Monday, 20 June 2011
First, you can get to the "park" by Metro if you want (from a hotel in Arlington easily). Get to the yellow line and head to the end at Huntington. Get off and climb on the "101" bus (leaves every 30 min during the week and 60 min on weekends). It's the last stop on the 101 bus and takes about twenty minutes to get there.
Second, there is a cafe or two at the entrance. Tank up on water and liquids if traveling in the summer. Everything is priced higher than you'd like to pay....so don't complain. In the 90-degree temperature....drag along one bottle of water with you for the walk.
Third, it is a walk of sorts. Figure three miles to be covered during this episode. Bring a hat for cover in the summer and wear comfortable shoes.
Fourth, the house does look like a poorly maintained place when you get up close to it. They are doing some work, but that's generally the same way it looked in 1799....so don't get excited or anything.
Fifth, the tomb is the last part of the walk and a bit of an interesting place. They generally walk forty folks up and do the ten-minute talk and then allow pictures.
Sixth, you end up leaving it with an appreciation of rural living and a quiet lifestyle. I think Washington built a place where he could simply enjoy the scenery and have a ale with visitors on the back porch as the sun went down. He didn't invent things like Jefferson....he was more of the guy who just stumbled around in life and was lucky. He never really inherited anything much and simply got to where he was in life by honest work. In the end, you have to admire the guy.