But, she didn't get the lesson she had hoped for after visiting the Erie Canal Village in Rome with her family.
"We started touring this property, and I just became sadder and sadder because it needs upkeep, it needs love," she said.
Crystal had hoped for a learning experience during her visit, which is a reconstructed 19th century settlement where the first shovel of earth was turned to begin construction on the canal back in 1817.
And she wasn't the only one who was concerned.
"It seems a little rustic compared to the other parts of the canal. We're biking across the state, we've seen Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and this area looks a little run down quite frankly," said Tom Silverstrini, who was passing through from Buffalo.
"I saw feces in one of the buildings, animal feces, broken windows. It makes me sad, and it kind of makes me angry because I want our heritage to shine," said Faria.
The owner of the site is Realstar Corporation, and the president of the company, Ron Trottier, says part of the problem with the upkeep is the fact that it's underfunded.
as for things like the trash and the look of the Erie Canal, Mr. Trottier says they have to drain out the water a few weeks before closing and the garbage will be cleaned up during the off time.
Like Crystal, Trottier says he cares about the site, and would welcome funding or grants to spruce it up.
"I think that other New Yorkers are just as passionate as I am of New York history. I think if we put the word out, volunteer help will come to make the Erie Canal Village and amazing place to visit," said Faria.
Mr. Trottier also says attendance has been down with the village site, which doesn't help with the funding problems.
He says he does put a lot of money into it, but the profit doesn't match what it takes to keep it up.