Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for not a lot of things that I want to write about

I went to Mount Vernon on Tuesday.  It was wonderful.  Actually, at first it was kind of annoying because I got there at the same time as about 15 school groups.  I went through the house in the middle of one of those stupid groups.  It was crowded and LOUD.  Annoying.

Look at that line.  Ugh.

Then I decided that most of those groups would be there and gone in the morning so I walked down to the wharf and pioneer farm and kicked around down there for a while. Most of the school groups were staying at the mansion and at the barns so I was out of the crowd anyway.  I met a docent in the replica slave cabin who was answering questions for people.

When I got there he was telling a few ladies about slave-life on Mount Vernon, and then those ladies left and it was just me and him.  I asked him how he knows all that he knows and he told me his personal story of learning about George Washington and falling madly in love with him (he didn't exactly say it that way.) It was a total George Washington geek/love fest.  I could have talked to him all day, but I only stayed until more people came and wanted to ask him questions.

Then I went to pioneer farm and walked around a little.

That's the sixteen sided threshing barn back there.  They put the wheat stalks on the floor and then horses come in and stomp it by running around the circle and the wheat kernels fall through the cracks in the floor and the workers collect it and then sift it and the seeds fall out of their shells and viola, wheat seeds.  Oh, George, you were so smart.

Then I went to the wharf on the Potomac to kill some more time until the school groups left.

I saw that big boat and asked about it and apparently they give tours every forty five minutes that take you around the river in front of the mansion a bit, and down the river far enough to see D.C. in the distance.  I got on with a family of hillbillies.  I know they were hillbillies because they talked and looked like hillbillies.  There was a chain-smoking mom and dad, and five boys between the ages of 8 and 12.  When the tour started everyone went on the top deck to see the sights and listen to the tour guide.  The stupid hillbilly kids were running around playing tag and yelling so loud and being so obnoxious we couldn't hear the tour.  Their parents were no where to be seen and nobody else was saying anything so I told them to stop running around and be quiet.  What?  Somebody had to do it.  They didn't stop running around but they were quiet.  No, I didn't trip them when they ran past me, but I considered it.  Pretty soon they left the upper deck and it was peaceful and we saw the mansion from the river.

Nice huh?
When we were pulling back up to the pier, I noticed that there was an osprey nest on some of the pilings.  I know it was an osprey because the guy I said, "Hey, look at that big bird!  What kind is it?"  He said it was an osprey and who am I to argue?

Can you see her in the middle?  She's kind of looking out at us like, "Hey, get the eff away from my nest, you rubbernecks."

By that time it was afternoon so I decided it was safe to go back up to the main part of the estate.  It was safe.  Most of the school groups were gone.  

For some reason, I'm extremely interested in the outhouses.  Here is a picture of the back of one:

See those little brown doors?  Those open up so the lucky lucky slaves could periodically go in and empty the catch basins so that they didn't have to dig big holes and move the bathrooms when they got full.  People would go to the bathroom either in there, or if it was the middle of the night or winter or something, they used chamber pots.  Yuck.  Here's a view of the inside of the bathroom:

Yeah, that's right, three holes.  HOW could anyone do that?  I wouldn't want to poop simultaneously, in the same room as anyone, even George Washington.  So I asked myself a Would You Rather question:  Would I rather not meet George Washington (I know he's dead), or magically meet someone who has been dead for 200 years BUT I could only talk to him while we were both pooping in his three-hole outhouse.  It's a tough one.  I think I'd rather not meet him.  

I thought I should go on the mansion tour one more time since I probably won't be back for a long time.  I am so glad I did.  I was practically alone.  I got to talk to the docents about stuff and when I got to the end, in GW's study, where he spent so much of his time, the docent stepped out and I WAS TOTALLY ALONE IN GEORGE WASHINGTON'S STUDY!  No, YOU shut up!  It was so fabulous, it was just me and his presidential chair and desk, and his books and his pictures and everything.  I'm really glad I decided to go through the house again.  I don't have pics of the inside because we aren't allowed to take pictures inside, so too bad for you.  I guess you'll have to go see for yourself.  

Then I went through the museum and educational center and shops.  I bought a lot of stuff.  It was a great day.  It's one of my favorite places in the world.  



SYLVIA NEY is So... what else?'s ONE HUNDREDTH MEMBER!  YAAAAYYYY, SYLVIA!!!!  You win the give-away of one of my cheap magnets from the So... what else? store.  Sylvia, email me at and tell me which one you want (or I could just surprise you) and tell me where you want it sent.  

Thanks to Sylvia and all the people who come here and see what I'm up to every day!  I really appreciate you guys!  


  1. Great pictures. Better to write about this than Xenon or Xerox or Xenophobia or X-ray or...

  2. Sarah, I loved your tour. Thanks for the pictures. I love stuff like this. I went on a tour of Hermitage in Nashville a few years ago, loved it. My friend was bored to tears, I could have stayed all day. Once a year they have a free day here in Denver and it's always on a week day. I take the day off and do all the tours. If you're ever in Denver we could do the Molly Brown house!
    And about the 3 poop holes, I SO don't get that!!! I've seen that before in old out houses. What, do you just sit and chat between grunts.
    PS I really want an iron stone chamber pot!! Really bad!! I don't know why, but they fascinate me....
    If you ever come across one I'll send you $ to buy it for me!!

    1. I love tours too. I'm a really good tourist. I would love to see the Molly Brown house with you. And Jane, you don't need a chamber pot. I'm pretty sure you have a toilet.

  3. I missed it by one! You snooze, you lose. :-) Congrats on the 101 followers!

    1. Missed it by one:DARN! Thank you and welcome!

  4. whenever i see a picture of an outhouse, all I can think is - "You have absolutely nothing to complain about."

    1. No kidding. Not much more would suck than using an outhouse on a regular basis.

  5. I want a Kira in the car magnet but I don't want to pay for it.


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