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Del. Ken Plum: Taking a Virginia Staycation

by Del. Ken Plum August 3, 2017 at 10:15 am 10 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Taking a break can be good for one’s mental and physical health. If time and resource limitations stand in the way of a traditional vacation, I heartily recommend a staycation or, better yet, several of them over a period of time. These short breaks from routine activities of life and work can be energizing and invigorating. You save the money of a hotel by sleeping at home with short trips away during the day. And you save time by not traveling a long distance.

Virginia is one of the best places I know for a staycation. I offer several examples here and will in future columns, but I in no way will exhaust the list of things to see and do. I’ll leave out amusement parks, for they are well known. Keep an open mind and approach your day away from your responsibilities — with or without others — with a positive attitude and let yourself be entertained and educated by what is around you.

No reservations are needed and on the day of your staycation do not schedule anything in the evening so you won’t be concerned as to what time you return. If you can pay for a night or two away, consider a bed and breakfast or a small cabin or camp, if you are up to it. I have yet to try Airbnb, but it seems like a fine option.

One great example of a staycation is to head south to Jefferson’s home, Monticello. It will take about two and half hours, or longer depending on your stops along the way, to get to this wonderful historic site. Leaving a little early in the morning will allow time for periodic stops and a more relaxing trip.

If you’re heading out early you may not be ready on the way down to stop at Smokin Billy’s Bar-B-Q, but note the location of his trailer alongside Route 29 (5282 Lee Highway) before you get to Warrenton for your stop on the way back. If it’s smoking, stop! Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. (www.smokinbillysbbq.com).

Further on down Route 29 past Warrenton is Moo-Thru — “real ice cream from real dairy farmers.” You will recognize it by the lines of people outside. It will make you forget your worries. (www.moothru.com)

Follow the signs in Charlottesville to get to Monticello, Italian for “little mountain,” Jefferson’s home that he spent about 40 years building. Even if you do not like history, you will come to respect even more the genius of Thomas Jefferson: architect, builder, philosopher, scientist, farmer and, as he asked to be remembered, “Author of the Declaration of Independence, Statute of Virginia Religious Freedom, and Founder of the University of Virginia.” Learn the critical role of slaves in building and running his estate. Discuss on the way home the contradictions in his statement that “all men are created equal” and his ownership of slaves.

Head home and get some ice cream or barbecue or stop at Yoder’s Market on Route 29 for some interesting shopping or eating. It will be a full but restful day. I look forward to going on another staycation with you in the near future.

  • Kenny P

    Ken, we get it. You hate our Founding Fathers and you hate America. Why don’t you take a staycation from spending all our money?


    “Nearby at Thomas Jefferson’s home Monticello, there is an expansion
    of the tours to include a slave tour. The tour guide says very clearly
    what was denied for generations, that Jefferson fathered several
    children by Sally Hemings. Of the more than a hundred slaves owned by
    the writer of the Declaration of Independence who said “all men are
    created equal,” on his death only those slaves that he had fathered were

    The historians at Montpelier call it “a more complete American
    story.” It is being written way past time. While we need to acknowledge
    and embrace a history that is inclusive of the men and women who did the
    work in founding our country, acknowledging the arbitrary distinctions
    of the past will make us stronger as a nation.”

    “Learn the critical role of slaves in building and running his estate.
    Discuss on the way home the contradictions in his statement that “all
    men are created equal” and his ownership of slaves.”

  • 30yearsinreston

    We need a vacation from Kens pompous blatherings and guilt trips

  • The Constitutionalist

    Don’t forget that Jefferson also created the proposal to ban slavery in the Northwest Territory.

    Oops, doesn’t fit in the rhetoric, my bad.

    From Monticello.org:

    ““You know that nobody wishes more ardently to see an abolition not only of the trade but of the condition of slavery: and certainly nobody will be more willing to encounter every sacrifice for that object.” -Thomas Jefferson to Brissot de Warville, February 11, 1788

    Early in his public life, Jefferson was one of the first statesmen anywhere to take action to end slavery.

    In 1778 he introduced a Virginia law prohibiting the importation of enslaved Africans. In 1784 he proposed a ban on slavery in the Northwest Territory, new lands ceded by the British in 1783.”

    • Kenny P

      Hey!! None of that on here! Discuss the contradictions in his statement that “all men are created equal” and his ownership of slaves, like Ken said!

      • Guest

        Hey no liberal “compare and contrast ” exercises here! Save that for your high school history exam. In the meantime, we can contemplate and appreciate the paradox presented by the Founding Fathers without making it loaded, politicized scree designed to appeal to favored minority racial groups and so-called progressives, as Ken reflexively does so often. Ken is like so many others, seeking to exploit our racial and social differences, and to rewrite history ad nauseum in order to advance a politically correct agenda. Ken wants to always look backwards, rather than moving forward, he apparently suffers from democrat-inspired white guilt. Fortunately, others among us do not.

    • TheKingJAK

      Don’t forget that while he served as our President, he actually ended our country’s involvement in the Atlantic Slave Trade as well (He completely banned the importation of slaves into the United States, and he did so even before Great Britain managed their oft touted abolishment of such).

  • Mike M

    Past! Ken. The Greeks had slaves, yet democracy was their gift to us. Have to start somewhere Ken. But hey! It’s 2017. Got relevance?

  • 30yearsinreston

    When is he going back to work
    He seems to be on vacation all the time
    Oh wait, forget that statement
    If he actually accomplishes something, we would be in deep dodoo

  • Hey now

    There are advantages to staycation and remaining in the 703


  • Heh

    An amazingly content-free post!


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