Sorry the heavy snow and ice ruined the George Washington's Birthday events on February 15th. (I was all set to see the Continentals in the snow!)
February 22nd is a work day, but if you are available, there's still an opportunity to celebrate the actual day of George Washington's 284th birthday with another free visit to Mount Vernon!
Arriving at 9 am should give us time to watch the introductory movie and tour the mansion in time to meet President Washington for a photo op at 10 am. After that we'll have a couple of hours to tour the grounds before the the wreath-laying ceremony at the New Tomb at 12 pm.
The route: We'll begin at the Ford Orientation Center with a 20-minute action-adventure movie, "We Fight to be Free." After the movie we'll reassemble and make our way up to the Mansion via the Upper Garden, passing the Greenhouse, Blacksmith Shop, and Spinning House along our way. At the mansion we'll join the (hopefully short) queue for the 20- to 30-minute tour. After the tour we'll reassemble on the east side of the mansion, while enjoying the view of the Potomac River as George Washington would have seen it. After finding and meeting George to wish him a happy birthday, we'll continue our walking tour, passing the Kitchen, Smokehouse, Lower Garden, pens and paddocks and the Stable. Passing the Old Tomb and the Slave Memorial, we'll continue to the Wharf on the Potomac River. Turning west, we'll walk through the Pioneer Farm to visit the 16-sided barn and reconstructed Slave Cabin. We'll then make our way back via the Forest Trail to the New Tomb, hopefully arriving in time to see the wreath laying ceremony at 12 pm. After the ceremony we'll make our way to the museum and conclude the structured hike, so attendees can linger longer at the museum as desired.
The walking tour is an easy 2 miles of smiles, and the surfaces are mostly pebble paths. It will be pretty busy because of the birthday celebrations, so our visit will probably take us about 3 hours.
Google map: http://tinyurl.com/znmtmxj
How to get there: Mount Vernon is 16 miles south of Washington, D.C. and 8 miles south of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, at the southern end of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. From US-1/Richmond Highway (either direction) take VA-235/Mount Vernon Memorial Highway to the traffic circle in front of the entrance. Parking is free. For more details, see: http://tinyurl.com/peytv8a
What to bring: Water, comfy shoes, and your furry friend if desired (see dog visitation policy below). Food is not allowed in the historic area or in the Museum and Education Center. Large bags and backpacks are not permitted. The layered look is fashionable.
Weather: The forecast is partly cloudy and a high temperature of 53 degrees, with a 7% chance of showers. Updates here: http://tinyurl.com/op3o3mh
Advisory: As a reminder, this is an adult group, and you are ultimately responsible for your own safety and well-being during events. No one under 18 years of age is allowed at this event, either as members or as guests, to include babies in carriers and/or strollers.
Administrative stuff: There are restroom facilities at the Ford Orientation Center, the Museum, and the Gift Shop/Food Court/Inn complex.
• Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA,[masked], http://www.mountvernon.org/
• Interactive map: http://tinyurl.com/lpma7u3
• Celebration schedule: http://tinyurl.com/grysoj2
• Dog visitation policy: http://tinyurl.com/q5x8jbh