This weekend was extra fun thanks to our first out-of-town visitors – my parents! They both came to help us move in June, but that trip was a whirlwind-one-night deal. This time, they stayed Thursday to Sunday and we had a few days together full of the fun stuff we’ve discovered so far in Cville!
My parents got into town mid-afternoon on Thursday. I took Thursday and Friday off so I could spend time with them, so once they got settled I met them at their hotel so we could catch up (aka talk/laugh for a couple hours nonstop) without disturbing Nate, who was at home trying to sleep. The timing with his overnight work schedule with their visit was a bummer, but we still got to have evenings with him before he went into work. We were out and about during the days too so it really wasn’t all that bad in terms of him needing to be home/sleeping in the quiet.
We came back to the apartment around 5 (when Nate has been getting up) so we could cook them dinner. Ever since we first tried this recipe, we were dying to make it for our parents. It was the perfect way to spend time together their first night and show them our apartment now that we’ve gotten everything unpacked/organized!
After dinner, I went to my book club meeting and sent my parents off to date night at Carter Mountain. On Thursdays in summer, they stay open late for people to watch the sunset on the hill. From the photos my parents took, it looked absolutely beautiful!
^Doing sunsets in style.
I had a great time at book club too! It was their first meeting since we’ve moved here (they meet monthly), so it was great getting a feel for what to expect and getting to know some new people. Believe it or not this is my first book club so it’s a fun new experience for me. I love how easy it’s been to plug into groups I’m interested in here so far!
We got an early start Friday by heading to Monticello for the morning. This has been on my bucket list here since day one, but I wanted to save it for a time I could go with my dad. He is a huge history buff and I knew I would get so much more out of the experience if he was there! Plus, if you are a Virginia resident but take out-of-state guests, you get admission for free. Win win 🙂
Before our tour of the house, we got to walk around the grounds and check out the basement and gardens.This is the view from the top – pretty hazy from the humidity that day! I can see why Mr. Jefferson liked this place even if living on a mountaintop was a little inconvenient during his time…particularly when there was a drought and they had to haul water all the way up from the Rivanna River!
I learned a lot during our visit at Monticello. I had no idea Jefferson was such a foodie. His kitchen was “well equipped” for that era (oven, fire, stovetop, etc.) and he had his cooks train with French chefs to prepare his favorite meals from Paris. It was pretty cool to hear about what he would eat and how the slaves would get all the food from the basement to the main floor/table without even being seen. Different times for sure. The garden was probably my favorite part of the whole place though ❤
Rows and rows of fresh produce. It was quite an operation in the 1700s and is still going strong today. I admire the ways they’ve preserved the condition of everything to be as close as possible to how it was when Jefferson lived there.
We toured the house but weren’t allowed to take photos inside 😦 I can attest that it was absolutely gorgeous though and so impressive! He had GREAT style – classic choices that are still beautiful today. Every brick for the house was handmade. Can you imagine? A lot of the house was inspired by/modeled after architecture Jefferson observed in Paris, too. He introduced the first skylights in America and had 13 put in at Monticello. Lots of European influences here!Fun fact: Monticello took 40 years to build.Had to get some photos of the iconic view of Monticello (facing west).
On our way back to the visitors’ center, we stopped by the cemetery where Jefferson and some of the family are buried.
We also stopped by a gravesite for some of his slaves. It was a sobering moment…unlike Jefferson’s cemetery, there were no headstones, there was a broken down fence, and it was about .75 miles from the main house. Times were so different back then. Jefferson was a great president, but the realities he existed in are hard to wrap my head around.
After Monticello, we had lunch and did a little shopping for my parents’ upcoming trip to Alaska (!!!I know, when I grow up I want to be cool like them too). Later that evening after cleaning up (hallmark of a well spent summer day: two showers needed), we met at my apartment and walked to the downtown mall for dinner and Fridays After 5.
The hardest decision was where to eat. It was Restaurant Week, so a lot of the menus were limited. Even though everything sounded amazing, we ended up at one of my standbys: Monsoon Siam!It was delicious, as usual 🙂 I love taking different people with me because I get to try different dishes. Goodness knows I will always stay true to my Pad See Eaw ❤
So glad they got to try this place! It is definitely one of my favorites – delicious and reasonably priced. I think it will be a regular spot for us! Sure seems that way so far, anyway.
After dinner we walked back to the pavilion for music.The band was really great this week! They had such a range – Jackson 5, Etta James, Walk the Moon, even ACDC. A lot of people were dancing, including some adorable kids in front of us who kept us highly entertained the whole time.
We walked back to my apartment as the sun set and reminisced on a wonderful summer day. I knew I would sleep well that night: good food, good time with family, and a full day of fun. Which is a good thing too…I needed to rest up for our grand plans for the next morning! Stay tuned for part 2 of their trip 🙂