Monday, July 18, 2016

Dream Vacations [in the U.S.]

I know there are plenty of families with young children who take big vacations. Or any vacations. I am not those people. I feel that the stress of traveling with Swede and Abel right now would not make up for the fun of going somewhere new. So we've stayed close to home this year. But I am looking forward to doing family vacations in the future. Here are some places I'd like to go:

1) One of my favorite places in the world is La Jolla Shores. I grew up going to the beach there and after my family moved away we started a (mostly) annual pilgrimage back for a week in August. I haven't been since 2013 though when I was pregnant with Swede. I am excited to start going with the kids next summer!


2) I'd love to visit Zion & Bryce Canyon, Arches, and Canyonlands. These are all in southern Utah pretty close to where we live now (within a day's drive or less) so I don't have any excuse, but I'd like to wait until the kids are old enough to do short hikes on their own. And I'm ambitious that we might start camping together in a few years too.

3) I'm also really looking forward to taking the kids to Disneyland or Disney World. Growing up in Southern California, I'd go to Disneyland with my family a few times a year and have so many fond memories of our trips there. I got to know Disney World when I lived in Orlando in 2004-2007 and I think that's where we'll start with the kids in a few more years.


4) I lived in Washington during high school and college but haven't been back since graduation. I think it would be fun to do a backpacking trip on the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainer (93 miles) and then spend a day in the quaint Bavarian town of Leavenworth and a few days in Seattle. This would be a kids-free vacation... Or we'd do it in 20 years when they are capable of backpacking 93 miles.

5) I visited Savannah in 2012 to run the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon with some of my friends from Florida. I'd love to go back and also to visit Charleston. This might be a nice getaway vacation for Jonathan and me someday.


Some other ideas: I'd like to visit Chicago. I'd like to go to colonial Williamsburg. I think a dude ranch would be fun once Swede reaches the obsessed-with-horses phase. I'd like to hike the Grand Canyon. I'd like to rent a cabin on a lake somewhere and not leave for a week.

Is it weird that 4 out of 5 of the major vacation destinations listed above are places I've already been? I like the idea of introducing the kids to some of my favorite places. And also sometimes I find traveling to new places a little stressful and prefer the ease of the familiar (but not TOO familiar that it's boring). Would you rather always go somewhere new on vacation or do you have any favorite destinations?

19 comments:

  1. I want to go to South Carolina, is that weird? Lol. I've been to Hawaii,Florida, California, Washington, New York, Arizona, Washington and Nevada. And loved them all! I'd go back to any,I like going to both old and new places :)

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    1. I think South Carolina would be neat - Charleston, Hilton Head, the Blue Ridge mountains... Sweet tea <-- One of my favorite things about the south. :-)

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  2. Oh, I completely understand this! I've always done quite large vacations each year (beach, Disney, Cruises, etc), but ya know what, traveling has really started to stress me out. I think now that I'm older I don't mind doing more "low key" stuff. We are going to a Lake House in a few weeks and I'm actually super excited cus we can take the dogs!

    I generally keep visiting places that I've already been too! I guess it's a guarantee that I'll like it. I understand why you'd want to take your kids to places you've already been. Traveling with kids can be challenging enough so why not go someplace you're familiar with!!

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    1. It's taken me a while to realize that traveling is often stressful for me (especially in Europe which is my husband's favorite place to go) and that I'd rather my vacations be more relaxing. Low key days at the beach or the lake sound perfect! And I've also realized that spending more time outside in nature on vacation is more more rejuvenating to me than being in a city.

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  3. Tops on my list in the U.S. are the national parks in Utah, Seattle then drive down the WA & OR coasts, Savannah, Nashville, and Shenandoah!

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    1. That would be such a great road trip from Seattle down to coast all the way to northern California! I did Seattle to San Fran in one (LONG) day once but would love to do it again in 4-5 days and just meander along.

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  4. I'm on board with all of those places. Zion, Charleston, and Disney World are in my list, too. I'd love to go places out west since we have always lived on the East Coast.

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    1. I'm the opposite - I've always lived on in the west (CA, WA, ID, CO) except for a brief stint in FL so haven't traveled much on the East Coast. I'd like to visit New England in the fall someday too... I keep coming up with more ideas!

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  5. What a terrific list!!! I love all of these ideas! Utah is amazing - it's truly unbelievable how many gorgeous national parks they have there within such a concentrated region. Savannah is magical and you already know how much I love Disney. =) I've been wanting to explore more of Colorado myself, and I am also hankering to go to New Mexico. I've never been to Santa Fe and I hear it's spectacular. YES, COME TO CHICAGO!!!!!!!!!! I'd love to show you around my hometown!!!

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    1. I can't believe I haven't made it to the parks in Utah despite living so close for several years.
      Magical is the perfect word for Savannah - All that Spanish moss hanging from the oak trees feels so romantic.
      Santa Fe is really neat!
      Chicago is pretty high on the long weekend getaway list for J and me in the next couple years so I'll definitely be getting all the good recommendations from you before then!

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  6. Haha I totally get what you're saying! I'm always like, we can't let having a kid stop us from traveling, but at the end of the day, your fantasy of what a trip will look like is far from the reality. Not that you can't visit places with your kids, but I think some things (especially if they are going to cost a lot) are better left to when the kids are older. My husband has a new saying he's coined, lol. NWI: Not worth it. He uses it to describe something we've done with Sully after the fact.

    Anyway, I agree - it's comforting to go back to places you love because it does take some stress away, that's for sure! I've only been to NYC once, and Jim hasn't, so I would definitely go back! I'd love to go to Charleston, Maine, Chicago, Utah, Montana, and back to Oregon (spent lots of time there when we lived in BC). And California (I've never been unless you count the redwoods). Jim's folks winter in Florida, so I'm sure one year we will cave and take Sully, but I refuse to go before he can remember it. There's also lots of places in Canada I haven't seen that I'd still like to - like Newfoundland and PEI. Ahhh so many places! And that's just North America! ;)

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    1. NWI... I love it! I'm going to start using that. One of our family acronyms is DWI: Deal With It. Also CTFD: Calm the F Down. (We don't use that one around the kids, Haha).
      NYC is one place I don't really have any interest in going. Chicago is really the only big city on my list. Well, Seattle too I guess. But I know Seattle so it's not so intimidating.
      My thought on Disney is for the kids to be past diapers and naps. My family started going when I was 4 I think.
      I debated whether to make this post on North America or to put my Canada ideas in the not-U.S. post - Obviously I picked the latter... PEI for sure! Actually my dream is to take the train from Vancouver to Halifax. Although I'm worried it'd be like that episode on SITC when Carrie & Samantha take the train to L.A. - Do you know the one I'm talking about?

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    2. Is Swede fully potty trained now? I feel like I'm so lazy about potty training Sully because to me, life seems so much easier with diapers! The thought of being in a busy, public place and having to find a washroom for a toddler every hour exhausts and overwhelms me, haha! Or maybe it's really not that bad...I have no experience in this department!

      Ahhhh I'm trying to rack my brain to remember that SITC episode, but I can't!!! What season? I'd love to take the train across Canada too....but the prairies are pretty boring lol. (We've driven across Canada before). Taking the train in BC up along the coast heading north towards and past whistler is supposed to be amazing though.

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    3. She is mostly potty trained. We are a little lazy about it too though still. She's really good at home, at preschool, at the gym care, at church... And we don't really GO anywhere else! If I was taking her out to run errands I'd put her in a diaper just in case.
      I think it's Season 5. (I just watched them all on mat leave). The point is, It was miserable! Good point on the prairies... Maybe I'll save that vacation for when I'm much older and less active.

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  7. I love all those destinations! Funny- I grew up in Southern California too and remember always going to Disneyland and knotts berry farm all the time. We also went on cruises, Hawaii, and (my fave) a dude ranch in Durango! Haha. I think I'd love to take kiddos with me to any location so long as a grandparent or something came too for impromptu sitting!

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    1. Knotts Berry Farm! Yes, We'd go there as the last-day-of-school party.
      Excellent idea bringing the grandparents along on vacation!

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  8. #4 sounds amazing!

    I understand about not making it to nearby destinations. I live in Savannah and have yet to visit and enjoy Charleston!

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    1. I didn't know you lived in Savannah, That's cool! I really liked visiting there.
      It's funny how we'll travel so far for vacation when plenty of great destinations in our home state. Like I want to go to Washington to hike and I live in Colorado! I do want to take more advantage of cool semi-local places to visit.

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  9. Great article with excellent idea!Thank you for such a valuable article. I really appreciate for this great information.. dream holiday destinations

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