For many years, my folks have owned a condo in Southwest Florida. They've always let the entire family use it for vacations and, now that they've finally retired and live there full time, it serves as a sort of guest house. We love it there and it's become a sort of second home. Over the years we've visited all the nearby tourist attractions, seen all of the sights and enjoyed the most popular restaurants. My folks have become "locals". The same can be said for me and my home.
Spending a day as a "tourist" makes me appreciate the beautiful and exciting things that I take for granted as a "local". The scenery that I ignore every day on my way to and from the office is a beautiful sight to first-time visitors to the area and the history of the city is incredibly interesting to visitors that learn about it for the first time.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of escorting out-of-town friends around the city and seeing things again for the first time through their eyes. Skyscrapers that long ago blended into the city's skyline were once again worthy of a photograph. I noticed the architecture of historic buildings that I pass routinely without a second thought. I literally stopped to smell some roses.
And it was a wonderful day with wonderful friends. I felt like I was on vacation without leaving home.
I'm certain that my mother feels the same way when she takes a guest to her favorite beach or restaurant. When she's with friends watching the sunset over the gulf, I'm sure she stops to appreciate the beautiful place that she calls home.
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