As 2012 is about to close, I thought I would take a look back on what I have recently been calling an “uneventful” year. I guess it takes a moment of reflection to realize that it is ridiculous to have been referring to 2012 as uneventful. I have let my dreams of going to Paris or heading out west on adventurous road trip cloud my perception and trick my brain into thinking that I didn’t really do or go anywhere exciting. As I sit here beginning to write this post, I realize the truth about 2012 – it was quite eventful.
This past year my travels were focused on where the road could take us and making the most of local day trips and business trips since frugality was a high priority. Our big vacation happened over the summer. We traveled down the east coast, stopping off in Atlantic City and spent several days in the Outer Banks in North Carolina before stopping off in our previous home town, Chapel Hill. While reminiscing on the campus of UNC, I was reminded of the reason why I ned to continue to be frugal – my son will be going to college in less than five years! It was at that moment, that I realized Paris is going to have to wait.
The other road trip we made this year was when we re-visited Washington, D.C. This was a trip I planned last Christmas and was a gift to my parents. We went in March to celebrate my mother’s birthday. I couldn’t have asked for a better time to visit because the weather was perfect and in the 70s and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom marking their 100th anniversary. Since I can’t get enough of Washington, D.C., we visited again on our way back from North Carolina. I couldn’t resist because I had just read Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln and had to see the Ford Theater. I am officially a history geek and was in my element.
When I felt myself getting antsy, I made the most out of living in the suburbs of New York City. My son and I spent a lot of time on the east end of Long Island which is where my son experienced one of the most exciting moments of the year – a Shark Dive!
After re-reading The Great Gatsby, I decided to visit the Gold Coast Mansions which are minutes from my home. My post about Coe Hall Mansion at Planting Fields State Historic Park is actually one of my most viewed post of the year and was one of my favorite solo trips. If you are ever on Long Island, you should visit. It is wonderful.
Of course many of our day-trips were to New York City and included trips to the Discovery Times Square where we checked out the Spy Exhibit and the Terracotta Warriors. We also made it to a couple of Broadway shows, spent time in Central Park, went to Coney Island and I found a new favorite museum -Museum of the City of New York. One of my favorite experiences in the city was when my god-daughter from Louisiana came to visit. We did the Stray Boots tour of Midtown Manhattan. It was a blast and felt like we were on the amazing race. It was so much fun!
As I mentioned earlier, I also tried to make the most of my business trips for my real job that shall remain nameless due to the social media policy in place. (You didn’t think I made a living writing this blog did you?) Our national meeting was in Scottsdale, Arizona in March, so I was able to visit Mac Donald’s Ranch in the middle of the Sonoran Desert and I checked out a really cool dive called Grease Wood Flats.
In October, I had to head to Atlanta for training, so once again I made the most of the visit and checked out the Margaret Mitchell Museum. Since I love Gone With the Wind, I was in my glory, and the post I wrote about my visit honestly is my favorite post of the year. I think other’s will agree since it is in the top 10 most viewed post – not bad since I wrote it less than three months ago. Another favorite moment this year also was experienced on that same trip when I discovered the Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint and had moonshine for the first time. The moonshine burned going down, but the music and the food will bring me back.
Writing this Blog
Well 2012, brought many changes for The Traveling Classroom. First off, I finally opened a twitter account and I became a Pinterest addict. Both have helped me network and I have really enjoyed learning from other travel bloggers. I also went to my first travel blogger conference in May and found it exciting to meet Traci from GO BIG or GO HOME, Sandra from ALBANY KID, Mara from MOTHER OF ALL TRIPS and Erin from KIDVENTUROUS. I can’t wait to see who I meet this year at TBEX in Toronto!
The big change I made this year happened over the summer when I decided to hire a blog designer. It has definitely been a test of patience, but I am happy to report that after rolling over my blog from wordpress.com to a self-hosted site I finally have the blog that I desired. There are still a few technical glitches with some of the links and social media plug-ins, but I hope they are rectified today. Do you like the finished product?
So what is on the horizon for 2013? I’ll be making the most out of business trips planned to Boston, Philadelphia, Kansas City and Orlando. My son and I have big plans for Memorial Day Weekend and are heading to the INDY 500 – Woo Hoo! I plan on using an airline credit to either Charleston, South Carolina or Las Vegas. I’ll let my son decide the destination, so I am guessing it will be Las Vegas, where we will make a road trip to the Grand Canyon.
As far as big plans in the writing department, I am hoping to do some guest blogging and plan on reaching out to some local publications for freelance opportunities. I will continue to strive to write interesting post, provide travel tips and inspire my readers with travel quotes. I hope by sharing what my son and I learn while traveling will entice other families to become “road scholars” too. I look forward to the relationships with my followers, new and old and wish everyone a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!