I’ve got a slight case of cabin fever, and thought this would be the ideal moment to let my mind wander into the future. Conjure up some adventures for 2011.  Some realistic, some a reach, some to get the creative juices flowing…


Photo credit: o0o0xmods0o0o from morguefile.com

On my docket for several years now.  I actually planned a trip here once, then ended up taking an awesome road trip in Arizona instead (long story). But Yosemite’s waterfalls and granite monoliths are still calling my name. This is a May-June trip, at the height of the waterfall season.  A few days in San Francisco will provide some city time to balance the wilderness of Yosemite.

Painted Ladies of San Francisco

Photo credit: kconnors from morguefile.com

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver Skyline and Mountains HDR

Off to meet fellow travel bloggers at #TBEX. Definitely getting out to the mountains and onto the water. Hiking Grouse Mountain and kayaking at Indian Arm sound good to me.

Southwest Utah and Northern Arizona

Arizona's Antelope Canyon

Photo credit: mconnors from morguefile.com

This itinerary is all planned out on paper.  An eleven day road trip with highlights to include hiking the Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park, a descent to explore slot canyons at Antelope Canyon in Northern Arizona, and admiring the pink sand at Utah’s Pink Sand Dunes State Park. There is sooo much to see in this region.  Adding to the itinerary…sandstone hoodoos at Bryce Canyon, a “fold” in the earth at Capitol Reef National Park, more slot canyons at Grand Staircase National Monument, and admiring the reds, browns, and golds of the desert southwest at the aptly names Kodachrome Basin State Park. This one is a fall trip, ideally September to avoid the summer crowds.  But the main purpose for taking this trip in the fall is to hike the Virgin River Narrows.  This is when the water is lowest and warmest, which is important because a portion of this trip is a hike *in* the river.

Germany and other European adventures

Oktoberfest München 2008

It’s actually two trips to Germany.  Oh, let’s just make it a three month trip to Europe that will be bookended by Germany.  First, Oktoberfest, the ultimate bierfest (spelled the German way, of course).  Oddly enough, it takes place primarily in September.  We’re traveling to Munich for this one.  It’s not all about beer, you know.  In fact, the only place that beer takes center stage is in the name of the event.  I’m here for the bratwurst, parades, music, dancing, carnivals, and exploring Munich.

After Oktoberfest, perhaps I’ll be off to Alsace Lorraine on the border of France and Germany. A cruise on the Rhine River. Explore the fortresses. Fill up on the gastronomic creations of this unique region. Discover the architectural beauty of the historic town centers.

Or maybe my travels will take me south to Prague, a city that survived destruction in WWII. More intriguing architecture to be explored. The Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. Beyond Prague, it’s Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary. Wow – I’m exhausted. In the midst of this journey, I might just find a good home base where I can catch up with everyone that’s been following me on my journeys. Time to care for the blog and rejuvenate my energy.

December brings the end of this journey around Europe, and exploring the Christkindlesmarkts in Germany. This is my chance to discover more of the historic cities and towns, purchase heirloom handmade gifts for friends and family, and enjoy local fare.  Then, it’s back to the states to deliver those gifts in time for Christmas and dreaming of new adventures for 2012.

4 Comments on Travel dreams for the new year

  1. Oh, definitely don’t forget The Wave if you make your southern Utah northern Arizona trip!!

  2. Mary says:

    @Erica – I spent 9 days on a road trip in Arizona, and it was definitely not enough. There’s a podcast on the site about the northern part of the journey. http://www.wanderandexplore.co.....road-trip/ I guess it’s high time that I finished the podcast about the southern part of the journey.

    @Anca – thanks for the tip about the Loire Valley. I will add that to the list of places to explore. Oh, Romania…definitely! My relatives in Germany go there on vacation. I had forgotten about the monasteries. I’ve heard the frescoes are some of the best in existence. What is the best way to get around (car, train, bus)? What type of accommodations would you recommend (hotels, hostels, B&B, etc.)?

  3. Erica says:

    I LOVE Arizona. I wish we had more time to spend there during our road trip through the Southwest. The Grand Canyon is definitely a must!

  4. anca a says:

    You have great plans for this year. If you stay longer in Europe and get closer to France why not see Loire Valley (absolutely gorgeous castles and nice landscape). Prague is a must – you’ll definitely like it! And if you get to Budapest why not come to Romania too? I knoe we don’t have the best advertisement but believe me the country is very beautiful and we have everything, mountaings, see, delta, castles, monastries and welcoming people. This sound like advertisment? Actually I really believe it. If you ever intend to come here just give me a sign – I would be glas to give you some tips and help you here.

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