As I'm sure I've mentioned before, M is new to town and is having some difficulty getting her bearings. Part of this is her poor directional skills, but part of this can also be attributed that I hardly ever take the same route twice in a row because of my need for a change of scenery.
Today to help M see how the neighborhood is pieced together we went on a two hour journey on foot so that she could discover the grocery store, bank, library, church, post office and hair salon within walking distance. It was a great day for exploration and we had a great time peeking into other people's back-yards and saying hello to strangers.
By the end of the urban hike we had traversed almost three miles and the sun was starting to reach high into the sky. We got back indoors just as the heat of the day started to accumulate and made some killer grilled cheese sandwiches in celebration of making it back alive (and with some good books from the library!).
Taking a walking tour of our little corner of the world was a great way to see the town at a slower pace. Driving by on the way to some appointment one doesn't get a chance to meet the neighbors, duck into strange looking shops, enjoy a break on a bench in a city park or pick wildflowers from the side of the road. We got the opportunity to do all of these things with the added bonuses of getting some exercise and some much needed fresh-air.
We also happened upon a middle aged man painting the front door to one of the city's buildings who's pants didn't quite fit him and who also appeared to have left his underwear at home. He was in pretty good shape, but it looked like this was the first sun his cheeks had seen in a while. Not bad, and totally worth the walk ;)