There is nothing I love more than exploring new small towns full of local stores and delicious eats. When I saw Rookie Moms Challenge #24: Be a tourist in your own town, I loved the idea of “visiting” my own hometown.
I took this challenge very seriously. And by seriously, I mean, I packed as if we were going out for an entire day; I googled, “Tourist Attractions in Huntington, NY”; and I acted as though I was dropped off in a new city to simply explore and enjoy the sunshine with my guy.
Always have to visit a bookstore
I grew up in Huntington, but back then, there wasn’t much to it. In the last 30 years, it has become known as “The Little Apple,” and is a booming town full of families. We started down New York Avenue (see, I even looked at street signs, like a tourist would!), to Book Revue. Book Revue, opened in 1977, is Long Island’s largest independent bookstore; they have an eclectic mix of new and used books, famous guest speakers weekly, and a beyond wonderful children’s section. Luckily, for this mama, they also have a cafe! I loaded up on iced coffee, and sped over to the children’s section. Weston wasn’t into playing much, but his eyes did wander all over the place. Tuesday mornings they have toddler time, so I’ll take him back there this summer.
Next up was a new attraction for our little town, The Paramount Theater. Just opened a few years ago, where an old theater once was, The Paramount has taken the Long Island music scene by storm. With headliners such as Willie Nelson, Whoopie Goldberg, and Rob Thomas, you can’t drive past the theater without seeing a long line out of the door. When we strolled up, we could hear the bass booming from outside the doors. Weston’s eyes got wide, and though we didn’t go inside, we snapped some photos, like real tourists, and read the list of upcoming shows.
And, toys, of course!
The last stop was a personal addition of mine: Little Switzerland Dolls. It is a special place to me, because I used to wander in with my mother and grandmother to occasionally pick out a doll. They have a handpicked selection of lovely toys, and boy oh boy, did Weston know exactly where we were when we stopped in! Owned by the gregarious Lily; she never forgets a face, or toy preference. I noticed they had the classic Fisher Price record album set, and made a mental note to come back.
No souvenirs for us!
Last, like a real tourist, I stopped into a local boutique children’s clothing store. And, like on most vacations, the owners scoffed at the baby stroller, and then had the audacity to charge…$400 for a baby raincoat. Oh, don’t worry the t-shirts were $60. Totally reasonable. Ha! We promptly walked out!
I loved getting to see my town through a tourist’s eyes. It was thrilling to show my son the places I frequented growing up, and further, to show him what the future of his town looks like. I highly recommend this challenge, as it makes you see the world a little differently, and inspires a new-found love for your hometown.
[Photo credit: Olivia Howell — all rights reserved]
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