Maymont Mansion, Richmond, VA

This is not just a historic site. 

The Maymont Mansion is much the way it was when the original owners passed away and left the mansion to the city of Richmond 1925.  Whether you are a history buff, someone who appreciates fine craftsmanship, a collector of antiques or love elegance, the Maymont Mansion tour is a must!  The grounds sport several gardens with plants dating back to the late 1800’s making Maymont Mansion park awesome!

With 100 acres to explore I recommend planning on spending the whole day. A lot of walking is involved but there are plenty of open fields and benches here and there to take a break if you need to.  If you are not up for a lot of walking, there are several parking lots located around the park to get you close as possible to your desired entrance.

Sounds expensive?  It’s not!  Upon entering the park, there is a request for a donation, a suggestion of $5 per person.  The same donation is suggested for touring inside the Maymont Mansion.
This is not a historical site as with many places in VA; it is not the site of a major Civil War battle or the home of a former president.  The mansion was one of the first homes in the state with electricity and indoor plumbing and was built in the late 1800’s.  The mansion contains original furniture, fixtures, china, clothing; not items that were brought in because they were popular for the era and may have been used by the Dooleys (original owners/builders).  To me that is a big part of what made the experience so great.  We were looking at items from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s that were actually used by the Dooleys.

Being of great wealth, the Dooleys had access to items only societies elite could afford.  The craftsmanship of all the wood work, done by hand (remember the era) and hand paintings on the ceilings are unbelievable.  Even our 10 year old granddaughter was amazed and extremely intrigued by the tour and information give to us by Susan S. our tour guide.

The park is a work of art in itself.  Cement pillars and blocks, cobble stone, numerous water features, and gazebos; exotic trees, bushes, flowers and herbs throughout the park even including a rose bush planted in 1911.  Most of the plant life were brought into the country by the Dooleys from many of their trips to Europe.  We are talking plants, not just trees over 100 years old!

And don’t forget to stop by the petting zoo for the kids. Plus there are a few outbuildings including the stables and carriage house.

Remember, to tour the mansion!  You have to sign up in the little gift shop in the basement of the mansion.  Also, once you spend the time exploring, think about donating again.  It is very inexpensive yet loaded with information, entertainment, and breath taking sites.  Visiting Maymont Mansion and park was the best we experienced during our VA vacation.

Rmartin

Trump Won, Are You Packed?

If Trump wins, I’m going to do this or that or the next thing.  Many quotes from celebrities, actors, sports stars, politicians, you know, the high profile, outspoken, snotty, Clinton supporters encouraging the entitlement generation.  Granted, many Trump supporters said the same thing, however, they are not in question since Trump DID win.

How many of these high profile people have moved?  Or in the process of moving?  Was all of that talk suppose to be a threat?  Do these individuals really believe they are “all that” that their threat to leave would really make a difference?  Well, obviously it didn’t so get over yourself and leave already!  Oh wait, that’s right, several of those high and mighty individuals have already reneged on their promise to leave the country should Trump win the election.

Some of these people have said, “I already own a house in England, Spain, France, Italy, etc. So I am prepared to leave as soon as Trump is elected.  Again, where are you now; still packing?  Bought your tickets yet?  Or was it all just an idle threat?

Get over it… err, yourself.

Well, Trump won; are you packed?

Lena Dunham said she knows of a lovely house in Vancouver, BC which would become her new home.  When?  Or will she back out?

Amy Schumer said she would move to Spain if Trump won.  He did, but did Amy move yet?  How’s your Spanish?

Chelsea Handler said she already has a plan and in fact according to her, she has already bought a place in another country.  Are the moving vans loaded yet?  Is your passport current and do you have correct documentation to live in whatever country you promised to move to?

At least Whoopi Goldberg left the possibility open-ended saying “maybe” she would move.  I personally hope she does not.  Why you ask?  I have respect for Whoopi.  I don’t agree with some of her views, but when she is not on a rampage, if you actually listen to her, her statements, thoughts, ideas should at the least make you think.  That is, if you have an open mind.  Therefore, I hope she does not leave, but becomes more of a public speaker/activist regarding topics that are wrong AND right in this country. 

In closing:

I hope those people threatening to leave this country because Donald Trump is now our President-elect, actually leave.  Those people are not part of the solution in bettering our country, those people have become part of the problem.  Just because they didn’t get their own way so they are going to leave, they are going to give up on this country, they are quitters.  It’s like a little kid playing a game, loosing then running home to mommy because they lost and didn’t get their own way.

This country is in dire need of reform.  To make this country great again, positive reform will only come from all sides of the aisle, republican, democrat,  independents; everyone needs to work together, with an open mind and ask themselves what is best for this country.  And then follow through and support the best ideas for rebuilding, reforming and changing this country to be great again.

Rmartin

The Election, It’s Not Over

The recent post Presidential Election for the United States has been one of the most controversial in history.  Final results:  Donald Trump receives enough electoral “votes” to win. Hilary Clinton receives the most populous votes to win. Donald Trump has become President-elect, since the electoral “votes” are what decide the winner of the Presidential election. A little known fact, the electoral votes also decide the Vice-President. A little more about the VP further on.

However, the election is technically… NOT over.

What we saw on TV was the media tracking the populous vote as well as the electoral “vote”.  But the media was NOT tracking the actual electoral vote; the media was tracking electoral pledges (the person electors are planning on voting for). With this in mind, you need to know the actual electoral college does not meet until December 19th at which time the electors actual submit their votes.

Bind Electors

In most states, electors are required to vote according to the populous vote (winner takes all).  Therefore, one can project if a state’s populous vote for a candidate, all electoral votes will be given to the populous candidate.  In theory.

Unbinding Electors

In some states, electors are not required to vote according to populous vote.  Although in most cases the electors vote according to the majority of that state.  Again, one can project a state’s populous vote for a candidate, all electoral votes will be given to that candidate.  In theory.

Congressional Electors

There are a few states, electors vote according to the populous vote, but are not a “winner take all”.  If 3/4 of the state votes one candidate, then said candidate gets 3/4 of the electoral votes and other would receive 1/4 of the votes (if there is a third party runner that person may get some of the electoral votes also).  Congressional electors are normally Binding Electors.

December 19th

At this time, all elector votes are not really votes.  The “votes” are actually pledges.  Although Donald Trump has been deemed the President-elect, it is possible he may not be President after the electoral college meets and electors place their actual vote.

But that won’t happen right?  It is possible Hilary Clinton could be voted in as President of the United States on Jan. 6th when the results of the electoral college are made public.

What happens if electors don’t vote according to the public’s wishes, the electors could be fined $1,000. But that does not mean the electoral vote would not stand because it would still count as a vote, the would not be changed to match the populous vote or whatever vote it should have been accordingly.

If Trump wins Pence wins

Most people think if the elector votes for Trump then his vice presidential pick automatically wins if Trump does.  This is incorrect. Electors are not voting just for the next president, but also for the next vice president.  That’s right, they vote for president and vice president separately.  In theory, electors could vote for Trump as President and…. lets see, Clinton for VP?  Yes, that is actually a possibility. 

It is legal, it is binding and it could happen during the conclusion of the 2016 election.

In 2004 one elector voted for Mr. Johnson (an independent on the ballot) for President and also voted for Mr. Johnson for VP.

In Closing

Do I think the electors will become “faithless” and not vote according to their pledge?  No, I think that is highly unlikely and would turn this country upside down at a time when there is so much turmoil already.  As in years past, electors are claiming they are receiving emails, phone calls and media post telling them to change their pledge.  Some have claimed threatening and harassing emails and phone calls. 

Who would think they even have the right or that is morally and ethically appropriate for this to happen?  It’s not!  Electors should vote as outlined by their state guidelines and represent the people of their state.

Want to change the electoral vote system?  If so, the only fair change would be for all states to become a congressional electoral vote splitting the votes according to the percentages of the populous vote.  Changing the electoral college system will be saved for an up coming blog post.

Rmartin