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Road Trip, Day 6: My Jeffersonian Birthday

My 28th birthday was a dreary, rainy Monday in central Virginia. But it was still a success because we spent it immersed in the life of Thomas Jefferson.

We got to Monticello at 9 a.m., and spent about 2 hours at the estate.


It really is a cool place to visit. First, we took a 40-minute guided tour of the first floor, where we learned about how the retired Jefferson spent his days, who all lived there, and what he all invented around the house.

Next, we toured the slave grounds, gardens, and visited the grave site. We finished with a 20-minute film back at the visitor’s center.


After our visit to Monticello, we stopped at the Michie’s Tavern for lunch. This was a place for lodging and eating in the 18th century. Today, they offer tours and serve a Southern-style buffet in a historic atmosphere.

For one last time, we loaded up on Southern cornbread, cole slaw, and mashed potatoes.


And Dave indulged in pulled pork and chicken legs.


They used authentic plates and mugs for drinks, and the ambiance was reminiscent of colonial America. The staff was even dressed in traditional garments.


The only bummer was that it was totally overpriced – $17.50 per person for the buffet, which has a pretty narrow selection, with drinks and deserts being separate.

After lunch, we made the five-hour drive back to State College, through Northern Virginia, a tiny part of West Virginia, and Southern Pennsylvania. Now that we’re back, I have been to 43 out of 50 states. Only seven to go! On the way, I read the entire Wikipedia article on Thomas Jefferson out loud to Dave, Because we’re ridiculous people.

Back in Happy Valley, we stopped at Wegman’s for our first healthy dinner in 5 days and some grocery shopping.


Portobello mushroom, carrots, and bulgur with some Kombucha. My stomach was so grateful for its usual healthy fare.

Back at home, as it was still raining and we didn’t feel like unpacking, we watched a four-hour documentary on Jefferson on Netflix. These things happen to me.


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