The Armchair Adventurer
  • Sue Hawley

The Armchair Adventurer

This past week we’ve been fortunate to enjoy the company of friends from England. Before they found themselves in the great northeastern corner of Ohio, they were able to visit New York City, Washington DC, and Gettysburg, PA. While in New York they managed to squeeze enough time into their busy schedules to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island,

and the Wall Street bull. Washington DC was even more crammed with sightseeing as they only had one day there but did hit all the high spots. Gettysburg offered a guided tour of the battlefield (with my husband adding his vast knowledge as a re-enactor) and time in the museum. Add shopping into the mix and it was a busy time for them.


For us, hearing their views on various sites has been a treat. New York provided the hustle and bustle of a major city. Washington DC presented a thumbnail sketch of the history of our country with the highlights for them being the war memorials and the Lincoln Memorial. Gettysburg laid bare the raw emotion the battlefield emits even to this day. Bath, Ohio is quiet and peaceful after the whirlwind few days they had experienced and allowed them time to reflect on their vacation sites.


They were relieved not everyone in our country has a semi-automatic attached to their hip. We really aren’t the wild west they had been led to believe. Since my husband does re-enactments for three major wars, (Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War) we have muskets and they were interested in the guns used during that time period. They shared with us they have felt very safe and secure their entire vacation in spite of the perception of America in their country.


Shopping has been enormous fun. American clothing is quite expensive in England and summer sales have begun in earnest this week. While in a department store today we lucked upon a seventy percent sale, including shirts and blouses they would pay a small fortune for at home. Every store we entered had huge discounts on normally expensive items. To say the least, we enjoyed ourselves immensely.


We have experienced hot, humid weather the entire time our friends have been in our country. England, on the other hand, has been cool and comfortable while they have been dealing with our usual summer misery. The heat will break the day after they leave us, pretty par for the course.


Our hope for them was they would enjoy their vacation to the States- it was a long time planning and saving. They both have told us numerous times how delightful their time here has been for them. We have certainly have enjoyed their visit with us and hope they return soon. My husband and I may even fly over to see them but honestly, my favorite kind of travel is vicariously!