Surprises around every corner

September 3, 2015

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On Tuesday, after our overnight guests checked out and all my daily chores were completed, I got a few hours to myself. I thought about playing a spirited game of “Where in the World is Michelle?”, but as I got out at noon, it really didn’t leave me much time to enjoy wandering to new places. So I decided to take the day and just go somewhere that I love seeing.

This lead me to Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg, Virginia.

Oatlands was a wonderful discovery last year when I was playing one of our “Where in the World is Michelle?”. On that trip, I was headed to Antietam for a overnight stay. When I first saw the sign, I had to turn around to go back and visit. Down this beautiful driveway, my mind raced back to Belle Grove Plantation and our tree lined lane. It was just as it is at Belle Grove. You get the feeling of being transported back in time.

After parking, I head to what I first thought was the main house. I have to say, in my heart I was a little disappointed, thinking that this was all there was. But to my delight, I found that the first place I stopped was the carriage house, not the main house. It was here that I met some of the most wonderful ladies. It was so exciting to meet others who shared in the passion of history and old homes.

Down the walk towards the main house, I wasn’t sure what to expect. There really isn’t many signs or pictures of the main house to prepare you for what you will see. I have to say, I am so glad there isn’t. It would have taken away the joy and excitement I felt the first time seeing the grand old lady. It really did take my breath away.

After touring the mansion and learning about the families and events that makes Oatlands so special, I headed out to the gardens. Again, there isn’t much to prepare you for what you are going to see. The first time I saw it, it wasn’t in full bloom. It was winter time, but in my minds eye, I could see how wonderful it would be once spring came. It was then that I vowed to myself I would return to see it in all its glory.

I have since returned at Christmas this last year to see the Christmas decorations inside the mansion. Many of their ideas helped us dress Belle Grove Plantation for it’s first real Christmas season.

It was also then that I told myself that I wanted to copy the Victorian dress of the young lady’s portrait in the main foyer for my Civil War era dress. I am so excited to announce that I will be having one made like it, but in blue, gold and white instead of the green, gold and white. You will get the chance to see it if you attend our Civil War Weekend and the Civil War Wedding on that Saturday.

But you know me, I can’t go anywhere that I don’t think about bringing you along on my adventures. So I took many photos and videos to share.

Thank you to everyone at Oatlands for allowing me to capture its beauty and to share it with the world. A special thank you to Tansy for being such a wonderful friend and follower of Belle Grove Plantation!

I encourage everyone to make a point to stop and visit this grand home and gardens. It truly is something very special. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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2 thoughts on “Surprises around every corner

  1. Tom says:

    It is, indeed, a splendid house. Little Oatlands just down Rt. 15 a bit is also special. It was the home of the first director of the National Gallery of Art at one time and is sometimes open for Virginia Garden Week. And then just a bit farther and around the bend is Oak Hill, the home of James Monroe. I believe it is the only Presidential home still in private hands; it, too, is sometimes open for Garden Week and other special events. This is a special area; unfortunately it is being fast encroached upon by development. Try to keep it away from the Northern Neck as long as you can!

  2. Jane Sadek says:

    Hi Michelle, Life is finally slowing down after our nightmare building project and I had some time this morning to catch up with some of my favorite blogs. Loved taking the trip to Oatlands with you. Looking forward to fall activities at Belle Grove.

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