Tip 19: Have some fun! Part of “Genealogy Road Trip Tips: Take Your Loved Ones With You” — 30 posts in 30 days for NaBloPoMo 2016.
Your Genealogy Road Trip is winding to a close — you’ve done your planned research; completed your main event and made some scenic side trips; and you’ve visited churches, cemeteries, family homes and local repositories.
Now it’s time for you and your travel partner to have some fun! You’ve both earned it and you are out of town — so take some time off and schedule something just for pleasure. Here are a few ideas:
Take in a museum. My oldest sister and I stayed in Utica, Oneida County, New York during one of our genealogy road trips. On a free evening, we went to an Impressionist exhibit at the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, shown here. Neither of us had been there before, so it genuinely felt like a vacation to roam the galleries for several hours enjoying the paintings and sculptures.
Visit historic sites. On the same trip, we visited the Fort Stanwix National Monument in nearby Rome, New York. En route we happened upon the site where the Battle of Oriskany took place during the American Revolution.
Both are maintained by the National Parks Service, so we each got our NPS Passport Book stamped. Again, nothing directly to do with our family history — just a relaxing morning spent mostly outdoors learning about New York State’s history.
On our genealogy road trip to Fredericksburg, Virginia, my friend Jane Latour and I were focused on watching re-enactments of U.S. Civil War battles my Union Army ancestor fought in. But after the smoke cleared, we drove to the nearby national battlefield park where we quietly contemplated all that had occurred on those hallowed grounds.
Share a celebratory meal. On both of these trips, sharing a celebratory meal was an important part of the journey. My sister and I began our genealogy road trip with a wonderful dinner at a popular Greek restaurant. Jane and I ended our trip at an Italian bistro, where we reviewed our shared experiences over wine and a fine meal — and toasted her birthday.
How you relax and celebrate is up to you. But planning a fun, enjoyable break during your genealogy road trip will help you and your travel partner remember the journey fondly for years to come.
Up next, Tip 20: Back up and share your photos — the first tip in a series on what to do when you return from your genealogy road trip.
© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.