August 19th, 2013

get critical

Poem for Monday and Montpelier

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We got up early on Sunday to drive to Montpelier, the home of James Madison, which isn't far from Monticello, Charlottesville, and the University of Virginia. It was a very rainy drive down and drizzly most of the time we were there, but we had a lovely day anyway -- we met dementordelta and Lin at the visitor center, watched the film, then took the house tour, which starts in Madison's mother's austere front room with the great view and goes through Dolley's fancy drawing room (lacking a Facebook wall to show off their famous friends, they hung paintings of Washington, Jefferson, et al on their actual walls), the upstairs bedroom that the Madisons shared and the downstairs one where James Madison died in his late 80s.


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As with every early Virginian president, there were attempts to rationalize the treatment of slaves, but also work restoring the buildings where they lived and worked. We ate lunch after the house tour in the visitor center, then walked around the grounds while it wasn't raining much, seeing some wildlife and having the cemetery to ourselves because of the weather. We had decided to go to Fredericksburg afterward to have dinner at Carlos O'Kelly's, but we got slightly lost on the way and ended up getting to see lots of horse and cattle farms in the hills around Orange, Virginia. After dinner Delta and Lin went one way, my family went the other, and we came home and watched The White Queen plus part of the Colts-Giants game.