So far this winter/spring, we took a last minute getaway to Philadelphia, but due to weather and work, we haven't explored as much as we did in the fall (Annapolis, Williamsburg, Hershey, Hiking in Shenandoah, Virginia Beach, etc) BUT, we have several fun trips we are planning for in the upcoming months. Most of our trips are planned for late spring/summer, but we hope to squeeze in a Thanksgiving trip as well! Our goal was to squeeze in friends, family and "us" time and split vacation days between lazy beach/mountain days and busy days of venturing to new cities and towns...relaxation AND adventure. I am pretty excited for all the happy moments coming this summer!
OUR 2014 TRIPS INCLUDE:
(1) Ocean City, MD Memorial Day trip with church friends
This is our grownup version of a college beach trip -- a couple houses, a bunch of people, cheap price, tons of snacks and beers and colorful beach towels, one big fun weekend hanging out with friends. Dave and I are even splitting up - guys and girls houses, ha! We know some people, but not everyone, so I am excited that we have the chance to meet new folks and relax for a 3 day weekend!
(2) Smoky Mountain getaway with Dave's family
We are meeting Dave's family for a 4-5 day getaway in the Tennesseee mountains. His mom rented a great cabin and all of the kids and grandkids are coming from Mississippi, Georgia and Virginia to meet in the middle for a week of relaxing and family time. Although we will spend plenty of time shopping, exploring and enjoying outdoor activities like hiking, fishing and maybe rafting, there will also be down time to play with our nieces in the pool, read a good book on the large deck or catch up with Dave's sisters over wine in the hot tub. I love busy city trips where you cover a lot of ground in a short number of days, but I also love to have a relaxing trip each year where you slow down, rewind and uncharge. A beach or mountain getaway is the best place to slow down!
(3) Annapolis Anniversary Weekend
8 months ago, Dave and I took a day trip to Annapolis (about an hour away) to celebrate one month a marriage and get a break from city life. We fell in love this quaint town. I loved the water, the preppiness, the sailboats, the cute stores and restaurants. We vowed we would go back for an overnight trip and spend the weekend. Our first anniversery seems like a good time to return to this adorable little harbour town. We have big plans of boats, crab dinners, gelato, strolling historical streets and shopping.
(4) Toronto/Niagra Falls
If the family mountain getaway is our relaxing trip, then our trip to Toronto will be our busy high paced adventure. Dave kind of picked this year's vacation and I was okay with Toronto, but now that I have read up on the city, I am REALLY excited. We wanted to get away internationally, but we couldn't afford Europe this year and this was a way to do a international (technically) trip without going overseas. We will fly into Buffalo and see Niagra Falls first, then head to Toronto for 4 days. Its a city with a lot of famous buildings, theater, good cuisine and a variety of neighborhoods with fun personalities.
(5) New York Thanksgiving trip
It's always been a dream of mine to do Thanksgiving in NYC and see the Macys parade. We can't fly home Thanksgiving and then fly home at Christmas, so we will most likely always spend our Thanksgiving holiday up here and/or make a trip somewhere nearby. Last year, we hosted dinner (with the help of Marley and Bech) for friends, so this year our goal is to go to NYC and see the parade and Christmas decorations. This was going to be a 2 family trip with my sister, brother in law and nephew, but someone (cough cough) had to get pregnant, so it looks like it will Dave and me enjoying the holiday lights and decor in NYC (unless anyone wants to join us!!)
There may be other day trips/weekends to the beach squeezed in, some Saturdays spent travelling to nearby towns, weekends spent in Pennsylvania with my sister, brother in law and nephew...and maybe a girls 30th birthday trip for one of my good friends, but these are our "planned" adventures. And, as I said earlier, daydreaming about our upcoming vacations calms my stress and makes my heart happy!
SIDENOTE: When we got married and moved to DC, someone (although I can't remember who) gave me the advice that each year, Dave and I (and our future kids) should reserve a few days to take a trip we want to take. Otherwise, all our vacation days could quickly be used for large family vacations and many trips home to Mississippi...which are wonderful, but give us no time to explore together. We are good about taking weekend getaways and day trips, but we really want to take a trip each year, so we had to balance all our commitments this summer to make it happen (and to make sure we still left ourselves with a few days to go home at Christmas!) Making it all add up was tough but we did it -- plus with the family getaway, we had to compromise with lots of schedules! We were careful to plan the Toronto vacation over a 3 day weekend where we would only need 2 additional vacation days. Likewise, Dave's family trip is a Wednesday through a Sunday, so we only took 3 days there. The Memorial Day beach trip and the Annapolis weekend getaway require no days off work, just weekends! It took a lot of planning-- and comparing schedules with Dave's sisters and their families - but I am glad we were able to make both a family trip and a "just us" trip happen.
So these are my travel daydreams at the moment....getting eager for all the fun days of far off (and no so far off) adventures to come...mixed in with a couple Mississippi trips! Where are you travelling to this year?