Like you’ve always learned in school, you learn something better when you teach it yourself. Personally, I think that is true for anything. Last week, we had two house guests. I proposed the idea to Matt that he play tour guide to get a better feel of the city. Since Matt has been visiting and moved to DC his grasp on the city is great, but you always learn better when you teach someone else.
#MinnesotansTakeOnDC follow up
Last week, two friends came to visit me in DC from the great state of Minnesota. Each of them had previously been to DC, but not for a few years. There was obviously much to see to refresh their memories in terms of sightseeing and much for us to catch up on as well.
In my guest blog post last week, I talked about how it was going to be fun for me to play tour guide instead of tourist. As I said, I was a little nervous and leery about it, but once my friends got here and we started walking around, I really hit my stride as tour guide and got into the groove of things. During the time that they were here (a week), we visited the United States Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, saw the Cherry Blossoms, took them to various local spots around DC, woke up early to watch the sun rise with Abe and even made dinner with them one night as well. We walked A LOT. Anywhere from 7-10 miles a day, but that’s one thing that I like about DC.
They fit a lot of sightseeing into only a week in DC. They did even more without me there, but in the end, I really feel like they got a great taste of DC from my point of view. I got to show them the places that I really enjoy and make a habit of going to around town. Another great thing about them visiting was that it let me still be a tourist in terms of trying new places, such as Bull Feathers. This city is bigger than any other city that I’ve lived in before, so I am always hearing about and trying new places.
Overall, I loved playing tour guide and I’m really excited to do it again. Who wants to visit next? Any takers? When you have someone come visit, what are some of the hot spots that you make sure to take them?
Being a tourist in your own city is never fun unless you have a really good excuse. I used to have a great excuse, Matt, but then he moved here and became a local. This week Matt and I have visitors coming for a week, and this is the perfect opportunity to show them all the tourist places while getting the local flavor. I asked Matt to write a blog about being on the “other side” of the tourism trap in DC. It’s one thing having someone guide you around this city, but it’s another to play the role of tour guide.
Tonight, and for the next week, two of my friends from Minnesota will be visiting and staying with Kendal Ann and I. I’m pretty excited. Yes, I’ve made some great new friends in my short time living in DC thus far, but it’s always great to see friends from back home who you haven’t seen in a while. I’m really looking forward to spending some quality with friends and exploring this great city even more.
One of the odd things for me will be taking the role of tour guide instead of being a tourist when my friends are here. As I said earlier, I’ve only been living in DC for a short time, but before that, when Kendal Ann and I were doing the long distance thing, I visited quite frequently. Those frequent visits took me to lots of new places that I had never heard of or had been to before. It was great – so many new firsts and I still have new firsts every week! But seeing all these new places and learning more about this city has given me my own view of places I think are interesting, places I’ve seen but have never been to before and places that I won’t ever go back to. I think that happens to everyone though once they start living somewhere new because you really start to try new things and new places, all while figuring out what you like and what you don’t like.
I think that I have a pretty decent grasp on where to go and how to get around in the city. However, I still accidentally walk past the White House and when it finally registers with me I’m like, “Oh hey, Obama” in my head. One interesting thing though that won’t be problematic per say, is the fact that I stick to routes that I trust and routes that I know when getting from Point A to Point B. Like I said, not a bad thing, but it’s something that I should try to work on while being the tour guide, just so my friends get a variety of different views throughout the city.
Overall, I’m looking forward to giving my friends a view of DC through my eyes, focusing on the sights and sounds that I think are important parts of the current city that I live in. It’s going to be a great week with big things on the horizon. I’ll give you an update of how it went next week!
If you’re interested in the things that I’ll be doing and the places that I will be taking my friends, I’ll just leave a link to my Twitter and the hashtag #MinnesotansTakeOnDC.