Every year, my sister Annie and I go to a Bears game in a random city. Our goal is to visit every stadium in the NFL. It's important for people to have dreams.
One year we were going to Charlotte, North Carolina to see a Bears-Panthers game. Annie planned the trip and called me, very proud of herself. "I planned stuff to do that we would both enjoy. For me, we're going to visit an old plantation and museum." (Insert long pause) "For you, we are going to a water park."
That pretty much sums up the difference between my sister and me. She is smart and full of curiosity and culture and I like to go down water slides and people-watch and eat elephant ears.
Incidentally, we both enjoyed the pig race we stumbled upon.
We set off for the plantation on a day where the temperature reached 102 degrees. We pulled up and took a tour of the house where volunteers in period costumes told us all about china patterns and home design and blah blah blah. We were the only people there, probably because of the heat, but the house was blissfully air-conditioned and beautifully restored, and Annie was in heaven.
At the end of the tour, the guide told us we could walk around the grounds and look at the barns and the slave quarters located a couple of hundred yards from the house. I immediately headed towards the car, but Annie needed to see more so off we went, sweating our butts off.
The slave cabin was tiny and it had no air conditioning. Inside was a volunteer dressed in overalls and a long-sleeve shirt. He was squatting next to an open fire, pretending to cook dinner. Did I mention there was no air conditioning? It must have been 110 degrees in that place.
The volunteer stood up and started talking to us in character. He told us to take a look around his home. Now this was a slave cabin. It was bare and depressing and terrible and the purpose of the reenactment was to look at the opulence of the plantation house and compare it to the starkness of the cabin. The differences truly were striking, so the lesson hit home.
Annie, however, got all nervous because of the guy on the verge of dying of heat stroke giving his all to pretend to be a slave for our entertainment and education. She looked around the cabin and then smiled nervously at him and said, very sincerely, "Beautiful, just beautiful." About the slave cabin.
The guy broke character right away and we all laughed, but we left right after that because my sister was embarrassed and I was drunk on too much history.
Oh, and we drove to the water park and it was CLOSED. I still think she did it on purpose, but I promise, no matter how hard my sister tries, I will never become cultured and/or classy. I don't have it in me.