I LOVE Fall Break…and I love that the hurricanes have stayed far enough away from us this year so that we actually get to keep those off days to have some adventures!
Most of you know that I have a quest to visit all 50 states and I currently have EIGHT more states to go! For Fall Break this year I am going to get to knock off two move states and Ella gets to take her first-ever plane trip!
Here’s the plan:
-Saturday: Minneapolis, Minnesota
-Sunday: Fargo, North Dakota (State 43 for me!)
-Monday: Ellsworth, Wisconsin (State 44 for me!)
-Tuesday: Back home!!
Mid-west Fall Break here we come!
Who cares that it isn’t “officially” fall yet?! When you get an opportunity to knock a few items off on the 2018 Fall Bucket List, you just go for it!
Life being crazy-busy like it is and will be for the next year or so, we seriously thought about canceling our trip to Blue Ridge. However, when remembering Gretchen Rubin’s words in my ear to “choose the bigger life,” we headed out for another whirlwind weekend getaway.
In less than 72 hours we crammed in the following:
-Chicky bowls at our favorite Cuban restaurant in Blue Ridge
-Blairsville’s First-ever Taste of the Mountains
-Downtown Blue Ridge Window shopping
-Addie Milked a Cow!
Have you explored your own hometown lately? Waring and I did just that last weekend. I have been wanting to explore the Starland District in downtown Savannah during the 1st Friday Arts March for a year or so now. For one reason or another things have not worked out until…. last Friday!
Waring and I took the littlest out on the town to meet Mer, Justin, and Baby Eli out for Tacos and a walk through the Starland District. We saw a pretty wild flower art exhibit, tasted olive oil and vinegar, ate tacos, and enjoyed some time catching up with friends. I love it when bucket list items are: 1). close to home 2). reasonably priced 3). pretty painless to accomplish 4). fun!!!
From Breckenridge, New Orleans, Pensacola, to Boston, Spring Break over the past several years has always been full of adventure. Even in college I made sure to NEVER miss a Spring Break adventure opportunity from Daytona Beach, Chicago, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, there have been many memories made! However, this year’s Spring Break was full of a different type of adventure. I had a full to-do list of things to cross off and accomplish in order to be as productive as possible and prepare to bring Eleanor home. We started off the break with a great family brunch downtown, followed by a family fun Easter, a week of crazy decluttering, and a whirlwind trip to Lynchburg, VA with Waring as he spent his weekend at Liberty University. He sat through classes all day and I explored, ate good food, got a mani-pedi, and caught up on my to-do list making. All in all I am thankful for the time off, the time with Addie and Waring, and another Spring Break in the books!
Here is my to-do this for the week and an update on what I was actually able to accomplish:
Visit Meredith and Baby Eli- CHECK, twice!
Take Addie to the Dentist for a cleaning and check-up -CHECK! Addie was a super brave girl!
- Buy a new rocking recliner for the living room— NOPE
- Create memory boxes for Addie and Ella— Bought the boxes…but haven’t put it all together yet.
Create April Monthly Goals- CHECK! Yes, this is something I do each month and I am addicted!
Declutter the WHOLE HOUSE–CHECK! This pretty much took all week and created a cluttered mess in the entire house, but at this point every closet is organized, the cabinets in the kitchen have new contact paper laid out, and I even found the space to put up a small coffee bar in the kitchen!
- Setup Ella’s Nursery- Partially…. We are finished except hanging up some pictures and finishing the crib that was mailed to us without HARDWARE!?!
- Touch-up paint in hallways— NOPE
- Recaulk bathroom tub — NOPE
Clean oven- CHECK!
Unpack baby stuff from the attic– CHECK, thanks Waring!
Wash all of Ella’s hand-me-downs from Addie– CHECK!
- Take a trip to the Front Porch Cafe and have a library date– Nope, maybe sometime soon.
Go bowling- CHECK!
Well, it is official…. I only have EIGHT more states to go until the big goal of setting foot in all FIFTY STATES is complete!
My husband, Waring, was such a trooper on this trip. He knows I have been itching for adventure lately and dying to get some more states crossed off the list. Although driving to Oklahoma and back in a four day weekend was probably not his 1st choice for a fun-filled family vacation, he buckled in and took to the road just for me!
We set out after a small group bible study at our house on Thursday afternoon and drove to Atlanta for the night. We woke up before sunrise the next morning and headed to Memphis, TN. We stopped for famous Memphis dry rub BBQ for lunch and a quick art studio paint session for Addie before hopping in the car again bound for Bentonville, Arkansas. We swam in the hotel pool (Addie’s favorite) before crashing for the night. On Saturday we stopped at two donut joints before noon, cruised along historic Route 66 in Oklahoma, made it across the Kansas state line, and spend the afternoon in Branson, Missouri. The Ozark’s were beautiful to ride through and Branson did not disappoint with its kitsch. Addie (and Waring) wore themselves out at Fritz’s Adventure Park before making the drive back to Memphis, TN that night. Sunday we spent the day exploring Memphis sights and attractions before heading back to Atlanta, GA. Monday morning we headed to the Atlanta Children’s Museum for a little exploration before making it back home around 5pm that evening.
My goal this year was to knock out 2 new states. I really wasn’t sure if that was going to be possible at all, considering I am not allowed to travel after the end of April and soon after we will have a brand new baby to celebrate and party (stay up all night) with. I know it sounds like our trip was a whirlwind…and it was…but it was also a great deal of fun and adventure. I am so thankful for my husband, who puts up with and even encourages my hair-brained schemes.
PS: Addie is turning out to be a great little road trip warrior!
I still can’t believe that 2017 has already exited the scene to make way for 2018. This past year was full of the usual adventures and a few new ones too. We celebrated birthdays, enjoyed two full years of living in our new home, explored NYC with the girls, took a family cruise to Mexico, enrolled Addie in Pre-K 3 and dance, visited Disney again, and again, and again, and took a weekend escape to check Niagara Falls and Cedar Point off of the bucket list. Oh yeah…and we decided to invite a new member into our family….Baby Harvey #2 is coming in June 2018.
Here is the progress made from this year: (not too shabby if I must say!)
Write my own manifesto (from Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project)—-CHECK! Maybe I will share this with you guys one day… I love Gretchen Rubin and recommend any of her books if you are looking to be more intentional in your life.
Write a letter to my future self—-CHECK! April @ age 30.
Celebrate my last day of my 20’s—-CHECK!
Plan (and have) a spa day—Hubby helped with this task! The facial and massage from Milan Esthetics was wonderful!
Do Adult Disney—CHECK! We got to see visit the Inaugural International Festival of the Arts at EPCOT!
See the Rocky Mountains— CHECK! Rocky Mountain National Park was just as amazing as I thought it would be. Colorado is a MUST SEE state in my book!
Fly fish— YES! We look lessons in Estes, Park Colorado. See photo evidence below!
Sand surf–-YES! We made life-long memories here in Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado. BTW…the sand gets up to 150 degrees so make sure you wear SHOES!!! (Thanks for NOTHING Trip Advisor, hahah!).
- Stay in a Deluxe Disney Resort– NOPE I can’t part with the cash to pay for the price tag of this particular adventure.
- Hang Glide— NOT YET
- Sleep in a tree house—NOT YET
- Learn about floral arts— DOES PINTEREST COUNT?
Take a cooking class-–YES, thanks Justin and Meredith!
- Master the art of the sugar cookie—-HM…maybe next year!
Plant bougainvillea–-YES, thanks Hubby for the birthday gift. I hope the cold hasn’t killed them this week. 😦
- Reach goal weight (finally)—Well, I am currently expanding due to this new baby.
Pay off student loans— YES! CHECK!
- Develop a “big girl” skin care routine—Well, sort-of…but I could use more work on this one so I am going to keep it for next year too.
Visit a new state-— CHECK and CHECK!!! Michigan and Colorado. Currently on 38
- Visit a new country—Nope, although we did go back to Canada and Mexico this year.
- Explore Universal’s Harry Potter World—NOPE!
- Complete a Reading Challenge—-HAHAHAH. Do Addie’s books count?
- Learn Spanish (again…)—-NOPE
- Prepare for an emergency (so we won’t get totally caught off guard by something like Hurricane Matthew again.)—-This is about half way complete, but we could still use some more work.
Attend Dragon Con-–CHECK!!!
Plan and implement seasonal bucket lists/monthly challenges-–CHECK! I got a little slack after morning sickness set in, but other than that we were pretty consistent.
There aren’t many long weekends that I can say we have traveled through four states, with four generations of women in our family chasing a grand adventure. We landed in Cleveland, Ohio, hit the ground running, and never stopped until the plane ride back home.
Day 1: We drove into Michigan and stuck our feet in Lake Erie. Now I am down to 12 more states to go until I can officially say that I have set foot in all 50!! Next we headed down to Lake Erie Shores to do some window shopping, light house spotting, famous chili-dog eating, and thrill-seeking at the World’s Largest Theme Park/Rollercoaster Capital of the World, Cedar Point.
Day 2: We drove in the opposite direction, through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and into Canada to view the magnificent Niagara Falls. We rode the Hornblower to get up close and personal with the raging waters that flow at over 84,000 cubic feet per second! We ended the day with some local fare, a stroll through a festival in Lewiston, a swim in the hotel pool with Addie, and back to the Falls to view the illuminated waters at night.
Day 3: We packed up, drove the three hours back to the airport and were back home by 5pm.
Whew! To say it was a whirl-wind would be an understatement….but it was also a lot of fun. We have trained Addie to be such a good little traveler. Would you believe that she has now been to 19 states at three years old! Having my mother and grandmother along for the adventure made the trip even more memorable. They have and continue to make such a positive impact on my life and the life of my daughter. I am just so glad that they (and Waring) are always up for my hair-brained, half-crazy schemes.
This was so much fun….I am already plan our next adventure!