If you were new in town, what would you most want to see?
When I first met my husband in 2016, I was living in a town in Indiana that in some ways is much like Gainesville, and he was just there for a week on business. After asking me for some restaurant recommendations — because, let’s face it, a man’s gotta eat — he wondered aloud what kind of landmarks or historical sites might be worth killing time at.
“The locals don’t seem to fill out reviews,” he said. “Need a real-life guide.”
It reminded me of the times I’d been visiting unfamiliar cities. Once you’ve finished what you came to do, there’s only so much hotel TV and fast-food-chain meals you can stomach before the next leg of your trip.
So I told him about the area’s locally owned restaurants, hometown ice cream parlors and Instagram-worthy landmarks. Of course, the rest is history. Every time he came back to see me again, I had the joy of sharing an adventure with him right in my own backyard, so to speak — visiting a local sub shop or taking a walk on the multi-use trail at the park near my house.
When we moved here to Gainesville, we got to start all over, and this time I didn’t have the advantage. We could discover what’s unique and amazing about Cooke County together, both of us seeing it for the first time.
This weekend, though, I’ll get to play tour guide once again when my sister comes for a brief visit. I’ll show her some of my favorite nature spots — here’s looking at you, Moss Lake and Ray Roberts — and we may drop in at the Gainesville Area Visual Arts fall art exhibition opening Saturday in the historic Santa Fe Depot. If I can convince her, a snow-loving Midwesterner, to venture outside in our 80-degree fall weather, we might get to take a walk through historic downtown Gainesville to ooh and ahh at the old houses. And with my German last name, there’s a good chance we may pop our heads into one of the establishments along Main Street in Muenster, too.
There’s a wealth of adventures here in Cooke County if you think about it. All it takes is a little willingness to seek them out.
Sarah Einselen is editor and general manager of the Gainesville Daily Register. Reach her at email@example.com.