May 15, 2013

Huntington, West Virginia and Charlottesville, Virginia

It was never on our radar nor on our bucket list when we started out RVing seven years ago, but we have now traveled to all 49 states with our motorhome. West Virginia was our 49th state.

Sign at the Welcome Center in West Virginia

We knew that a storm was right behind us as we traveled from Kentucky to West Virginia on May 10th, and we wanted to beat the storm. We no sooner arrived at the KOA Park in Huntington, West Virginia, and got the RV set up, when we were hit with a very heavy downpour of rain.

 Taken from our RV front window right after we arrived at the KOA RV Park.

We were impressed with all of the trees and hills in West Virginia. Here are some of the pictures we took out of the RV window on our trip to Huntington.

  West Virginia

West Virginia

It rained each day that we were in West Virginia, with the exception of the last day. On Monday, we left and drove 280 miles to Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville is near Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. We came here for the specific purpose of touring the homes of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe -- our third, fourth and fifth presidents. All three were friends and lived within 30 miles of each other. As one tour guide told us today, Thomas Jefferson was the "visionary," James Madison was the "intellectual designer," and James Monroe was the "implementer."  (We were not allowed to take pictures in any of the three homes.)

Since James Madison's place is 30 miles away, we took yesterday to check that place out first.

James Madison's house in Montpelier

View from the front porch of James Madison's house.

Bronze statute of James and Dolly Madison

Train depot at Montpelier build by Mr. DuPont who
needed to travel between Montpelier and Washington, D.C.
in the early 1800s.

Then, today we spent the time going 
through Jefferson and Monroe's homes.

Thomas Jefferson's mansion at Monticello

The back of Thomas Jefferson's house
(currently under renovation)
Check out the back of a nickel for 
a reproduction of the back side of 
his home. Note that it is identified
as Monticello on the back of the nickel.

Thomas Jefferson's grave site on the property

Large garden on the property

Bronze statute of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson spent 40 years building and tearing down and rebuilding his house at Monticello. It is by far the most impressive of the three places we visited. You really have to experience it yourself as words do not do it justice.

In contrast, Mr. Monroe's house was quite simple. And, in reality, he really only stayed in it a total of six years out of the 26 years that he owned it. But the road leading up to the house, the grounds and the views are spectacular.

Road leading to President Monroe's house

President Monroe's house is the little white one on the
right side of the picture. The large yellow structure
was added on to the house later by a new owner.

Garden on President Monroe's property

Landscape on President Monroe's property

Bronze bust of President Monroe

We also checked out Michie's Tavern established in 1784.

 Michie"s Tavern established in 1784

We were allowed to take pictures in Michie's Tavern

Kitchen in Michie's Tavern

Leaving here tomorrow and traveling over to 
Virginia Beach where we will be for a week.

Enjoy the life you love!

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