Monday, January 17, 2011

Oh, the Places You'll Go

I like to travel.  I like to see new places and I like to see places that I have been to before.  I'm not the type of person that has to do a big vacation every year and it has to be somewhere new.  I'm fine with going on just a short weekend trip or taking a week.  Last year our big vacation was a family vacation to the Florida panhandle.  I have been there a few times before, but I still enjoy it each time I go.  The year before that we did a trip to Mackinaw Island and Sacramento/San Francisco.

This year, we will probably stick to smaller vacations since I have just started a new job and don't have that many days off, plus we are really working on trying to save money for fertility purposes and for bigger trips in the future.  There are two trips that I have in mind, now I just have to find times that work and figure out if we make them group trips or just us.

First on the list is Gatlinburg.  Anyone from this area probably has been in the Gatlinburg before and you know it's not... fancy.  But I don't care.  I just love Gatlinburg.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe because it's close so it's easy to get away for a weekend and not spend a ton of money.  For those who are not in the area and have never been, I'm not really sure how to describe it.  It's right on the edge of the National Park, The Smokey Mountains.  There are hiking trails and driving trails and some really pretty scenery.  There are chalets and humongous cabins to stay in the mountains.  For example:

This is the last cabin we stayed in.  We went with a group of our friends and we stayed in this monster.  What awesome about these cabins are they are all really nice on the inside and typically have hot tubs, pool tables, bars, etc.  Then there is Gatlinburg itself.  The only way I can describe it is a small "city" full of touristy goodness.

The Gatlinburg strip during a winter night

There is a main drag or "strip" that is full of souvenier shops, candy shops, restaurants, and silly attractions.  It's tacky and fabulous all at the same time.  Where else can you play Hillbilly Golf on the side of a mountain?

So I really want to go sometime in the spring/summer when the trees and grass are green and it's not dreary like these pictures which were taken in early January.  I think I really want to do this a group trip as I think it would be a lot of fun to go off on an adult only weekend and just relax and have fun.  Now it's just making everyone's schedules work.

The second place I want to visit is Chicago.  I have been there several times before and I'm feeling the itch to go there again.  I'm thinking summer/fall and going with another couple. The only things I really have planned for this vacation is to shop and see the "beach":

I also want to try another Chicago style pizza as I've had Giordano's several times before.  Finally, I'm hopping to get a tour of the United Center in as I know someone who could make that happen.  I just think my husband the guy we are planning on going with would really enjoy it.

I know these aren't major trips, but they're what we are trying to plan for this year.  The following year I'm hoping for a big trip to NYC to celebrate our 5 year anniversary.  I can't wait!

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