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!
With only 940 Saturdays between birth to 18 I want to make sure I savor each and every one in Addie’s life whether we are adventuring around the world or our hometown, I want to hold on to these precious moments. Some weekends we celebrate the mundane….but the last two weekends have been extra-special.
Elijah Clark State Park Weekend Adventure
We camped, we ate Mexican AND Italian (who says Lake Life can’t have some global flare), we tie dyed, and we swam and played!
Day Trip to Downtown Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach
Today went down in the books as another fun summer day with Addie and family! Her cousin Aubrey is in town for the 4th. They swam until they dropped today at the Splash in the Boro.
While I do like celebrating Independence Day in the USA, I have to admit that I do miss bringing in the 4th in Ireland while Waring and I were on our honeymoon EIGHT years ago. I miss this place… Maybe we will make it back there for our 10th year anniversary. A girl can dream….
5 Reasons Why I Love Ireland (and you should too):
Round-abouts and left-sided driving make everything more interesting
Bed & Breakfasts are WAAAY cooler than hotels. Each host is a treasure trove of knowledge and each place seems to have a sweet dog as their mascot.
Small town vibes are everywhere. You can explore the country by traveling from town to town and not feel overwhelmed.
Absolute 360 degrees of beauty EVERYWHERE you look.
When the heat index is over 100 degrees here in Georgia….the high is a crisp 60 degrees in Galway.
I know. I know. Technically we are not quite into the “Fall season,” but I am not going to semantics and silly dates get in the way of an opportunity to check off some pretty awesome bucket list adventures off of our list! Due to inclement weather school closures and an already scheduled 3 day weekend Waring, Addie, and I took the liberty to invite ourselves (sorry, not sorry) on a camping trip with my parents to Blue Ridge, GA.
We stayed in my grandparent’s camper on some family/friend property near Blairsville that has been outfitted for camping (complete with full hook-up and bath house!!). The pictures below pretty much speak for themselves. We had a blast!
Here are just a few bucket list items that have been checked off:
-Apple Picking (September Wonder apples are the best….but we all prefer the Apple Cider Donuts!)
-Go to a Fall Festival (Blairsville Heritage Days Festival)
-Go to the Mountains (this was Addie’s first trip. Her first comment was “Mountains aren’t purple?—> The girl reads too many books!!
-Making a fire (okay, so technically someone else made it…but we enjoyed it!)
Now that we have a head start on Fall, we may be able to check off some bucket list items two and three times this season! Happy Fall Y’all!