Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday's Tip... Be a TOURIST in your TOWN!

Are you wondering what in the world you are going to do with your children this long, hot summer? Have you already been to the pool so many times your hair is green? Do you hate the very idea of schlepping your children to the hot, crowded beach? Well, does Mama Henley have an idea for you!
It's time to be a TOURIST in your hometown. That's right. Pull out those tennis shoes, strap your camera and around your neck, and get going. If possible, take some form of city transportation whether it be the Tampa Trolley, Raleigh Trolley, city bus, or a train. Pay for you and your spouse or you and your children to do that. You may decide to later splurge on a carriage ride, Segway, or rickshaw for more entertainment and to see more sights. One of our favorite family memories in Savannah, Georgia was of whizzing through town on a rick shaw! It took two drivers to carry all of us but it was fun!
Go downtown first. Explore the museums, walk around, go into shops, find some antiques, and eat a good lunch at a local restaurant. If possible, try a kind of food you've never tried before or a restaurant you've never visited. If your town has skyscrapers, go to the top floor of one of them. Feed the pigeons in the park. Sit on a park bench eating ice cream and observe the other locals. Walk in an art gallery and show your children the work of a local artist. Buy some postcards of your town, write the grandparents or aunts and uncles, and mail them from the downtown post office. See all that your downtown has to offer.
If you live in a location that is frequented by visitors, then visit all of the sights, especially if you have never seen them. If you live in the capital city, then visit the Capital and Legislature Building. Walk as much as you can! Stop and have local ice cream or a Krispy Kreme doughnut. If you live in a city where a food or drink was created, be sure to have it during the day. For example, order an RC Cola and a Moon Pie if you're in Chattanooga. Drink a real Coke if you're in Atlanta and visit the Coke Museum. Go to your aquarium if it's in your town.
Perhaps you live in a small town. Walk around the square and see all of the buildings and businesses in your town. Sit and visit with a neighbor and swap stories about the time your husband accidentally ate all of the deviled eggs the neighbor had made for a party because they were in the shared fridge. Reach out to someone who may be the town Boo Radley. Once you've seen your town, explore other towns in your state.
When we lived in North Carolina, I always wanted to take the Tarboro Tour. I had the whole thing planned. We were going to get some of our friends who were from Tarboro to get their mamas and their mama's friends to show us the town. Tarboro is a small town, but it, too, has a lot of history. The homes are beautiful, the churches are old and glorious, and the people are wonderful. We were going to take a tour bus, walk around town, and end the day with cocktails in one of the homes and dinner on the square. If you've never taken the time to do something similar in the place where you live, now is the TIME, honey! You will be so glad that you did.
This summer we will be exploring the wonderful place where we live. There are restaurants to be visited, grouper sandwiches to be eaten, and beaches to explore. The world is our oyster, right?!

14 comments:

Kim said...

LOVE this philosophy.
Exactly how we try to live in Hong Kong. And how we want to return to living in the US someday!
Love & Blessings,
Kim

sevenalstons said...

This is the best tip ever! Our family used to do this when we moved every couple of years. We would take the time to explore the area where we lived as well as close-by areas. Now that we've been living in the same place for 10 years, we've stopped doing it and it's time we started exploring our city like a tourist again! Thanks for the wonderful reminder :)

Travelbugmom said...

PERFECT idea....let me know if I could use this post as a GUEST post for one of my Travel tip Tuesdays! I just love it!!

Aundrea said...

This is a great idea!! Especially here where it gets so humid you can hardly breathe! We have alot of history here in our "old horse town". We will definitely have to put this idea to work!! Thanks!1

Suburban Princess said...

I would but I have been everywhere in my town. It's quite small and I can walk to everything and there is actually very little here in terms of things to do. I do love going to the city to spend the day!

Love Being a Nonny said...

Fun idea. Sometimes we have things right in our own backyards that we overlook. I will take a tour of my small town...should take 15 minutes. :) But, when I do, I will post about it and link to you. Thanks for the idea!

Sweet Southern Prep said...

This is such a great idea! Very helpful tips! Thanks for a great post! :)

Housewife Bliss said...

Love this tip, infact we did just that on Satuday. Had the best day ever, so fun and was lovely to remember our fav parts of town. Movers are here now busy packing things away. We have a week before we move from the house....bitter sweet but I can nearly smell the AZ air and feel the sun on my face.

All the best darling.

Gwennie said...

Our family used this idea as a New Year's resolution a couple years ago. We would do all the things in Wisconsin we would do, if we were visiting. We went to Cave of the Mounds, Little Norway, Circus World Museum, etc. The idea caught on with friends, and now everyone is enjoy a new sense of pride in our beautiful state.

Imjustagirl said...

Love this idea! There are lots of great places to visit here in Florida so you guys should stay pretty busy!

bevy said...

Aundrea and I should take our kids together! We have some great things here...

kay said...

I love this! We moved just about a year ago and I am planning on doing just that this summer! Stopping in all the small shops and eating at the local restaurants! We also don't live far from NYC and that is always a fun day!

Omgirl said...

I think city hall is 3 stories. Does that count as a skyscraper??

HoodMama said...

I love this post! You're precious and always up for an adventure! Great encouragement to look at our city through new eyes!