When we came back from California, Lillian went over to a friend's house. "Lillian, what was your favorite part of California?," the mom asked.
"We went to an oil museum! And they had all these oil pumps!"
"Oh," the mom replied. "Didn't you go to Disneyland, too?"
"Yeah, but at the oil museum, they had a little model of a jack house pump and you could turn the top and the pumps would go up and down, and then we saw one of the big pumps!"
Next to my father's house, there is an old oil office converted into a museum. It's staffed by an elderly man and his wife, and the inside consists mainly of that little model, several photographs of the surrounding area before all the houses were built, and a workshop full of large wrenches and stuff. Outside, you can see the original jack house and the pumps.
I've never been, so I decided to swing by on our way to the nearby park.
The stop took all of 20 minutes, but to Lillian, it was the highlight of the trip, apparently.
Right after I got married, I had a guy friend who really wanted to get married, but kept striking out with the ladies. He stopped by one day and asked me what girls want for a spouse. I told him my story with Tyler and that she shouldn't try to make himself any particular way, he should just be the awesome guy that he is because you never know.
Thus, I find that this principle extends past dating to child rearing. I would have thought Disneyland or Play City or the beach would have been Lillian's favorites because those were the most expensive, most labor intensive, flashiest stops, and they required the most orchestration to pull off. But no, it was the low-budget dinky oil museum that made the trip for her.