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A Mea Culpa Amidst the Spring Blooms

First things first, I have to apologize to those of you who received two emails (in quick succession) from Mockingbird last week announcing the launch of our tours. Although I was (and am) super excited to announce the tours, I was not actually so excited as to send you two email blasts. One of the emails was meant just for you, dear readers, with an explanation of why you were receiving the Mockingbird blog on a not-Friday (I didn’t want to send the announcement on April Fool’s Day, lest anyone get confused). The other email was meant for a group of Mockingbird supporters who, poor souls, have not opted to receive our weekly blog emails. (They don’t know what they’re missing!) Unfortunately, due to a mix-up within the MailChimp mailing lists (and possibly a mix-up in my brain), some of you received both emails. Mea culpa!

I hope that you didn’t mind getting both emails too much, since the tours are pretty darn thrilling, if I may say so. If you haven’t already, you can read all about them here, and then do your best to pick your favorite (I know, it’s hard) and contact us to start your vacation planning (that part’s easy).

Once I got the tours out into the world last week, my frazzled brain needed a break, so I gave myself an afternoon off to visit the Tidal Basin. It was the end of the cherry blossoms’ peak bloom, so if I was going to see them, I couldn’t wait any longer. I’ll admit, I almost didn’t make the effort to visit the cherry blossoms this year, because I’d seen them last year, and wouldn’t they look exactly the same? Well, I’m stating for the record now, it’s always worth the effort. Those blossoms are stunning, every single time. And even though there were a lot of people there, they were all happy people (standing underneath a fluffy canopy of white and pink flowers tends to make people smile), so it was a jovial atmosphere.

From the Tidal Basin I walked over to the Lincoln Memorial. It was a windy day with clear skies, and the Washington Monument was showing off a nice reflection of itself in the (aptly-named) Reflecting Pool. The plaza was filled with people, many of them from other countries, judging by the snatches of languages I overheard. I noticed one family taking pictures holding their hands just so, so it looked like they were holding the Washington Monument in their palms or pinching the top of it – exactly the kind of picture I’ve taken with other monuments around the world, but never here at home. (Fair warning to the next person who visits me: we have some pictures to take at the Washington Monument.) Everyone here was smiling, too – enjoying their vacations, the good weather, and the beautiful monuments.

As I paused to take in the scene, I realized it’s actually quite fun to watch tourists, particularly when they’re discovering a place that you yourself already know well. Familiarity can rub the spark of wonder off of a place; the tourists remind us of what makes a place special. They’re also (usually) all very happy, and that joy is contagious. I was smiling as I headed home.

With spring’s renewal all around us, it’s a good time to get back out there and Live Like a Tourist again, appreciating where you are and what makes it special – even if there are no tourists in sight.

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