Although things have been a bit sad and chaotic around here lately, I have been thinking about what lies ahead when I’m ready to start once again planning and filling our calendar. You might even say that I’ve been dreaming about all of the possible things we might do in 2011. And as I head for my third anniversary as a family travel blogger in June, I have come to realize that with all of the traveling we’ve done over the past 30 months we haven’t done nearly enough exploring of our own backyard. Thus many of my resolutions have to do with getting to know the Midatlantic region better.
So without further ado, here are my family travel goals for the next 12 months:
- Visit every state park in Delaware. Delaware is the only state in the U.S. that doesn’t have a national park, but it compensates for this fact with 17 state parks of many varieties from urban refuges to Civil War forts to some of the best beaches in Delaware. We’ve spent lots of time in White Clay Creek State Park, which is in the town where we live. I’d like to branch out and explore the many other wildlife sanctuaries and historic sites my small state has to offer.
- Take more weekend trips. When we visited Lancaster last spring I wrote about how even a 24-hour trip can be a fun and energizing way to spend time together as a family. I’m lucky to live an easy drive not only from New York City, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia, but also from the ski areas in the Poconos and historic sites like Valley Forge and Annapolis. I’d definitely like to plan a few short getaways to some of these great destinations.
- See more of the Eastern Shore. Assateague. Chincoteague. Accomac. Onancock. The names of the towns are romantic and intriguing, as is the idea of seeing the famous wild ponies that live in the region. Although I’ve been a Delaware resident for 13 years, I’ve never really explored the history or ecology of the Chesapeake Bay; I’d like that to change in 2011.
- Ride the train into Philadelphia. My children love trains. We are a commuter train ride away from downtown Philadelphia. Do I have any excuse for the fact that we haven’t yet taken the train for a day of city fun? Please. Don’t answer that.
- Try some more adventurous eating. As the children have gotten older and more vocal about their likes and dislikes, I feel like I’ve fallen into the rut of seeking out places that will easily please them with nuggets of chicken and other fried foods. I’d like to start pushing a little harder to for us all be more adventurous when we’re on the road. I’d also like to plan some culinary day trips – sampling dim sum in Philly’s Chinatown, exploring the South Street Italian Market there as well, and perhaps conducting an informal survey of crab cakes in Maryland and Virginia. All in the name of research of course.
I have a few blogging resolutions as well, which are separate from my family travel goals but of course are related. They include better organization of my content, a fresh look for my site, and a Mother of All Trips Facebook page. I also want to continue to improve my photography skills and to offer more tips from experts on everything from preparing children to downhill ski to how to take a child to an art museum. Oh, and I’d also like to return to more live blogging of my trips – that way I won’t find myself in January of 2012 writing about 2011’s summer vacation (ahem).
Most of all, I plan to continue this series and hopefully to continue to meet more new bloggers and online friends who drop by and share their own travel dreams at the beginning of each week. I love nothing more than reading the posts linked here by my fellow travelers – it’s like a weekly dose of inspiration.
What’s your Monday Dream for this first week of 2011? Please feel free to share below. If you’re new here, please see About Monday Dreaming.