Mount Vernon has opened the third floor as part of its Christmas season so of course I had to go up when taking a group from Florida yesterday.
Usually, I meet people at the home’s exit because I’ve seen it so many times. I grew up across the river in Accokeek so Mount Vernon is a familiar sight, though it never gets old. A little cold sometimes. I’m even taking Australians there on Jan. 4, but it’s a very walkable place.
Anyway, George Washington created the third floor and I wondered why it wasn’t on the normal tour when it’s just another staircase up. A guide told me it was about fire code regulations on how many people could be in the home and the slower winter season allows extra people up top.
What was it like? Well, you can see up into the cupola (wish I could have gone up) and there are four rooms, including Martha Washington’s bedroom in her final two years. And that’s it so nothing tremendous, but it’s still a rare chance to see it in coming weeks.
There’s also a camel stabled along the path. Turns out Washington once paid for a camel to visit Mount Vernon to entertain residents. Who knew? I don’t think I’ve ever stood next to a camel so that was cool. And, of course, everybody walking by said, “Hump dayyyy.” There’s also the two turkeys pardoned by President Obama.
So go by and see George’s home. Unlike many Washington attractions that are crowded, noisy or costly, Mount Vernon is a quiet oasis so easy to enjoy.