Many times travel takes us to family or a significant event such as a wedding, graduation or funeral. We don’t pick the location, but we go. Such was the case last month when I took my girls to Loveland, Colorado. Yes, there really is a town called Loveland. In fact, many people we dearly love live in Loveland. When travel plans call for a visit to a location without any readily apparent draw like Disneyland or the Eiffel Tower, look around and see what the locals are doing. They live there and most of them probably like it. What’s the local “thing to do”?
In Nampula, Mozambique the thing to do is go to the Sunday market. Everything from used T-shirts sporting phrases such as Podunk National Honor Society to handcrafted bed frames can be found as one peruses between the tarps on the dirt laden with these wares. The thing to do in Belém, Portugal is to treat yourself to one, two, three or seven custard pastries (pastel de nata) at the historic Pastéis de Belém shop near Lisbon. Not to be missed! In Loveland, the thing to do is experience sculpture.
Over 200 exquisite sculpture works are displayed throughout Loveland in sculpture parks, the historic downtown area, along the lake walk and in random, grassy areas where one would least suspect a great work of art to appear. But it’s Loveland, where every year hundreds of sculptors from around the world gather for the Loveland Sculpture Invitational, Art in the Park and Sculpture in the Park. What a treat for a small town at the foot of the Rockies.
The works at the Benson Sculpture Garden were exquisite and even drew great interest from my two-year-old. On a not-so-rare sunshiny day we picnicked and explored. Interacting with the sculptures is encouraged. She climbed, posed, commented and appreciated the experience as much as I did. What a gem of a garden. Though I have been visiting relatives in Loveland for 20 years, I’m ashamed to say I never experienced the local “thing to do.” I’ll make sure we make time to do it again and again.
What’s the local “thing to do” where you live?