2012 Travel In Review

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2012 was an amazing travel year for me. While I’ve always enjoyed traveling, the past year was the first that I embraced travel as a passion and looked at every step beyond my front door from a travel writer’s perspective. It’s pretty amazing to view your travels in that manner. It’s not just a vacation, day trip, or field trip, but a way to experience more in life, learn more about myself, and share that with others.

My 2012 travels started with a solo road trip from Asheville to Nashville. I flew to Asheville, N.C., (the smallest and most relaxing airport I’ve ever visited), rented a car, and took off on my adventure. I visited the Biltmore, Smokey Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge, and the World’s Largest Treehouse before making my way into Nashville for the Blissdom blogging conference. It was liberating to travel alone (with a few caveats) and I hope to do more of it in the future.

asheville

In March I took the kids on a chilly, foggy adventure to Cape May, N.J. Not exactly a booming time of year for the Jersey Shore, but we had a lot of fun and there were no crowds. We stayed in Wildwood, which might be a blast in the summer if you like that sort of thing. We visited the lighthouse, did some letterboxing, and went to the wonderful Cape May County Zoo.

Cape May, NJ

June brought our family on a road trip to Charlotte, N.C., and Charlottesville, Va., I attended a blogging conference in Charlotte while my husband and kids got to experience the incredible U.S. National Whitewater Center and go whitewater rafting. I definitely want to go back and take my turn at that one!

After a couple days in Charlotte, we drove up to Charlottesville – my favorite destination of 2012. I can’t say enough about the history, the food, the people… I’ve always said I would never want to live anywhere other than the Northeast, but I could definitely see myself living in Charlottesville. Our favorite stops included Monticello, Jefferson Vineyards, Michie Tavern, and a restaurant called The Nook.

monticello

And to top it off – literally, because we hiked up to a spot that felt like the top of the world – we drove through the Smokey Mountains on Skyline Drive on our way home.

skyline

We hit the beach in June, visiting with family in Rhode Island and friends in Massachusetts. We went boogie-boarding, water-skiing, kayaking, and tubing. Then we tacked on a quick stop in Lexington/Concord to experience the place where the “shot heard ’round the world” was fired. It was a whirlwind trip that left us exhausted, but exhilarated and inspired.

beach

I checked an item off my life list when I ran the Wine & Dine Half-Marathon in Disney World in November! It was amazing and I would love to run every one of Disney’s marathon events if I could. After the event, we spent the week in Disney with my sister and her family. As always, Disney did not disappoint. I finally got to eat at Le Cellier restaurant in Epcot and I think it was the best meal of my life. Well, definitely in the top three!

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Looking ahead to 2013 I already have trips planned to: Breckenridge, Colo.; Dallas, Texas; Virginia Beach, Va.; Toronto, Canada; Washington, D.C.; and Hershey, P.A. Lots to look forward to! Happy New Year and may your travels make some of your dreams come true in 2013.

6 COMMENTS

  1. What a great way of looking at every step on the road we all travel. I’m so envious of your solo road trip. Mostly because I’ve longed to visit Biltimore, but doubt my kids would be as impressed as I would be. When you make it down to DC be sure to get in touch, I’d love to show you some of my favorite spots in my adopted hometown. Happy travels!

  2. Sounds like you had a great year of travel. I love the water-skiing picture! If you like aquariums, put the aquarium in Virginia Beach on your itinerary. We really enjoyed the exhibits and the setup. And when you head to Breckenridge, send me a note if you are going to spend some time in Denver. Maybe we can meet up!

  3. First of all, congrats on the half marathon. I am training for a 5k right now, so I am just at the beginning of a running goal, but you gotta start somewhere right? I love how you describe the difference in your travels when you look at it as a travel writer. I have experience the same thing and love how it has changed my passion to travel. Have a great 2013!

  4. What a great year– (and yay on the Wine & Dine!–i am running my first Disney 1/2 in February, would love to do Wine&Dine next!). Let me know when you will be in DC, would love to catch up while you are here.

  5. I love reading everyone’s year-end reviews to get a run-down on all the amazing places that have been visited in the last year! The Biltmore Estate photos are lovely – would love to visit there someday!

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