Happy birthday to us once more. Nine years of blogging about the daily sights, sounds and scenes of Washington from a tour guide’s perspective.
I haven’t walked 1,000 tours yet, but it’s getting close. I can tell by my poor feet. They no longer want to do the Arlington National Cemetery-Mount Vernon daily double as much.
Monumental Thoughts drew 14,752 visitors in 2019, bringing the overall total to 174,559. Huffington Post once called us a “Top 5 Read” and I recently co-wrote a Washingtonian magazine piece on the city’s hidden gems. It’s nice to think the knowledge of my hometown is being passed along to another generation. Statues aren’t exactly sexy reading.
The most read story for the ninth straight year was why rocks are atop stones at Arlington National Cemetery. But, my list of my 100 favorite Smithsonian exhibits was No. 2. An update on the man with a dog on the Korean War Memorial wall was No. 3.
Readers came from 120 countries with the U.S. nearly 90 percent. The U.K., Canada and France fill out the top four. All 50 states and two territories contributed readers with D.C. the leader over Virginia and Maryland respectively.
So what’s next? An interesting thought. Change is ever present my life. In the past six months, I was layed off from a media job for the third time in six years, but it led me to a lifetime dream of writing for Sports Illustrated as part of the Redskins/Maven network. I’m also writing for Sport Business.com out of London and other groups. My tour business saw the loss of one steady client while adding others so in the end things are good.
In 2020, you’ll see me offering more tours at National Cathedral plus a new tour that I’ll keep undisclosed until starting in March. Keeps my competitors guessing, but you’re going to like it. I’ll still do the National Mall, too, just not as often. Turning 60 in 2020 has me rethinking some priorities and health goals.
So thanks for reading all these years. Hopefully, I’ll still be doing it in 2030.