Often, when we haven’t seen some of our friends for a while, one of the first questions they ask is, “So, do you have any trips planned for this year?” And of course, the answer is always yes. So what do we have in the hopper so far this year?
In January, we’re off to Washington, DC, for Barack Obama’s inauguration. We are super excited to go back to DC, a city we love! Luckily we have some fabulous friends who are putting us up (putting up with us?), which will help make it a more budget friendly trip. Plus we get to hang out with some really cool people! Compared to many big cities, DC is a bit more budget friendly because all the major sights and museums are free. You can call your congressperson’s office to get tours of the White House and the Capitol set up as well, also free. That’s how we got tickets for the inauguration, too. Although anyone can watch the ceremony on the jumbotrons along the mall that day, and everyone can stand along the parade route. It’s going to be a blast!
In February, we’ll have guests at our house – Jeff’s parents are coming for a visit. We’re planning to spend the holiday weekend down at the coast.
March we’ll be taking our nephew Max on his 13th birthday trip to a national park. Each of our nieces and nephews get to pick a park to visit with us for a week when they turn 13. We haven’t been to Hawaii Volcanoes NP in a long, long, time, so we’re excited to go back and explore it some more with Max! Such a smart choice he made, don’t you think? We’ll also be visiting the USS Arizona while we’re in Hawaii, a national monument site. And we’re going to sneak in some snorkeling, too. If you have any hot tips for Hawaii with kids, please chime in in the comments. We’d love to hear them!
At the end of May we’re heading to Palm Springs for pure playtime. My parents have a place at a fantastic resort, and we’re going to spend time at the pool, on the tennis courts, on the golf course, and drinking fru-fru drinks with umbrellas in them if I have anything to say about it. We mostly take vacations where we’re on the go, so every once in a while we just like to take a trip to relax. This will be one of those vacations for sure!
We’ll celebrate our anniversary in June at Zion NP, which I just this minute learned is Utah’s first national park. Jeff’s already been to Zion, but I have not. He’s excited to show it to me, and I cannot wait to hike in that river. We got a screaming deal on airfare earlier this year, and both of us are flying to Vegas for less than $200!! We’ll rent a car from there and drive – it’s only about four hours to Zion. We’ve been wanting to go there for a few years, but the timing just hasn’t worked out for us.
More travel is lined up for summer, too, of course. We’re both teachers, and we take full advantage of summer’s ten weeks off. It’s unpaid vacation, but we budget our money throughout the year, and it works out for us. Our big plan is to do a driving trip to Colorado and hit the three national parks there that we’ve not yet been to: Mesa Verde NP, where we’ll learn about the Pueblo Indians, Great Sand Dunes NP where we’ll climb (maybe?) the highest sand dunes in North America, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, where I think we’ll be content hiking the rim, not doing the “extremely strenuous hikes” to the bottom of the canyon. I’m also hoping to attend the Colorado Photography Festival this summer. I wrote a grant, and if it gets funded, I’ll be able to attend. That would be really exciting. Keep your fingers crossed on that for me!
Jeff and his friend Marv do a backpacking trip every summer – you can read about last year’s trip to Channel Islands here – but this year’s location hasn’t been decided yet. Maybe the Wallowas in eastern Oregon, but we’ll see. Have a great backpacking suggestion in the NW? Chime in on the comments!
And somewhere in all this I’d really like to do a home exchange…Everyone’s raving about them. I wanna be one of the cool kids and do one, too!
Not a lot on tap for fall yet, but something’s bound to crop up, and then we’ll finish our travel year with a trip to Illinois to visit Jeff’s family in December. We’re hoping for a white Christmas, and since there have been two not white in a row, I’m thinking they’re due! I mean who wouldn’t love to see this snow covered tree at Christmas? So beautiful!
Wow! I honestly didn’t really realize we already had so much planned until I wrote this post. 2013 is going to be a GREAT year! What have you got lined up for travel this year? Let us know what cool things you’re doing, we’d love to hear about them!