"On this route you traverse a considerable wood, and after having passed over two hills, you discover a country house of an elegant and majestic simplicity."
~J.P. Brissot de Warville upon visiting Mt. Vernon in 1788
As a stay-at-home, homeschooling, mom and author, I don't get away very often. Last year I took some book trips which I loved. This year I haven't been away but have been feeling the need. And I found the perfect place for my history-loving heart. Given my infatuation with George Washington and the 18th-century, I've been wishing I could fly to Virginia and spend a couple of days at Mount Vernon. So I did ~ sort of:)
If you look at the top picture closely, you'll swear Virginia has sprouted some huge snow-covered mountains and the Potomac River has turned into the sea. Alas, this isn't the south but Washington state's amazing attempt at recreating George Washington's beloved homeplace. It worked very well for this writer:)
This beautiful inn is only about 45 minutes from our house. The owners, Dan and Janet Abbot, are admirers of Washington and have dedicated each room - um, bedchamber - to a certain phase of his public or personal life. I was happily ensconced in the "Surveyor's Retreat." Washington was a surveyor for the Virginia colony in his younger days before he married Martha.
There were so many things I loved about the place ~ blackberry french toast, fresh fruit parfaits, egg souffles, incredible coffee. Lavender fields lining the entrance. A mountain and water view. The cupola and weather vane. A library filled with books, old and new, on 18th-century life and historical figures. A circular staircase, sun-drenched porticos, a chess set of Patriot and British soldiers... Everything was so graceful and peaceful and lovely.
I've been wanting to iron out a few wrinkles in The Colonel's Lady before my deadline next month. Nothing like a change of scene to do it. Thanks to the inn's library, I found just what I needed to make the story sing. If you ever visit in future, you'll find Morrow and Lael there on the shelf:) I returned home inspired and thankful (but wishing I could stay at the George Washington Inn forever).
Many places provide inspiration. You don't need a trip to find it. Sometimes it's as simple as a favorite chair by a sunny window in your home. Or a walk in the woods or your garden. God is so good to give us green pastures and still waters. Have you had any lately or felt the need for some? If so, where would you go?