The Olson's Retirement RV Adventures travel blog

This tree looked like a giant spider.

The front of Monticello.

The back as seen on the back of the nickle.

A view from the the large L shaped deck.

Below the deck. Underground slave quarters and storage

Tunnel under the deck.

The smokehouse.

Managers room.

Doctors room.

The kitchen with french trained chefs.

The wine cellar with a dumb waiter to the dining room.

The garden.

The entrance to the Jefferson graveyard.

Jefferson grave

From a distance.

The family cemetary , mostly Randolphs. The daughter had 11 kids.

The drive into James Monroes home.

This 300 year White Oak has about a 20' dia.

Statue of Monroe in the garden.

More of the garden.

The house.

Replica of bedroom

Family room.

Back of the house and guest quarters.

Entrance to guest quarters.

Michie Tavern since 1784. Was the social center of the community.

Slaves quarters for the tavern..


It appears we are in the hills of Virginia, and they do not have much in the way of WIFI here either. We will catch up somewhere.

We have moved on to West Virginia and can now work on our blog.

We came to Charlottesville for 2 reasons. One to drive the Shenandoah Valley, which is well worth it and to visit Monticello. Monticello being the home/plantation of Thomas Jefferson.

Monticello was the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, our third president. He began designing and building Monticello after inheriting it from his father at the age of 26. He reworked and designed it for the 40 years he lived here. The Plantation was 5000 acres which required the use of slaves for cultivating tobacco, wheat and mixed crops. He was highly influenced by French design. The plantation includes numerous buildings for housing the slaves, storing food, cooks quarters and so on. He had underground areas (basements) so visitors did not see the workings of the slaves and the home. He is buried on the grounds along with his only surviving daughter (of 6 children) and her family of 11 children.

Just down the road Jefferson's friend James Monroe had his own plantation. Monroe and his family lived at Ash Lawn-Highland for 26 years. Personal debt forced him to sell. The original home was destroyed in a fire. What we toured was the guest house and some of the slave quarters. They have found the area where the original home stood and are in the process of excavating and determining if they have enough info to reconstruct.

Though Jefferson got the credit, Monroe as his secretary was instrumental in the acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase.

James Madison home was only 36 miles away, but we decided not to do three houses. It is amazing that three of our presidents all lived within 40 mile radius.

We did stop at Michies Tavern, but it was to late for the Period Lunch they serve every day.



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