. I always come back from trip like this amazed at how our country has grown from huge plantations and primitive lodging to what we live in now.
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