Tourists always make me think about this place I call home a little differently. Whether it’s someone seeing the beach for the very first time or someone who’s experienced our area over and over again, each tourist brings something new to my eyes. The most common way they do this is through asking me questions! During regular museum hours, you can find me in the lower gallery giving tours. I truly enjoy giving tours because I get a chance to interact with tourists and give them a personalized view of our wonderful museum.
One of my favorite questions is which exhibit is my favorite. I have two favorite exhibits because I can’t pick just one! Because I was a lifeguard, the lifeguard exhibit is one of my favorites. The staff really took their time and researched the history of lifeguarding in Virginia Beach. Even they were surprised at how far back lifeguarding dated and how it has evolved over time. My other favorite exhibit is the surfing one. I love this exhibit because it features a part of Virginia Beach that is often ignored by historians. The exhibit highlights some important surfers from Virginia Beach who have left their mark on our community.
I also love it when people ask my favorite thing about working at the museum. I always tell them that I am a history nerd and could spend all day digging through old documents and pictures. My favorite part of working here is that I am fully immersed in history every day, and I get to share this history with other people on a daily basis.
The other question I love getting is where visitors should eat. Now this question is a favorite of mine because I get to share more Virginia Beach history. There are two restaurants on 23rd Street that I love. One of these, Tautog’s Restaurant, is a 1926 cottage turned into a dinner restaurant. We talk about it on our Ghost Walk. The historic cottage next door has been turned into a great breakfast and lunch place, Doc Taylor’s. I love telling tourists that they can grab a bite to eat while learning more about the history of our area!