West to Monticello

Thomas Jefferson, third President of the US, built his home at Charlottesville in 1772, and called it Monticello. He thought it was paradise… and it is still today, in its forested, mountaintop (260 metres) setting from where we could get wonderful views west and south.
The trip west was once again along a highway which was edged with verdant green trees. How awesome this highway must be in the autumn.
The road continued on and on and on, nothing seemed to change, except that sometimes there was a lot of traffic passing us – and at other times, there were gaps. A few days ago we installed a GPS system in the car; when we type in the destination, the GPS unit tells us everything we want to know about getting there. When we deviate from the route we’ve planned, the machine recalculates the route and tells us how to get back on course.
So unchanging was the scenery, Mary and I were beginning to wonder what lay beyond those trees. So we exited the motorway, crossed it, and looked for a road in the same direction. We soon found a concrete (paved) road stretching off forever, but here we could see cattle
grazing, horses occasionally, crops, houses and best of all gardens.
In fact, we passed a sign saying Mary’s Garden Plants, so had to go in and meet Mary. A great discussion about plants and insects – particularly butterflies ensued. We bought several of her plants to give to Linda, our host for the night.
Our GPS got us to Monticello but there was not much time to spare. We gave up on plans to see inside the house, but explored the garden in the late afternoon heat – and what a beautiful garden it is too.
Earlier in the day we had come across the delightful settlement of Williamsburg, best known for its university or college (William and Mary) and also the historical village recreation which not only entertains but explains another part of US history.
We arrived at Linda Marchman‘s, just outside Charlottesville, and enjoyed a wonderful dinner with our hosts – we’re all geared up to spend some time with them tomorrow morning exploring Charlottesville and local wineries. If only there was more time!

2 Responses to “West to Monticello”

  1. Jude Says:

    I visited Monticello and Williamsburg about 20 years ago. They are both so beautiful. I went with my mother, who died about a year later, so the memories are especially precious.

    They aren’t sure where the hurricane is going to land, but I hope that you will be safe and dry–and that it won’t interfere with your plans.

  2. jacqui Says:

    We WERE safe and dry, Jude – and we had a fantastic time with all our wonderful hosts and the people we met. Their generosity, kindness, thoughtfulness, interest… just too much. We are both absolutely thrilled with how successful our trip has been, and hope that the people we have met and exchanged experiences with have enjoyed our visits as much as we have enjoyed visiting them.

    We are now at Los Angeles International Airport, awaiting our flight with Air New Zealand home.

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