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Crime solving Saturday

April 25, 2010

It’s fun to play tourist in your own town. Learning something totally new about the city, discovering the hidden past behind a building you’ve walked by a thousand times, appreciating the architecture…

DC is lives and breathes history. Like Boston and Philadelphia, there’s something important around every corner here.

Most of the time, you don’t even notice it as you hurry by with your iPod on full blast. At least, I don’t.

When my dad bought tickets to Ford’s Theatre’s newest walking tour and invited me, I immediately was interested. The “History on Foot” tour follows the investigation into Lincoln’s assassination and traces the sites that were part of the action.

Some were places everyone knows about.

Others were sites I’ve walked by plenty of times but never realized had any historical significance. Where a Courtyard Marriott on 7th and F St. now stands was once a ramshackle boarding house where several of the Lincoln conspirators stayed and planned the attack. Who knew?!

Our guide, “Detective James McDevitt,”dressed in period costume and refused to break character. My dad asked a question about a building’s modern architecture and the guide could only “guess” what a building might look like 150 years in the future. 😉

It was so interesting to learn something completely different about this city where I’ve lived for 24 years. The sights might have been familiar but the history was mostly entirely new — or, you know, as new as history can be.

Even walking in a light drizzle, the entire group seemed energized and engaged. My only complaint was the large group size of 25-30 people. In a city already packed with spring tourists, it was a little annoying to be part of another group clogging the sidewalks.

The tour ended at America’s most famous house:

The White House. The grey sky and rain didn’t keep hundreds (thousands?) of people from lining up to get inside.

There’s always something new to learn and I’m enjoying taking advantage of that. What’s next? Maybe a food tour should be on the agenda! :mrgreen:

Do you ever play tourist in your own town?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2010 9:49 am

    Saw your profile on food buzz. Glad I read your well-written and informative blog. Look forward to following you here. Cheers!

  2. Kristin permalink
    April 25, 2010 9:51 am

    Actually, my mom and I just did yesterday! We were just saying how fun it was to be “on vacation” in our own city, Des Moines. It’s a small city, but there’s a lot of history (not like DC…but you know). 🙂 Also, Des Moines has a lot of funky little local restaurants, coffee shops, and specialty stores–much more than it used to. It’s fun to check those out.

    • April 25, 2010 9:53 am

      Love discovering cute cafes and fun restaurants — awesome weekend! 😀

  3. Danielle permalink
    April 25, 2010 10:04 am

    I love playing tourist. It’s weird though- I haven’t been to DC much although I live so close! I’ll have to change that this summer 😀

  4. April 25, 2010 10:39 am

    I haven’t really, which is silly because I live right outside Portland, OR. I am sure there are many treasures I could find. I have been to some of them, but haven’t really played tourist. Which to me, means taking time to actually pay attention to what I’m walking around!

  5. April 25, 2010 11:08 am

    What a fun idea! I am guilty of not paying attention to things. I like the idea of being a tourist!

  6. Michelle permalink
    April 25, 2010 11:30 am

    My good friend and I couldn’t get a weekend to go to Canada, so we did some tours in Seattle instead! We learned so much about the city it was really fun 🙂

  7. April 25, 2010 1:39 pm

    I have played tourist in my own town from time to time but I would really love to go to DC to be a tourist. I live in Richmond and have lived here for 10 years yet have never been. Such a shame, too. So much to see and do!

  8. April 25, 2010 3:13 pm

    I’m origionally from Southampton, NY–so my town is very touristy in the summer. I love going home now and playing tourist! I’ve become what I used to call them ‘City-iots’



  9. April 25, 2010 9:05 pm

    I probably should but haven’t played tourist in my town. You’re lucky you have so much history to check out.

  10. April 25, 2010 10:18 pm

    I’m such a history nerd – love tours like that. Especially when the guide will not break character. I took a night-time ghost tour through Gettysburg once and loved how special the guide made it.

    I’ve lived in Lubbock, Texas, for almost five years, and there are still things I need to get out and see. Time to start planning!

  11. April 26, 2010 11:52 am

    I love walking tours. Especially historic ones.
    I’ve never done one in my hometown, but I HAVE gone on the Hiram Walker tour (which involves Canadian Club whisky tasting… yes please!)

  12. April 26, 2010 12:17 pm

    I love this great idea…you have so much history in DC. In LA the walking tours probably consist of seeing the Playboy Mansion or something equally lame. 🙂 The next time I make it out there I am definitely going to check this out!

  13. April 26, 2010 3:47 pm

    I love DC! I lived in Richmond for years and would adventure up to sight see on the regular. If fact, the thing I miss most from moving Richmond to Las Vegas is no longer living in a city. I mean, I “live” in a city, but not a “real” city. I miss the history, I miss the culture, and I miss walking around the city admiring the architecture.

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