Monday, July 31, 2017

Enjoying Our Backyard


Courtesy of Steve Kornblit, Kornblit Tours

“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” ~ Russell H. Conwell, Acres of Diamonds


“I do not understand what people see in New York City,” one of our girls commented when they were younger.  Debbie and I were surprised…here we were, living nearby, arguably, the GREATEST city in the world and our daughter just blew off the Big Apple!  Did they not see that we were walking amidst the buildings that made up one of the most famous skylines?  How about the food choices?  The stores?  The different attractions, Broadway, or the other world famous sites?  With a simple wave of the hand, the BIG apple came off, to them, as a rotted CRAB apple.

That comment, however, did not deter us from going with the girls to Manhattan.  OK, I now realize that they were young and did not see things the way Debbie and I did.  I think that at that point, the one time they thought the city was great, Debbie and I went to see a movie in the midtown and the girls spent the afternoon with their aunt, uncle and cousin, Ruby, playing in a park.  Growing up, we did not go to the city often.  We know people that do not venture out that short distance to enjoy what the city has to offer.  Once, when deciding a place to eat with some friends, we proposed a few places we like to eat.  When they found it was more than 10 minutes away or greater than two towns away, they labeled it as too far.  The truth is that many people do not know what we have “in our backyards.”

I was recently having a conversation with a friend visiting from Las Vegas.  Being the summertime, our conversation naturally turned to talking about upcoming vacations and travel.  When I said that we had an opportunity to go on a car trip through a few states, a chance to see some of our country, he commented that he has not left the United States in many years and is still enjoying the many places to see within our own country.  This friend also likes the outdoors, hikes and mountain climbs – so his view of the country will be from a different perspective.  He was correct, we sometimes look to travel to far away, exotic places, as opposed to looking at the places that we have not yet visited in our own country.  Out of our 50 states, I have been in 28 states.  Some cases have been for work, others just for passing through.  Even so, if I wanted to say that I have been to all of our states, I cannot and have a long way to go. 

Last week, we did a walking tour of Greenwich Village given by Kornblit Tours.  The four of us had an opportunity to see parts of Manhattan we had never seen before – quiet little neighborhoods a few yards away from the busy streets.  The four of us went and really enjoyed the city.  It is many years later, Gab has since gone into the city either with friends to walk around or see a show and Bec has given a tour around the city (including walking across the Brooklyn Bridge) as part of her internship.  The city they once poo-pooed, they now appreciated.  I think that sometimes, we forget what we have in our own backyard.  And, of course, it is great to be able to experience it as a family!