Tag: House

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, Virginia – October 9, 2010

Today was Mount Vernon day.  I had wanted to go to Mount Vernon while we lived in the Washington, D.C. area, but we were just never able to string it together.

Today I took a taxi to oldtown in Alexandria.  I bought a ticket from the Potomac Riverboat Company for US$40. That ticket was good for a round-trip to and from Mount Vernon.  It also included my entry admission to Mount Vernon.  All in all, I thought it was a great deal.  It was about an hour and one-half trip each way.  That included a couple of stops on each leg.

The Alexandria marina and Torpedo Factory.
The Potomac River Boat helm.
Pulling away from the dock at Alexandria, Virginia.
Another view of the marina and Torpedo Factory.
Some docked yachts.
Our captain has us underway.
A small home along the Potomac River.

When I toured the house at Mount Vernon, we entered the large dining room first.  The verdigris green paint in this room is not my favorite.  From there the tour wound out to the front veranda and then back into the house at the main entrance.  Then our guide led the group up the stairs to the second level. On that level, we were able to view the upper hall, blue bedroom, Lafayette bedroom, and the Nelly Custis bedroom. The tour then went through the yellow bedroom. After passing through that bedroom, one was able to look into the Washingtons’ bedroom. From there it was back down to the main floor, through the study, and out the back door.

Our first glimpse of Mount Vernon from the Potomac.
George Washington’s tomb. Martha is on the left.
The inscription above the tomb.
The side of Mount Vernon that faces the Potomac River.
The side of Mount Vernon facing away from the river.
An iconic view of Mount Vernon.
A greenhouse at Mount Vernon.
People lined up along the colonnade to begin the tour of Mount Vernon.
The Potomac River as seen from Mount Vernon.
The stable at Mount Vernon.
The Powel Coach.
The south side of Mount Vernon.
Our final view of Mount Vernon from the river.
Fort Washington.
Fort Washington and a lighthouse.

It really was quite fascinating to see the mansion and grounds. One of these days I will read a biography on General George Washington to get a better picture of this founding father.  I am glad I went today.

As the Potomac Riverboat went back north on the Potomac toward the marina at Alexandria, we passed a motor yacht that was heading south on the Potomac, the Hilarium. It is a fairly large yacht at 134 feet.  The yacht was built in 1986 at a shipyard in the Netherlands.  There is room enough on board for ten guests and eight crew members.

The Hillarium on the Potomac River.
A tugboat heading north on the river.
Madrid Arrival

Madrid Arrival

Pozuelo, Spain – August 31, 2009

Today was our first experience traveling abroad as a family.  We actually left Washington, D.C. on the 30th, although it was a little dicey.  The first hurdle was to weigh all of our luggage to ensure we would be underweight when we checked in at Reagan National Airport.

At the airport, we checked in with no problem.  The next order of business was to exchange some dollars for euros.  It cost us about $368 to get 200€, our first of many encounters with exchange rates.  After getting the money, we sat down at Friday’s to get some lunch before we boarded our plane.

We made it to our gate at about 14:00 for a flight that was to depart to Atlanta at 16:00.  They had already begun the process of boarding the plane for the 14:30 flight.  After several minutes, I noticed the airline employees were asking all of the passengers to get back off of the plane they had just boarded.  I discovered that was because Delta was experiencing a ground delay in Atlanta.

After the second false-start, I could see the writing on the wall.  If that flight kept getting delayed, then our 16:00 flight would be delayed.  That would cause us to miss our flight from Atlanta to Madrid.  I decided to stand in line and try to get standby seats on that earlier flight.  Luckily I was able to get the four seats we needed.  That 14:30 flight actually pushed away from the gate at about 17:00, just 2:30 late!  We arrived at Atlanta, at gate A32.  From there, we needed to go to gate E1 for our Madrid flight.  We only had 50 minutes to make that trek.  We barely made it, taking our seats only 20 minutes prior to departure.

Our luck did change for the better, briefly, once we were on the plane.  I was seated on the two-seat side without a passenger beside me.  That made the eight-hour flight fairly comfortable.

We arrived in Madrid around 09:30 a.m. on the 31st.  We had our diplomatic passports stamped for the first time there.  Shortly after that, our luck changed for the worse again.  We went to the baggage claim area.  We stood there for quite a while waiting for my final bag.  We finally realized it was not going to arrive.  That bag contained all of my suits for work!  How fortunate!

During our wait, I decided I should call the person that was supposed to be picking us up at the Madrid airport.  That is when I discovered I had lost my cell phone!  It must have fallen out in the overhead compartment.

While we were waiting in line at the lost baggage counter, we called AT&T and were able to cancel my cell phone.  I figured that my bag did not make the plane because of the delays and the change of flight.  At worst, I thought the airline would deliver my bag the next day since that flight came in once a day.

We finally met up with the person that was there to greet us and were taken to our new home in Pozuelo.  What a beautiful place.  We are extremely fortunate!

The front of our home.
The rear of our home.
Leslie enjoying the swimming pool. How relaxing!