It is always interesting when friends or family visit from a different area of the country. From day to day, you do the same routine, drive by the same places, and pass the same landmarks. But, when company comes into town, you suddenly discover things you didn't pay attention to in your own backyard. You are told of the beauty of the lakes near you, the wonder of the waterfalls, the parks and gardens, and the two very different cities right next to each other. Things you take for granted that are mere steps from your home.
It is like traveling to a new place while you are still at home. The pictures taken have a new freshness to them, the sparkle off the lake water seems to glisten more than normal, and the people seem friendlier than you ever imagined (...well, except for the drivers).
It reminds me of when I came back to Minneapolis from the east coast. I had so longed for the mountains and the ocean outside of Boston - and was not disappointed. But I ended up coming back to the Midwest. I retrieved my belongings from the storage locker, and found a new apartment - once again by the city lakes. (I often say if I can't be by the ocean, at least I can be by water.) I came back with a whole new appreciation for everything in the Twin Cities.
People visiting often apologize after you drive them around and show them the sites, as if it is an inconvenience. I always have the same attitude: It is fun, interesting, and helps you to see things in a new light. It truly gives you a new perspective for what has been right in front of you all along.
I am all for travel and have lived in many cities and traveled to many places, and plan to do much more. But often times there are things in front of you that only people from out of town can really show you. You drive right past it not seeing the true beauty or the humor - they help you to see it through their eyes and it is new to you all over again. It is like being a tourist in your own city.