Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ghosts of Charlottesville

I took a day trip to Charlottesville, Virgina on a lovely day this fall. It was a girl trip to visit Monticello. I did no reading to brush up on my history. Did little research on the city. I just Google mapped it. Bought tickets. And off we went. The day was to unfold loosely (sans babies).

The town has an old air with a renewed young vibe. The architecture has an industrial, green, minimalist look scattered about town on many buildings. We ate lunch on Main Street at Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar near a cute market.  When in doubt go to Main Street in any new town!

Then we took the tour of Monticello. In the foyer there were maps and trophy heads. I imagined it perfect for a Vogue shoot. Wigs and bright silk poofed dresses would look gorgeous there. Throughout the house I was surprised at many facets that are popular decorating features today. Even the exterior style of the home is still seen all over Virginia.

So we continued with another tour afterward about the slaves of Monticello. This was done outside along the road where some slave quarters would have lined up leading to the main house. They no longer existed because they were wood but stone markers represented the aprox. 12'x14' size. Archaeologists were there digging to find the original road. Below would have been a view from a slave's quarters. 

Looking South from Monticello
We set out on our own to see the wings of the home where there was ice storage, cooks quarters and wine/beer rooms. But for me the insight to the cruelty and inhumanity of our nation overshadowed whatever accomplishments may have resulted at this residence.
Who put those stones in Monticello?

Dinner happened when we stumbled upon the downtown mall . For a Thursday night in a small city the place was bustling. There were lots of shops and restaurants with outdoor seating. The mall was like a carnival with outdoor entertainment in the form of a traveling theater troupe, a woman walking on five foot stilts, drag queens, and such diversity everywhere. It was a real dream for people watching. We had a great dinner outside at The Blue Light Grill .  Later, with a light buzz, we forged north into the cool night trying to shake the ghosts of Charlottesville.

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