We had a very long drive ahead of us and we couldn’t possibly wait until four o’clock for a tour. So, we made a commando decision and opted to purchase our ticket and go it on our own. We boarded a shuttle that took us from the Visitor Center up a winding road to Monticello. It wasn’t until we got there that we were told you can’t even go inside Monticello unless you’re on a tour. I’ll be honest—that woman guarding the front gate looked like she was ready to take on all comers who might try and get past her, so I decided trying to sneak in wouldn’t be wise.
A few of the casks used to store the beer.
Along the area known as Mulberry Row a section that encircled the house and grounds, Jefferson planted mulberry trees. In 1796 there were as many as 23 structures to help meet the needs of the household and manufacturing enterprises—everything from a blacksmith shop, carpenter’s shop to a smokehouse and dairy—and he raised Merino sheep for their prized wool as well as other livestock that would provide food for the table or be useful to work in the fields. Tobacco, rye, corn, and wheat were major crops, but Jefferson also enjoyed raising herbs, fruit trees and vegetables.
I can’t close without saying my sister was right—we should have watched where we parked the car. After parading through several lots, we finally enlisted the aid of a gentleman who helped us find the “missing” vehicle. Until we finally laid eyes on the car, I did envision spending the night under the stars at Monticello. One last note: if you plan to go to Monticello, make sure you allow plenty of time and check on purchasing tour tickets in advance. I do hope to return when I can tour inside, but it was still a grand visit and I learned some things I didn’t know about Monticello and Thomas Jefferson. All in all, the wonderful ending to a super vacation!
May you find joy as you travel the highway of life. ~Judy
And great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our sweet Tammy. Hope you have a wonderful birthday. Wish we could all join you for cake and ice cream!