by Julianna Squicciarini
The day started at Mt. Vernon, George Washington’s estate in Virginia. His house is surprisingly small – it kind of reminded me of Biltmore Estate in Asheville, but there were only a handful of rooms. The grounds, however, were extensive. Christine remarked that he was certainly into his stone fruits (cherries, peaches, plums, etc.). He also had a cool effect going on, called “rustication”, which is basically taking wood, beveling it a certain way, painting it, and dumping sand on it, turning it into a stone lookalike. His house looks like it’s made out of stone, but it’s all wood. Impressive.
We ate lunch there, at Mt. Vernon, where Peter enjoyed peanut cashew soup, an age-old recipe straight from Martha’s archives (they say). He said it tasted like melted peanut butter.
From there, we hopped into our car and headed up north. There was tell that it was only two to two-and-a-half hours to Philadelphia, but it seemed like more. Could’ve been because we passed through the tiny town of Middletown (which is in either Maryland or Delaware…no one knows for sure), and spotted a cheese boutique. Yes. A cheese. Boutique.
We made friends with the owners of Fromage, and sat outside their small shop eating cheese with flavored balsamic vinegar and crackers. It was one of the best times we’ve enjoyed so far! What a find!
We were highly unimpressed with Philadelphia. The city is filthy and stinks. Our hotel was not cheap. And it rained in a misty, half-hearted way this morning. Not cool. We’re glad to be getting out of there.
Although New Jersey doesn’t look much better right now…
Looking forward to arriving in New York!
P.S. – we saw the famous LOVE art in Philly, after walking through the moisty morning to get there. It was one of the only satisfactory things to me.