Free Markets, Free People

Trip Report

Great day yesterday – drove up Skyline Drive which borders the Shenendoah Valley and did the scenery tour.  Absolutely beautiful (we’re staying in Charlottesville, VA).  Then came back through some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve seen in a while to Montpelier – James Madison’s home.

This was particularly interesting to me because of Madison’s role in writing the Federalist papersand the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  The house itself is a work in progress.  They only finally restored it to its original dimensions in September of last year (subsequent owners had added on – they took all the additions off of the house and only kept the parts that were there when the Madison’s owned it).

Anyway, probably the most memorable moment for me was standing in Madison’s study, where he penned much of the Constitution and many of the Federalist papers and staring at the ink stains on the wooden floor where his desk had been.  It’s little things like that which can bring history alive for a person.  That and staring out of the window at the beautiful scenery he looked at as he worked on those incredible documents.

If you get a chance, go see the place.  Web site:

Today Monticello, Ash Lawn-Highland (home of James Monroe) and Michie Tavern (of course). Hopefully the Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg battlefields as well.

Ta ta …


5 Responses to Trip Report

  • I went to the Gettysburg battlefield in 1978 – I still have the official “newspaper” issued to tourists at the time. That part of Pennsylvania is beautiful; my family was originally from Scranton so I was in the state a lot until I moved South in the mid-1980s. Great place, Gettysburg.

  • I don’t know where you are staying but South Street Brewery downtown is a good micro brew (Satan’s pony). Also the Starr Hill Jomo lager (on draft) is top shelf. If you are into fried chicken, slaw and roll Wayside is best.  Christians pizza on the mall or revolutionary soup just off the mall are excellent.  Charlottesville truly is a historical treasure trove.

    • There’s just too much to see and do here and it is one beautiful place.  So my wife and I are planning a return vacation even as we speak.  Spring is stunningly beautiful here.  We wore ourselves out the two days we were there (we’re in Annapolis now) and definitely want to go back.

  • We were just through Monticello this past Sunday.  We are in D.C. right now, and did a photo tour of some of the monuments and attractions today.  Monday and Tuesday were Williamsburg and Yorktown.

    Monticello was the most impressive with learning about Jefferson the man.  There’s something to be said about walking a mile in someone’s shoes.  It was also sad to see how far from the Founders ideals we have strayed.  I’ll save more for my own blog.

    • Agreed Keith – learned alot about Jefferson, but I’d recommend both Ashlawn Highland (Monroe’s home) and Montpilier (Madison’s home) for exactly the same thing – you learn a lot about the men with the tour.  Great stuff.