The neatest bits of history can turn up just around the corner. Most of my musings have focused on grand historic sites around the world, but as I explore my new surroundings I can see that I don't need to travel 2,000 miles to see something cool. I haven't had much time to comment on … Continue reading Sperryville & Sister Caroline
A Confederate hand, long ago, scratched those words in charcoal on the wall of the Graffiti House. A Union hand came along later and wrote "United States of America," with such flourish that the line from the "s" in States covered up the offending slogan. So it goes in Graffiti House, where multiple autographs, competing slogans, skillful portraits, … Continue reading “Yanks Caught Hell”
"Let it be red." Those are the words of Dolley Madison, when asked how she wanted the parlor of Montpelier decorated. Oh and what a red it is. The walls are covered in a soft, velvety red fabric wallpaper, and the chairs are upholstered in the same rich red fabric. Even the parlor curtains are red! I wanted … Continue reading Rainy Day at Montpelier
Legend records that when Thomas Jefferson was informed that British troops were on their way to Monticello in 1781, he calmly offered the messenger, Jack Jouett, a glass of Madeira. After that he offered his guests breakfast before sending his family to safety in a carriage. It's amazing that Banastre Tarleton and his British troops did not … Continue reading Monticello on the Mountaintop
There's no need to go all the way to the Grand Canyon to see a natural wonder. Right off of Interstate 81 in Rockbridge County, Virginia is the Natural Bridge, a site sacred to the Monacan Indians, and one of the natural wonders of the world in the nineteenth century. It seems impossible to go anywhere in … Continue reading Nearby Natural Wonder
Adventure is hardly the word that comes to mind when visiting Virginia Beach, but adventure can be found almost anywhere, you just have to look for it. It's easy to miss something off the beaten path amid the advertisements for parasailing, dolphin watching, and bar-hopping (not that there's anything wrong with any of those activities). … Continue reading Fort Story: the little military base you’ve never heard of.
Sometimes when you have a case of the Mondays on a Wednesday, the only thing left to do is just get in the car and drive. Fortunately, I live exactly 25 miles from the Swift Run Gap entrance to the Shenandoah National Park, so I left work early and started another journey. The adventure began on a clear hot … Continue reading Shenandoah Silence