Monday, April 26, 2010

A Little Distraction - Be a Tourist in Your Own Town #fb

Be a Tourist in Your Own Town.

You know you're town, right? Maybe not. Why not try being a tourist sometime soon. There must be a tour of some kind (Old Town, Historical homes, etc) that you would normally not go on, because you're a local. Well, I'll bet you will see you're town through new eyes, if you hear about; how your town was settled, movies that may have been filmed there, the former locations of shops or restaurants down town. Maybe there is a zoo or some other roadside attraction that you normally drive by in your town, go see it.

My wife and I try our best to work in cultural sites when we go somewhere new, as well as hitting up local spots. Some of these tours or sites get less visitors than the big money attractions, but its a lot of fun to see someone tell the stories, and many times they have some connection to the location, too. Some of the stories I've heard in this off the beaten track tours, I still remember.

One place, in particular was Forestiere's Garden in Fresno. That's what I said, Fresno. Anyway, Baldassare 
Forestiere lived in New York, building the subway tunnels. He had very little education, and moved to Fresno, California. He wanted to plant Orange trees, but it was hard panned soil. One summer, it was so hot, he decided to dig underground to have a place that was cooler, and 40 years later he dug and created a garden and home completely underground. It is an engineering marvel, and the family still give the tours. The Great Niece in Law (Lorraine)  is a hoot and a half. Honestly, it was the most fun and incredible tour ever. I highly recommend it. I'm not getting paid a dime to say this, but its worth a trip to Fresno just for that. As I said, the tours are family run, so be sure to check first if there is a tour running on a certain day. I could go on and on about how he collected heated rain water for his showers, the room underneath the aquarium, the tri-grafted trees, the spy hole that allowed him to see who was at the front door from the back of the house, but I'll leave a link to the main site here:

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