Arrived in Alexandria Station at 7.10pm. The train journey from Richmond went well and didn’t seem too long, especially when compared with some of the other passengers on board – the train left Georgia at 8.25am, bound for New York and the expected arrival time was 11.45pm! My hour and forty minutes seemed like the blink of an eye!
Jeanie and Erin met me and we went back to Korves’ home where I met Tonia and her daugthers Ellie and Nora. They were busy making puzzles and the “NO MONSTERS ALLOWED” sign on the front door wasn’t meant for me – at least I hope not. We had a lovely dinner and a pleasant evening. Corky got back from New York and there was some more talking to be done
Jeanie and I went to Morning Mass at Holy Spirit Church and after breakfast headed with Tonia and children to Gunston Hall, an old plantation of 5000 acres owned by George Mason.
We had a tour of the house – didn’t quite capture Ellie or Nora’s attention. I think anything that starts with “over 200 years ago” might seem a bit far removed from their world – especially when there are butterflies in the air
We wandered around after the tour and it cetainly was a lovely place to be and a glorious afternoon. The grounds and scenery were lovely. We had a picnic and Ellie explained the evils of sugar (interestingly enough as she munched on some “cookies”) “There are bacteria that get on your teeth and work on the surface and that’s what causes cavities”, she explained. We all agreed but her younger sister Nora said “I like sugar and sometimes have it for my lunch”! So much for Ellie’s presentation!
The time around the house was interesting. The tour was good but I suppose I’d need to have known more about George Mason. He was instumental in the drafting of the Bill of Rights. He inherited the plantation from his father and with it around 50 slaves. The tour guide said he was not a huge supporter of slavery and that in his lifetime the slave population grew to around 90 but this was seen as natural growth, i.e., among the families and no new slaves were brought in. Also he eventually rented portions of the planatation to these families so they became, in effect, owners of the land they worked.
Back to Annendale! That’s where we went next! Had a lovely dinner with the family and enjoyed some more conversation and pearls of wisdom from sisters Ellie and Nora! Jeanie and Corky left me to the bus in DC and I headed back for New York!
Another good day!