What a year it has been. So far I’ve visited family in Washington State, taken a weekend trip up to Canada, and vacationed in France and Italy. Before I get to writing about Europe, however, I wanted to take a moment to talk about what comes next. Dan and I spent a year and a half saving and planning for Europe. All that saving meant we didn’t have much money left over even for small trips to the beach. It’s an odd feeling, now that our Euro trip has ended, to have full wallets and no big trips on the horizon.
What comes next? I was happy at home for a full week before the wanderlust kicked right back in. Going back to work might have had something to do with it. Sitting behind a desk, repeating the same boring motions day in and day out exhausts me in a way that doesn’t quite make sense. How can I be so tired just from sitting on my ass all day?
The cure, of course, is travel, and I’ve been putting my favorite search engines to work trying to find my next destination. From weekend getaways to girl’s trips; domestic travel and international adventures, I have my eye on a little bit of everything.
Here’s what’s on my radar.
2016: Plenty of Florida Sunshine!
The only thing firmly in the works for this year is another staycation in Orlando, hosting my younger brother Jared for the second time. We had so much fun the first time around, visiting the theme parks, hanging out in themed hotels, drinking cocktails at Pat O’Brien’s, and sampling treats at the Epcot Food and Wine Fest. You can read about all that here. Jared will be back for round two in September, and I am so, so excited to revisit some of our favorite activities and add a few new ones to the mix.
Jared’s visit aside, the rest of 2016 is looking pretty packed. I’m attending two weddings in the fall, celebrating the holidays, and several birthdays, including Dan’s and my own! I probably won’t make it to any of the farther-flung destinations on my Florida wish list, like the Keys or the Florida Caverns State Park, but I am hoping to squeeze in one or two weekend trips. To get a feel for what Florida destinations are on my mind, check out my post,“9 Places to Visit in Florida.”
2017: Cruise Ships and Cocktails
Moving into the new year, I have another wedding to look forward to, and the rest of the year to discover a few new places and share them here. The two spots I’m focusing on now are New Orleans and the Caribbean.
New Orleans has been on my radar for years. Beignets, jazz music, gorgeous architecture, and some of the best food and drinks in the country. Count me in! Airfare from Orlando is very inexpensive, but I do need to save a bit to see the city my way…with lots of drinks, delicious food, and a tasting tour or two. While I’m there, I’d also like to visit one of the stunning cemeteries, go on a walking tour of the Garden District, and spend some time by the river.
The Caribbean, meanwhile, is extremely convenient to where I live in Florida. Upon returning from France and Italy, Dan and I threw around a few ideas for our next international trip. Europe featured prominently, including trips to England, Ireland, Iceland, and Germany, as did a long-awaited trip to Costa Rica to see sloths, hike volcanoes, and eat all the fresh fruit we can find. But before we do any of that, we decided to look into cruising out of Port Canaveral. Cruising is such an everyday thing in Florida, it’s hard to find people living here who have never been on one. But surprise! Neither of us has ever been on a cruise, and we think it’s time to change that. After all the stress of traveling between destinations in Europe, we are pretty excited to just drive up the coast, park the car, and let someone else take care of the logistics of getting from place to place. And while I’d prefer to spend a few days in each seaside town, the short days in port would force me to get back on the ship and enjoy some relaxation along with all the sightseeing. I’m looking forward to a break where I can just hand over my money and fully let go.
That’s it so far! I’ll update you as the year continues, but I’m kind of liking the relaxed vibe the year is taking on. And while nothing is in the works yet, I’m sure you can count on at least one more Washington trip by this time next year! I just can’t seem to stay away for long.
Next up, I’m excited to finally start writing about our time in Europe! Stay tuned for details of our spring trip to Chaumont, Paris and Rome! Ciao!