So Long 2012, Hello 2013

141581982007429386_Ogi6a1iS_cAs 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 do or go anywhere exciting. As I sit here beginning to write this post, I realize the truth about 2012 – it was quite eventful.

Our Travels

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 then spending several days in the Outer Banks in North Carolina before stopping off in our former hometown, Chapel Hill.  While reminiscing on the campus of UNC, I realized I need 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 beautiful Outer Banks...my favorite photograph from 2012.

The beautiful Outer Banks.  My favorite photograph from 2012.

The other road trip we made this year was when we re-visited Washington, D.C.  I planned the trip 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.

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

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!

My son and his friend doing the shark dive at the Long Island Aquarium - real brave 13 year olds!

My son and his friend doing the shark dive at the Long Island Aquarium – real brave 13-year-olds!

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 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.

My niece and son at the NY Public Library - the last stop of the Stray Boots Tour.

My niece and son at the NY Public Library – the last stop of the Stray Boots Tour.

As I mentioned earlier, I also tried to make the most of my business trips to 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 great little dive called Grease Wood Flats.

One cool dive...you should go!

One cool hangout. You should go!

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 whiskey 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 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 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.  Do you like the finished product?

Hello 2013

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 guess 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 an 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!

 

Comments

  1. I grew up in Arizona and I love, love, love Greasewood Flats! Such a fun place for all ages to listen to live music, eat some grab and gab by a fire barrel in the desert night.

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