Before the family moved here, Charlottesville wasn’t on our radar, but turns out, this little town has cool things to offer. After breakfast, we were out and about with the Van der Westhuizens and our first stop was the house of Mr Thomas Jefferson. So who was this bloke anyway?

Thomas Jefferson was a politician, British-born in 1743. Not only is he the founder of the University of Virginia, but he was also the second elected US Vice President serving from 1797 – 1801 and third US President in 1801. He was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and he died here in Charlottesville in 1826 at the age of 83. Today we visited his residence in Monticello, a world heritage site where you can see his house and some of his possessions.

Back in the day, Jefferson was a consistent opponent of slavery. He called it a “moral depravity” and he believed that slavery presented the greatest threat to the survival of the new American nation. Jefferson also thought that slavery was contrary to the laws of nature, which decreed that everyone had a right to personal liberty. In 2017 this all sounds normal, but these views were radical in a world where unfree labour was the norm. America’s declaration of independence from the British Empire was the nation’s founding moment and here we were, standing in the home of the man that played a massive part in America’s storye. What a moment!

After visiting his grave site, we were back in the car, on our way to do some wine tasting at Pippen Hill Farm and Vineyards. The scenery out here is just beautiful, very similar to the landscape in Cape Town, without the sea of course. Dinner was tappas and one last beer with the family, ending off a great trip. Tomorrow morning, we take the train back to DC, fly up to New York and will then be on our way home, touching down in London at around 7am.

We’d like to thank the family for their hospitality, it was GREAT to see you and hope we hope to swing by again, soon.

That’s a wrap for this trip.

Good night!