Saturday, October 26, 2013


Josh's parents came for a visit last week and we took the opportunity to go down to Virginia with them and show them the houses of Madison, Monroe, and Jefferson (similar to the trip we took in June but the weather was SO much better).
This time around we didn't get stuck in hours of traffic and were able to spend a lot more time seeing the things we wanted to see.  Our first stop was the home of James and Dolley Madison in Orange, Virginia.
Meet Dolley and James.  James was known as the Great Little Madison.  He was a small man and soft spoken but when he did speak he had brilliant ideas that shaped our constitution and our country.  We spent some time hanging out with them on the bench behind their home.  In the background you can see the entrance to the Dupont gardens.

Montpelier is so beautiful and the fall season made it even more so.  It was such a peaceful place with the gentle rain of leaves all around us as we walked around and explored. 

My pathetic attempt to get this lone rose.  The late bloomer was the only one left on the entire bush. 

The "Temple" built by the Madisons.  It actually covered their ice house. 

There is active archeology digging going on around the property.  They are literally going through the Madison's garbage piles.  An interesting, though tedious process.  We got to talk with the people cataloging and digging and sifting the dirt.  And down in the lab they had a box of dirt for the kids to sift through and find their own artifacts.  Ben was in heaven!  That little man loves rocks.  Frankly, Elijah and Sam were quite into it too.

Backside of the house
As we toured the house Sam raised his hand and asked a question in about every room.  It was pretty cute.  And Elijah was excited to see the cardboard cutout of Lafayette sitting at the Madison's dining table.

Cool old tree stump behind the house.  Of course the boys had to climb on it.

This is the stunning view from the path that goes down to the Madison family cemetery.  The picture doesn't do it justice. 

After spending time at the Montpelier we headed to our hotel, checked in and then went out for a bite to eat.  We ate at a little pizza dive (there really isn't much in Orange) and then it was back to the hotel to swim for a bit.  The highlight of the trip for the boys... they couldn't stop asking when we were going to go.  We stayed at the same hotel as before (comfort inn and suites) and they have a [semi] heated indoor pool.  This time we were able to convince Ben to actually get in the water with us.  He was very timid at first, plastering himself to Josh, but by the end of the night he was floating on his back, splashing and kicking water at his brothers, and even blowing bubbles.  Little lady and I also went swimming and we pretty much had the pool to ourselves for an hour of great fun, albeit a little cold. 

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