New Year’s Day is a time to look forward, and that is just what I thought I would do with today’s post – take a look forward at a few vacations that I have been daydreaming about. Hopefully, we will go on a few of these trips in the years to come. Maybe we will even manage to do one or two of them this upcoming year. *Fingers Crossed*
Daydream Adventure #1 – Follow in Mark Twain’s footsteps
Someday, I would like to take a long weekend and drive down to Hannibal, Missouri – the town where Mark Twain grew up. I envision my family listening to an audio book of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn during the drive there. Before the trip, we might watch a movie version of one of the books. Here are just a few of the fun things that I’d like to do there.
- Visit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum. It features interactive exhibits depicting some of the most iconic scenes from Mark Twain’s books. You can explore the cave with Tom and Becky, raft the Mississippi with Huck and Jim, and help whitewash Tom’s fence. Additionally, the surrounding properties feature the Becky Thatcher house and buildings associated with other characters from Twain’s books.
- Visit the free Hannibal History Museum which features hand-carved dioramas from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
- Ride on a real Riverboat along the mighty Mississippi.
- Also, nearby is the Bonne Terre Mine where you explore cave sites by boat.
- Additionally, Saint Louis is pretty close. I have heard that the Saint Louis City Museum there is super fun for people of all ages.
Daydream Adventure #2 – Head East, Young Family!
Maine! I desperately want to go to Maine. There is so much to see and do there, and the coastline is so pretty. I have just barely begun to research this area, but wow, I am so excited about what I have already learned about it. Here are a few of the things I have found.
- Spend a few days in Acadia National Park. I want to take the horsedrawn carriage tour along the roads where cars are not allowed, I want to see a sunrise from atop Cadillac Mountain, and I want to witness the splashing and crashing of the park’s infamous Thunder Hole when a good-sized wave rolls in. Additionally, I think it would be a really cool experience to hike the Beehive Trail where some portions of the trail are so steep that you have to climb up ladder rungs built into the side of the mountain.
- Visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. The children’s garden there is said to be enchanting, whimsical and fun.
- Visit the fairy homes of Mackworth Island. There is a village of fairy homes on Mackworth Island. Follow the short 1.25 mile loop trail around the island to discover all sorts of natural beauty including a fairy village where you are welcome to build a fairy dwelling with your family.
- See a moose! Visit Baxter State Park where you are guaranteed a view of some beautiful scenery and quite possibly a moose.
- Cross Frenchmen’s Bay by foot. In Bar Harbor, you can walk across the land bridge during low tide to get to Bar Island. How cool is that?!?
- Walk where the Roosevelts walked. Visit Roosevelt Campobello Park – the summer home of the Roosevelts (including Franklin and Eleanor). I have recently been reading a lot about Eleanor Roosevelt so I am quite intrigued by this. I will have to research it more to see if the kids would enjoy it at all.
- Other points of interest in Maine include the world’s largest blueberry in Columbia Falls, the shore path in Bar Harbor, the LL Bean Flagship store, Hermit Island, Victoria Mansion, Ogunquit Beach, Portland Museum of Art, Maine Maritime Museum, Portland Headlight and Fort Williams Park.
Daydream Adventure #3 – A Few Days in Flagstaff
A couple of years ago, we went on a huge road trip across country. We followed several parts of old route 66. It was amazing – truly the vacation of a lifetime. One of my only regrets was that we didn’t spend more time in Arizona. There was more to do in and around Flagstaff, AZ than I had realized. If we make it back out there, these are a few things that I would like to do.
- Visit the ancient cliff dwellings at Walnut Canyon National Monument.
- Follow the lava flow trail at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument.
- View the Grand Canyon. It was rainy and foggy on the day that we went to Grand Canyon National Park. In short, we couldn’t see any of the magnificent views at all. We were all so disappointed!
- Visit Petrified Forest National Park again. The entire family LOVED the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. We would love to see it all again.
- View the stars and skies up close at Lowell Observatory. This is where Pluto the (almost a) planet was discovered!
- See the meteorite impact site at Meteor Crater.
- Sleep in a Wigwam! Check out the iconic Route 66 Wigwam Village Motel in the nearby city of Holbrook.
Daydream Adventure #4 – Cross-Country Train Ride
So I read an article about a Boy Scout troop that went on this amazing cross-country trip BY TRAIN. I have been a little obsessed with this idea ever since. I don’t understand the train system well enough to coordinate this yet but I have a feeling that a long train trip is somewhere in our family’s future. In the meanwhile, maybe we will start small with a short train trip to Chicago.
Daydream Adventure #5 – California Dreaming
California always seems so unattainable. We typically drive on our vacations, and it takes nearly an entire week just to drive to California. However, some day I would like to do a full vacation on the West Coast. I want to cruise along State Route 1, see the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit Yosemite and other National Parks, drive along the steep roads of San Francisco, and dip my toes into the Pacific Ocean.
Those are just a few of the trips that I have been daydreaming about. Have you done any of these trips? Were they just as wonderful as I think they will be?
This post was originally published in January 2017.