Monday. Every week starts with one, and it’s always filled with dread. The start of another work week. Doubly bad when it’s a Monday back from holiday. (How can I have 500 unread emails in just one week?)
Yet the start of every new year, January, is usually greeted with enthusiasm, hopefulness and optimism for the coming year, even the 52 Mondays. I think that must be, in part, because we start looking forward to our trips and travels for the coming year! Our crew already has a few trips lined up for this new year, and certainly have a few things we hope to arrange. But we’ve also left the door open for opportunities to arise.
Ironically, the first trip we booked, even before the new year began, will probably be our last trip of the year. We have so enjoyed fall in New England that we booked an October trip to Vermont. One thing we have learned is that the best rooms go early in the small towns of New England, where fall leaf-peeping is a major draw. We booked rooms in Vermont’s Green Mountains almost a year ahead, and still found limited availability in some areas. By November, the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, for example, was completely sold out for the following October. Even when booking early, expect to pay a premium for rooms during the fall. While it’s “shoulder season” for most destinations, it’s one of the high seasons in New England, and rates can be double or more what they are in the summer.
Long before fall, we’ll be enjoying some activities closer to the TravelLatte World HQ, starting with the Travel & Adventure Show in Dallas. We attend at least one of the shows every year, and always enjoy it. We’ve met Scott from Scotte Vest, learned how to make Sushi rolls, practiced the Hula, Zip-Lined and rock climbed, and rubbed shoulders with travel celebrities like Samantha Brown, Pauline Frommer, and Andrew McCarthy. We’re excited this year to see Rick Steves, who we seem to miss every year. And we’ll be guiding our next generation through the fun and excitement as they research their first European trip without the ‘rents.
After that, we’ll celebrate Chinese New Year at Asian Times Square, the cultural, entertainment and retail complex in Grand Prairie, Texas, that serves as a home away from home for the region’s large Vietnamese population. While ceremonies and blessings, the Lion Dance and fireworks (so many fireworks!) are a large part of the celebration, I’ll admit that we are going mostly for the food. Literally tons of traditional food is served from local restaurants, temples, street vendors, and, we suspect a fair amount from “mom’s kitchen”! Luckily, there is a lot of walking involved to work off some of the caloric intake.
Spring will find us in Washington DC to visit our favorite National Park at our favorite time: The Cherry Blossom Festival at the National Mall! Since we didn’t make it up the Washington Monument during our last visit, that’s first on the list this time, along with the Library of Congress. Then it’s off to visit the homes of four Founding Fathers and Presidents: Washington’s Mount Vernon, Jefferson’s Monticello, Madison’s Montpelier, and Monroe’s Highland. (This trip compliment’s last year’s American history trip from Philadelphia to DC.)
In May, we will join other travel bloggers and professionals at TBEX North America in Minneapolis. We’re looking forward to meeting some of the writers we’ve been reading and following for years, and lots of new faces, too. Plus, Mall of America! Rob #1 is planning an escape to his favorite Sushi restaurant, Ichiban on Nicollet, and there is talk of venturing to the lovely town of Duluth for views of Lake Superior. Austin is a short drive away, and home to the Spam Museum, so that’s pretty tempting, too. Add in a visit to the Guthrie and Mill City Museum, and it should be a wonderful visit.
As winter descends, we’ll be headed up into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the beautiful village of Santa Fe for a healthy dose of the holidays. While travel is our avocation, some of us have real jobs with large retail corporations, so a little bit of peace and harmony in the middle of the holidays is desperately sought after. Where better to find it than Santa Fe? At least, that’s the plan, though snowboarding in nearby Taos has also been tossed out there. We’ll have to wait and see whether Mother Nature provides some white stuff for us to play in.
In between these planned outings, we are hoping to visit one or two National Parks for the Centennial Anniversary of the National Park Service, and to arrange shorter getaways each month. More than once last year, we had to decline an invitation because we had something else booked. So, we have intentionally left some white space on our calendar where we can pencil in opportunities as they arise. Where the winds will take us this year is one of the most exciting questions we look forward to answering!
We’d love to hear about your experiences and recommendations in any of the places we’re visiting. Even more, we would love to hear about your travel plans and dreams for 2016! Just leave us a comment below. Safe Travels!
If you are anything like us, you love reading about travel almost as much as the actual traveling! We participate with other bloggers in the “Link Ups” below, meaning that we share our posts and get to read a lot of other great travel stories by other bloggers who Link Up. Please visit the host bloggers of the Link Ups today, or search for the hashtags on Twitter. And don’t forget to comment – bloggers love comments and that’s how we build a community of like-minded travel lovers!
- #WeekendWanderlust hosted by A Brit & A Southerner
- #wkendtravelinspiration – Weekend Travel Inspiration, hosted by Reflections En Route and many other great travel bloggers.
- #TheWeeklyPostcard – The Weekly Postcard is hosted by our friends at As We Saw It and A Hole In My Shoe, along with other great travel bloggers.