This past weekend, I met my sister, brother-in-law, and baby niece in Alexandria, La for lunch. We meet here fairly regularly because it's half-way point between Shreveport (where I live) and Lafayette (where they live).
I decided to do some exploring after lunch. Even though I've driven through Alexandria countless times through the years, I had never really ventured out.
So I pulled up my maps app on my iPhone and found a few interesting places with good reviews on Yelp. That afternoon I got lost in Hastings Bookstore for a few hours, drank local coffee from Tamp and Grind, and walked around downtown during a little 4th of July festival- listening to music and people watching. All of my favorite things! I had such a fantastic afternoon exploring the city that I almost felt like I was on vacation.
On this trip, I was reminded of how easy it is to fall into the "this place is boring" trap. Even when we try to keep an open mind, those biases are still there. Fortunately, it is just as easy to find a more interesting experience where we are.
The stories we tell ourselves about a place matter. There is always more going on than we see on the surface.
Here are a few pictures from that afternoon: