This past March I sat down and layed out our Upcoming Travel plans that we had hoped to do. It’s amazing how we feel like we were traveling every month and yet we did not see half of what we wanted. But still, isn’t that how it goes?
First stop: Connecticut in April
My grandmother turned 90 so we had a nice two-week stay there. I got to see all my cousins, aunts, uncles – I have a large family on my mother’s side. I was even able to act like A Kid Again at Mystic Aquarium, although the memory was better than the reality.
The best part of this trip was my Mom Escape at Foxwoods Casino, where I went with my mom and had a very sleepless night. I didn’t win anything but it was nice to get away kid-free without breaking the bank. (Thank you mom for your gambling addiction that got us a free room!
And Jolie had her own fun at KidCity, a children’s museum that is filled with various play options and all too cool. The most naulstagic thing we did was visit Hammonasset Beach even though Jolie was not quite sure about the sand – she still talks about “the beach with aunt Ann” 8 months later so it clearly made an impression.
Next stop: Florida in May
My husband’s parents live in the Clearwater area and we rarely get to see them, so we decided it was a priority for us this year. We took the 2-day drive from Ohio, stopping in Georgia to see my cousins for the night, and spent most of our “play” time in Orlando.
We learned that Timeshares were not smart, that Disney is very expensive but not necessary to visit just because you are in Orlando, and that as much as we like driving, two days was too long for mommy I much prefer to fly.
Next stop: Maine in June
My other grandmother also turned 90 this year, and she lived in beautiful Maine. As a New Englander, I love Maine. Skiing in the winter, hiking in the spring and fall, and lobster in the summer.
Since we no longer live in New England and are now in the Midwest, and my grandmother has since relocated to Florida, I sadly don’t see us making it back to Maine, but boy am I glad my dad (who lives in Connecticut) likes to drive here to Ohio and bring lobster with him (did I mention what we had for Christmas Eve?!).
July & August: Staycation Summer
Summer is really the best time of the year in Ohio as the weather is beautiful, so we decided on a two-month staycation summer. We finally got to experience the Food on a Truck served in downtown Columbus and the many festivals here including the Westerville Music & Arts Festival, Jazz & Rib Fest, and the Dublin Irish Festival.
We did lots of swimming, biking, running and exploring right here in Columbus, which you’d be surprised how many people don’t actually explore the area that they live in! I think it is its own kind of travel and totally counts!
Surprise stop: Akron, Ohio in late August
My husband had to go on a business trip here and everyone asked me “what will you do for 5 DAYS in Akron, Ohio?” Well, I’ll tell you – it was fantastic.
We saw my new favorite spot in ALL of Ohio, the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. It was spectacular! So beautiful and serene even on such a hot day.
We also went to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the only national park in Ohio. Jolie and I walked around Hale Farm & Village and the Akron Art Museum, totally different and totally worth it. We ate well too, almost too well if you ask me but that’s why I workout no matter what!
Last stop: back to Connecticut
and a weekend in Sunapee, New Hampshire
I still have not written about our last trip but we had a wedding on Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire and it was beautiful. The leaves were just starting to change and I stayed long enough in Connecticut to really enjoy the Fall foliage. Stunning.
November: back in Ohio for Thanksgiving
We decided to stay home for the holidays this year. We went to our first pumpkin patch with Jolie and it was AMAZING! I can’t wait for future years of making this a tradition with our little family.
All in all, we drove well over 5000 miles this year and enjoyed ourselves. We didn’t do half of the travel we hoped to, especially here in the Midwest. Unfortunately I had some health issues in the Spring and Fall so I figure what we did accomplish and explore was pretty amazing in and of itself.
So far for 2013 all we have booked is a week in Michigan in August - we figure we should start exploring the Midwest while we live here because when else would we choose to go to Michigan? (sorry to those from MI or who love it) We are excited as I think it is just what we like – hiking, biking, sand and swimming.
We’ve also mailed off all the paperwork for Jolie’s passport, so we’re hoping she will take her first international trip at age 3 (in a few months). Not sure where yet but we shall see!
And of course we plan to explore a little more of Ohio like the indoor water parks this winter, hiking at parks we haven’t been to yet this spring, and attending even more festivals this summer that we keep missing out on.
Also, 2012 was the first year that I can remember that I did not go to Texas to visit my parents. I won’t be able to get away with that again! We just had a wedding added to our list there for next year so it’s definitely on the list, just not sure when! I’ll keep you posted