Saturday, I started the day off by waking up late and not being able to leave in time to take the metro to the National Harbor. Kenna and I ended up splitting an uber together and we got to leave an hour later than those who took the metro. The ferry to Mount Vernon took a very pretty path and was much shorter than I expected. After we got there, I lost my ticket to see the house on the way up to it. The person who checked the tickets didn’t check hard enough because I still got in without any questions. The house wasn’t quite what I expected. I thought it would be much grander than it was, though now I realize it was grand for colonial America. After we saw the house, we wandered around a bit, took a few pictures and headed to the education center. The center was quite well done with a lot of informational screenings and many facts and details I never knew about Washington or the U.S. In honor of that here are some fun facts that I learned during the trip:
- The mansion is ten times the size of the average home in colonial Virginia
- 1 million visitors pass through Washington’s house each year
- Washington hosted around 670 guests in 1978
- In 1776 (ish), Washington began redesigning the landscape with heavy British landscape design influence
- Mount Vernon was originally called ‘Little Hunting Creek.’ Washington’s oldest half-brother named it after his old commanding officer, Admiral Vernon.
- From the day Washington died on, Martha never stepped into their marital bedroom.
- George learned to be a surveyor at 16.
- Washington loved dancing.
- Washington never occupied the White House.
- Martha burned all of the letters she received from George.
- Washington said, “I heard the bullets whistle, and, believe me, there is something charming in the sound.”
I didn’t get to see Washington’s grave or the Slave Memorial on the way up to the house so I rushed to see it on the way back. I stopped for maybe five seconds at each, took a quick picture and ran to the dock (where I ended up waiting for another 20 minutes for the boat to arrive). We traveled back to the National Harbor and debated over a place to eat food. We ended up going to Granite City which was quite a coincidence because a year ago I had breakfast there with my aunt. Suzette and I split the most delectable pork waffle and pork nachos because I couldn’t decide between the two. Those were probably the best nachos I’ll ever have in my life. The food made me very happy.
Since my last post, I learned Granite City has the best nachos and there’s a place called Founding Farmers that apparently has great food too. My coworker sent a great opportunity to do conduct research remotely (i.e. from Arizona) on Urban Planning and GIS stuff for agencies like the State Department, CIA and USAID. I’ll probably do that and have been looking into the hundreds of insanely cool projects they have. While volunteering at the Folklife festival, I learned all paper products, including wax paper, are compostable. Tomorrow I’ll learn about the struggles of technology modernization in the government at a breakfast I’m going to.