May 7th, 2013

deer faces

Making plans...

One of the things I enjoy about summer break is coming up with new experiences for the kiddos. (This doesn't even have to occur during *summer* break -- last year, I think Mesa Verde was one of their favorite times, and that was during Spring Break.) This summer is no exception. Although we don't have a big trip (like our trip to Boston) planned, we are going to take a two-three day trip to Glenwood. There's a gorgeous hike just east of the town (I've done it twice, but only once with DH -- the kiddos have never done it). Glenwood also has some cool caves, and I just bought tickets for us to explore them (Groupon). :) Along with the caves, they have a little amusement park too (with a very high roller coaster which makes me feel ill just seeing the pictures...not sure if I'll do that one).

If we have time, we might drive over to Marble too (another cool hike that ends near where they cut marble out of the hills)...and end up in Aspen, where we can always either hike Maroon Bells or any number of other alpine hikes. Then, we'd drive home over Independence Pass, which is truly spectacular! We haven't been to Aspen as a family since 2009, so I'm thinking it's time to return. Hopefully, DH will have the time to take the extra days (I think it would be either 3 or 4 days, depending on if we throw the Marble stuff in there). Either way, I'm excited. :)

We also have a 'wish list' of trips we'd like to take in the next five to seven years (ie, before D is in college). We want to go to Alaska (that's probably the biggie), but we also want to hit Teton Natl Park, Glacier Natl Park, San Francisco area, and return to Boston. Of course, if the airline prices ever drop enough (they'd have to drop significantly), we'd also like to go to Hawaii before DH's sis leaves the islands.

With all that, we're very thankful to live in a state with so many unusual and beautiful places to visit -- we can drive to those, and even with hotel costs thrown in, it's very affordable.

What about you? How do you decide vacation destinations?