Our kids are grown. While not all are actually “on their own” they are living out of the house at a university. That leaves my husband and me with a lot of “couple” time which in itself was a huge adjustment. While my 4 children were growing up we also had a grandmother living with us, so our house was pretty busy with school activities. My husband worked a couple weekends a month, too, so we had limited time to do other activities other than our annual vacation to Gulf Shores.
Since my husband and I have re-acquainted ourselves with each other, we’ve found we love being “Backyard Tourists”! So what is a backyard tourist? My definition may not be the same as yours, but here goes anyway. It’s doing all those things that are available around the area in which you live. We especially like the museums. We were backyard tourists many years ago when my husband trained in San Antonio. When he accepted a job in Louisiana and we found out we weren’t staying in San Antonio we became backyard tourists and crammed in every site around the city we had always planned on seeing.
We’ve become “Backyard Tourists” again. This time however, we’re not moving or in a rush. My husband no longer works weekends. We’ve decided that one weekend a month we’ll go out and explore the area in which we live. The hardest part is deciding what to see. Our boundaries for a weekend are about 3- 3 1/2 hours driving distance. We live in the Dallas metroplex, so add that driving distance and the sites are almost endless. We’ve seen woolly mammoths in Waco and trains in Plano; fossils in Norman and a Presidential Museum in Dallas. (We have another one of those within 3 1/2 hours so I’m sure we’ll be going there too)! We’ve seen old airplanes, old cowboys and a cattle drive. We’ve also eaten at a lot of unique restaurants. I think the best part of it all though is we see each other. Away from work, relaxed and like we did when we were dating (which was a few years ago)! We also love the process of searching for something new and unique to do.
Being backyard tourists has helped me appreciate what our communities have to offer. I love when my kids get home, but the whole backyard tourist thing has helped my get through the empty nest syndrome pretty unscathed! It also gives my husband and me something to look forward to as my kids start their own families and they have other sides of families to see.
If you haven’t explored your neck of the woods, I highly recommend it. I want to see where you’re going so when my husband and I expand our parameters for trips (like in retirement or vacation time) we have new ideas on places to see with recommendations from you!
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