We have all done a guided tour. Whether for a class trip or as an adult you have been stuck with a group of people for a period of time learning about history. While learning fun facts and seeing things in a new light the people in your group aren’t your most favorite but sometimes the most memorable.
For those who don’t know I went to Virginia for vacation; you can read all about it under Road Trip-Virginia and Road Trip-Virginia Pt 2. I visited Monticello where this story takes place. After going through the first floor of Thomas Jefferson’s house we waited to the side of the grounds for the upper floor guided tour. At the time of purchasing these tickets I thought I was safe picking a 4 pm time. I had high hopes of this being fairly intimate maybe 2-5 others along with my boyfriend and I. Boy, was I wrong. Our tour guide approaches us at the cement bench outside of the home. He was well dressed in your typical “tour guide” suit. Our group had 16; SIXTEEN!!! I was not thrilled but our tour guide seemed really awesome so I maintained a positive attitude.
We headed up to the second floor of the home. If you have never been to Monticello or went through the upper floor tour know that the romanticized Gone With The Wind staircase the typical 1772 home would have did not exist at Thomas Jefferson’s house. Being a man of science he did not believe in wasted space thus have a confined winding 3 floor stair case that leaves you feeling you just climbed an endless ladder.
We walked into the very first room and the tour guide begins his fun history of the time period and how the resident lived in that room. I’m not a huge history buff but it is entertaining to learn about someone else’s life style. Of course by the end of the guides speech we had guided tour group member type 1: The Fact Checker.
The Fact Checker– is a person(s) who consistently double checks the integrity of the guides information and in turn insists on sharing their own knowledge with the group. These types are also known as “tour guide wanna-be’s”
I am not kidding you when I say they FACT CHECKED EVERYTHING! The first thing they asked when the guide finished his monologue in the first room was “Is this carpet original?” The carpet was never part of the guides speech so why does it matter? Once the guide gave a well educated explanation the couple then followed with “well in 1772 blah blah blah.” And if that wasn’t enough they asked that same “is this____original” in every room. I’m surprised they didn’t ask if the air was original:
“Is this air original”
*Tour guide gives informative answer and coats it with some fun historical fact pertaining to the question such as “Ah yes, being Thomas Jefferson is a man of science he believed having an abundance of trees would be most beneficial for the oxygen on this elevated land which in turn promoted healthier plants..” or something of that nature.
“Oh well in 1772 the air was polluted with manure and right now it just smells so clean..”
Me:*PALM TO FACE
We continued the tour up to the third floor where we got to meet guided tour group member type 2: “Feels Like Home”
“Feels Like Home“- are individuals, who no matter their surroundings, make themselves at home and feel they are entitled to everything at their reach. I also refer to these people as RUDE!
This older couple insisted on touching EVERYTHING! In fact there was a locked door and most normal people wouldn’t touch the key in the lock because 1.) it is not our house and 2.) it’s not our job. That didn’t stop these people. The wife wiggled that damn lock until it came loose. Once the door swung open, to her surprise, it was an empty closet. Really lady you had to be disrespectful, make my anxiety go up, just for an empty closet?
We are welcomed into the big dome room. We learn this was only used for a short while, about 3-6 months, due to how hot it would get. I also learned that we wouldn’t have a complete tour without guided tour member type 3: The Stupid Question.
The Stupid Question: If you need an explanation you most likely ask the stupid questions in which case please consult a friend who you trust will shut you up before you ask said question and later read about it on a blog.
This young female, I’d say a few years older than me, started her exposure with a normal question “What is under us?” She was looking to map out what room was under the dome room and I understood that. I wanted to make it clear that this was not the stupid question and that I gave her the benefit of the doubt.
The tour guide replied “The second floor foundation”
*And que stupid question: “What do you mean second floor foundation?”
I could not believe this girl was asleep for the first half of the tour. Home girl, you know the whole second story we toured before climbing up Mt. Everest to get in this famous “Dome Room?” That, that is the second floor foundation.
We left the room and ran into the group behind us which had 4 people and I asked my boyfriend why we couldn’t have been lucky and end up in that group. We entered the final room and have experienced the 3 kind of people in a guided tour so we should be clear right? NOPE! Once again the tour guide concludes his history lesson and this guy is the master of all 3 types. This guy is leaning on the bed post (“Feels Like Home”) points to the air conditioning vents in the wall and combines both the Fact Checker and Stupid Question with “Are those vents original?”
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? How did we experience all three kinds individually and in 1 person on one tour? At this point I was so glad to be done with the group of strangers. Although I am sure they are all nice people and would most likely dub me the “eye roller” I was ready for a drink.
This was a #hayliestory