My girlfriend, Linda, is visiting this week. Since we’ve been friends for over fifty years, we know each other pretty darn well. Before she arrived, my husband made plans for her first few days with us as he would get to enjoy her companionship this past weekend. “Linda will love the Mariner’s Museum,” he said confidently. I told him as kindly as I could, that though I thought the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News was a fabulous place, I wasn’t so sure that Linda wanted to spend an entire day inside looking at nautical history. “No, really, she’ll love it!” he kept telling me.
Let me tell you something about my husband, George. He absolutely loves history. He loves biographies. He loves autobiographies. He only reads nonfiction. I remember one time when he ordered several books on Amazon and was so thrilled when they arrived. One book was on the Inquisition, one was entitled, “Disease and History,” and the last one was about the Franco-Prussian War. I fell asleep just reading the titles.
I know my husband, and I know my friend. It was George who really wanted to go to the Marriner’s Museum, a place we have been to twice already. Linda, on the other hand, loves to be outdoors. Yes, she enjoys history, but walking around a nautical museum to experience it doesn’t do it for her. Now, put her in an art museum, and that’s a different story.
After repeatedly telling my husband that we should think of an alternative to the Marriner’s Museum, he said if the weather was beautiful, he might be able to reconsider. He hurriedly looked up the weather report for Sunday and was delighted to see that it was going to be breezy and chilly. Perfect weather to be indoors, as far as he was concerned. The day before Linda left to come here, she called me and said, “Susan, I don’t know how to break it to George, but I really don’t want to go to the Marriner’s Museum. I want to be outdoors. Even if it’s cold, we can bundle up. Could you break it to George for me?” Coward.
Sad for only a second, George came up with another idea. “We can take Linda to Jamestown. It’s outside and it’s historical.” Brilliant! So yesterday we spent several ours at Jamestown, the first permanent settlement. It was the birthplace of our country. We took a guided tour of the grounds and heard the fascinating story of the discovery of the very fort that was built in 1607. Our park ranger that led the tour was funny and informative. Though he talked for an hour and a half, we were captivated by his talk. The weather was a little chilly, but we stood outside in the sunshine by the banks of the beautiful James River. Both Linda and George got what they wanted.