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Friday, June 30, 2017

The Monticello Tour

First and foremost, some important facts to remember before visiting the Monticello house. Taking photos and videos inside the house is NOT allowed, but is permitted on the grounds. Of course, you need to buy a ticket in order to tour the house.
The tour guide meets you at the East Walk fronting the house at least 15 minutes before your scheduled tour.

The Monticello is considered to be a designated masterpiece of Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd president of the United States, and the one who drafted the Declaration of Independence. He constructed and redesigned every aspect of Monticello including the landscapes for a period of 40 years. He made this his residence after inheriting the land from his father. It is located outside Charlottesville, Virginia on a mountaintop with a 5,000-acre plantation.

Jefferson started designing and building Monticello when he was 26 with his designing principles inspired from a neoclassical design of an Italian renaissance style and still continued to redesign and integrate more from his own design ideas towards styles that became popular in the late 18th-century styles.

Monticello means an Italian name for "little mount" because of its location on a lofty hill in Albermarle County, Virginia in the southwest mountains, south of the Rivanna Gap.

Inside the house reveals rooms where Jefferson and his family spent their daily life routines. Furnishings, books, gadgets, arts and many more objects are also displayed revealing Jefferson's unique mind.
A Crossroads Exhibit, restored wine cellars, a kitchen, smoke house and the slave quarters can be seen in the cellar area with an entrance shaped like a tunnel.

 Outdoors are historic gardens which were a botanic showpiece with extensive gardens for fruits and vegetables and other gardens for ornamental and useful plants.

Fifteen minutes away from the Monticello house is a walking trail to Jefferson's grave and other members of his family.

There are more exhibits that can be seen at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center as well, including 4 exhibitions that feature interactive technology, historical objects and ground-breaking researches.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Experiencing 18th-Century at Michie Tavern

If you want to relive an 18th-century setting for a bit, visiting Michie Tavern in Charlottesville, VA is worth it!

The original tavern was built in 1784 which used to be a social center during the colonial period. You will experience eating a buffet lunch menu consisting of colonial fried chicken, stewed tomatoes, green beans, gravy, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, etc...Servers will also be dressed in their colonial costumes as they serve your drinks and other special requests you may have.

Self guided tours are mostly ideal if you want to take your time, but guided tours are also available, particularly for bigger groups. Their interactive tour is popularly ideal for groups. This is of course a guided tour and it includes seeing the 18th-century outbuildings, experiencing interactive activities such as dancing a colonial reel (with music) as well as you get the chance to try playing an 18th-century game! 
18th-century toilets!

Tours include visiting the oldest section of the tavern as you will continue to discover its 18th-century history.
Photos are allowed while touring inside the tavern, so bring your camera!
Some onsite shops are available at the area such as the Metal Smith Shop, The Armory, Artifacts Shop, The General Store and The Tavern Gift Shop.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Visit to the MacArthur Memorial Museum

This museum also functions as a research center dedicated to present and preserve the story of Gen. Douglas McArthur's life, his military career and achievements, his speeches, his family background and his role during the WW I & II including the Korean War.

The memorial also pays tribute to all men and women who supported McArthur in his battles during the war.

The first floor Memorial contains the Rotunda (the round-shaped area at the center of the first floor.) This is the focal point of the first floor. At the center of the Rotunda are the tombs of Gen. McArthur and his wife. On the walls are flag displays that can be easily seen.

There are 4 main galleries here; - Galleries 1, 7, 8 & 9.
The Second Floor Memorial contains 5 galleries; - 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. In here is a life-sized trench diorama, artifacts, artworks and interactive maps, - telling all about the happenings during the WW I & II, the occupation of Japan and the early beginnings of the Cold War.

By the way, there is also a visitor center where you can watch a 25-minute film about the life of Gen. Douglas McArthur. Adjacent to it are the special exhibit gallery, a gift shop, a visitor's lounge and some displays. It's purely all-history exhibits. If you're doing a research, bring your notebooks, a pen and your camera!'ll never know ;).