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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Candlelight at the Madisons

Touring James and Dolly Madison's home by candlelight is how we spent our Friday night.  Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains in heart of Va.s  wine country.      James Madison - Father of the Constitution and architect of the Bill of Rights,   his library in the home is where the Constitution was first imagined.
 Dolly greeted us at the door at which we stepped back in time to the 1820's. She invited her visitors, as Dolly would have,  to spend the night or nights , anyone traveling that far into the  blue ridge mountains at that period of time would  welcome a warm place to rest.    
  Decorations in Madison's time of course did not include a tree,  that came later.    There were pretty flickering candles in the windows set in  pewter candle  holders.    Candles in that day would never have been allowed for fear of fire, to bad because the effect against the poured glass paned windows were stunning.   A simple elegance where less is definitely more.     Eighty five percent of the windows in the home are original.   there was a beautiful arrangement on a pedestal in the dining room with  large leaves and green apples set in the corner against  green wallpaper. 

Approaching the entrance on left to home,  beautiful view of mountains ahead




Lovely swags on doors with wreaths on either side,  candles in the windows of sidelight windows
the side light windows raise and lower to let in a cool mountain breeze. 

Candles illuminated the walkways to home from visitor information center, looks like a long walk but not really as we enjoyed the outside air and beauty of that time of the evening.

inside the home , the  mountain view from the windows  makes one want to linger, peaceful.    Such beauty that I know I would never tire of seeing every day.    Harp music was being played in one of the rooms ,  the sound gently carried through to where we were standing at the window,  I wanted to stay.
Here at the gates we listened to Carolers

After tour we had refreshments,  Steve and I enjoyed the wassail punch - warm and so good after the walk back.     Pimento cheese spread,  crackers,  homemade cheese straws.    Pinwheels contained cream cheese filling.   Horseradish and bacon spread.   Gingerbread ,  Lemon cake with lemon curd, and sugared pecan halves among other goodies.
The gift shop was open for purchasing very nice items.  Steve did get a book of the  Constitution and Bill of Rights.   Will be going over this with the oldest grandchild Seth,  just in case it's missed in school.


As you enter the gift shop of visitor center here on the grounds,  we are greeted by this festive door decoration with snow falling.    You can't see it falling in this picture ,  but it is.



I want a silver tree like this one


an arrangement of carolers

The restroom was decorated with pineapple candles,  the pineapples are real

table in midst of set up for refreshments

The Grand Salon is where the Madison dancers performed.  Lovely tree and drapes.

The Historic town of Gordonsville about 10 miles or so from Montpelier
view from inside
nice vignette in window showcasing some local businesses goodies
lovely window candle

town hall next door
I like the pine cones sprayed red

One of the many unique decorated shops in the town,   this place was decked out and really felt like it was Christmas here,  I am going back to finish shopping.
got a sandwich here at Stonefire kitchen,   great Cuban sandwich for Steve and delicious curried chicken salad for me,  love this place
our table was here next to some very fine Va. wines
view across the dining area


that's all for now,  til next time - Betsy

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

So glad I found your Christmas blog!
I love it!

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Simply stunning pics!!

Hugs.
Deb