I stumbled upon this the other day:
Nice, right? It made me realize, however, that I’ve never been to Ford’s Theatre! It has now been added to the seemingly ever-growing list of places in and around Washington, D.C. that I’ve somehow missed my whole life and now think I simply must visit. (Along with the Basilica, the National Cathedral, Theodore Roosevelt Island, The Newseum, and probably a few other places I’m forgetting now.) Having grown up in the suburbs of DC and still living within commuting distance makes it easy to take all the resources there for granted. It’s always there, right?
I think it’s an easy thing to do no matter where you are. When you go on vacation, you make an effort to find out what unique things your destination offers and to take advantage of them. When you live in a place, there’s no hurry to get to those special places. Sometimes, you don’t even know they’re there because you don’t make that initial effort to find out. I loved my trip to the Hans Herr house, here in Lancaster County, but I didn’t even know it was here until I was recruited to go along in my capacity as the graduate assistant for the history department at Millersville University.
I’m discovering that one of the nicest things about the boat is that it’s giving us an impetus to explore some of the places that we hadn’t yet, even though they’ve always been within reach. Early this summer when we were visiting the National Zoo, we’d discussed the possibility of sailing up to DC. Although I still want to do Jamestown first, I still think that would be a wonderful trip. After a long trek up to the city, we could spend several days anchored there exploring just some of the most kid friendly bits of all the city has to offer: the Smithsonians, the monuments, and of course visiting Alan’s firehouse is very exciting for the kids. Perhaps I could even check some of the places off my lists of must-see and must-see-again.
I know the idea of the “staycation” has taken off as an alternative when vacations aren’t possible, but you’re already there. It’s lovely if you can take off a week to explore local treasures, but if it’s not possible or you’re using that time for a traditional vacation, it’s still totally possible to make time to enjoy those nearby places.
Lancaster County is a far cry from our Nation’s capital in terms of tourist attractions, but it certainly has its own share of lovely and interesting things to see and do that I am making a point of experiencing, bit by bit.
What about you? What have you put off visiting in your own backyard? Let’s make a point of enjoying to the fullest the places we already are.