We made a pointless trip over to Alexandria today, my goal to visit the Eldercrafter store, only to discover it is no more. I don’t know the cause, but suspect high rent drove it out of business. Alexandria is a pricey part of the world.
Frustrated, I asked David to drive out Fort Hunt Road which takes us past Mount Vernon Plantation, Woodlawn Plantation, and the Pope-Leighy house, as well as Gunston Hall. Mount Vernon was George Washington’s primary residence; Woodlawn, given to his stepson
The Pope-Leighy House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, was moved to VA to save from destruction; and Gunston Hall the home of George Mason, author of the Fairfax Resolves, basis of the Virginia Bill of Rights and a model for the US Bill of Rights.
Now if that isn’t enough history for you, we also passed Robert E. Lee’s boyhood home, Washington’s distillery and grist mill, several of his farms (he was a huge land owner) and several colonial era Georgian style Episcopal churches which claim Washington served on the vestry.
I could go on (honestly) but unless you are a real history buff, you would be comatose when I finished.
Amazingly, these protected sites are still intact and most of them better maintained than some modern inhabited housing. What has changed to the point I can barely make my way around anymore, is the terrain, including housing, roads and rail lines, schools, shops, etc. Yes, much has changed, and the local vegetation is very sad.
Of course, you say, it’s winter and what do you expect? Winter is the time to be in urban areas with the brightly colored lights.
At the end of our fruitless venture, after we passed under and though the Springfield Exchange where I-95 and the Capital Beltway intersect in an amazing network of roads suspended in midair that make the Meadowlands* in North New Jersey look rural, we found our way back home on far less stressful back routes. We were one step ahead of the Rush Hour Traffic, madly dashing out to the areas we had left..
* Jersey residents will recognize this marshland just outside New York City.
NJ Meadowlands with Empire State Building in the distance. (Photo credit: samenstelling)