A new year has arrived and I’m doing my best to get back on track with writing more regularly and I’m determined to get better organized with a family calendar.
And, of course I’ve got my eyes set on plenty of traveling and fun in the new year too! From relaxing vacations to exploring ‘new to me’ places and of course, plenty of theme parks – here’s a look at my 2020 travel wish list.
Explore the Florida State Parks
Like most eleven and nine-years-old, my girls love their technology and while, at times, it can be a learning device, I’m ready for them to ditch their phones and tablets and explore the outdoors.
There are 175 Florida state parks, trails and hiking paths and I hope that in 2020 we can take advantage of these areas – right in our own backyards and find ‘new to us’ places to make memories.
DeLeon Springs State Park, west of Daytona Beach in West Volusia County, is high on my spots of places to visit in 2020. There are hiking trails, an educational boat ride through the springs led by park rangers and a swimming area – perfect for summertime.
At the park’s on-site Sugar Mill Restaurant, you can make-your-own pancakes right at your table! (Sounds fun!) Each table has a built-in griddle where you make your pancakes and can order toppings like strawberries and side dishes to go along with it. I think my girls would LOVE this activity and it’d be perfect fuel for exploring the park too.
While the new Carnival Panorama is sailing from its new homeport in California, there’s still plenty of ‘new’ to look forward to for Floridians hoping to cruise from the Sunshine State.
The newly reimagined Carnival Sunrise is sailing from Fort Lauderdale with four- and five-day Caribbean and Bahamas cruises including stops in Princess Cays, Jamaica, Grand Turk, Nassau, Amber Cove, Half Moon Cay and more.
Formerly known as the Carnival Triumph, the ship underwent a $200 million renovation and now includes Guy’s Burgers, SportsSquare, Camp Ocean, the popular Alchemy Bar and more.
I still haven’t made it to Amber Cove, the private island filled with water activities, shopping and private beaches – just for cruisers. (What’s not to love?!) And the Carnival Sunrise sounds like the perfect way to visit there, so this trip is high on my wish list in 2020.
SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica
Last year, my husband ended up winning four, one-day passes to SeaWorld Orlando – all thanks to a charity raffle. Major win!
We planned our visit for a teacher’s planning day this past October, in hopes that we could miss some of the crowds – we were total newbies to SeaWorld Orlando. (I know!)
We ended up having the most amazing day and loved seeing all of the animals and personally, I could have spent ALL day having fun in their new Sesame Street area. The details and interactive technology inside the land makes it fun for both adults and kids.
Our visit was short, as we only had one-day tickets, but I’d really love to see more of the park — and the shows too! Molly loved seeing the dolphins so much, that we ended up at that show twice!
From my research, they also have what looks like some incredible behind-the-scenes opportunities too. What a great way to sneak in a bit of education on vacation!
Let’s Go Flying
Maggie (age 11) went on her first plane ride in 2019 and she fell in love with flying. Her and Dad flew up to Indianapolis to visit friends for a long weekend, while Molly and I stayed at home.
My sweet Molly has Down syndrome and I’ve been anxious about flying with her, therefore all of our travels are by car — and ship! However, after Maggie’s great flying experience and loving it, I think we are ready to give it a try with Miss Molly. Of course, now we need to figure out where to go! Maybe a short flight just to make sure things go smoothly for her? I’m torn on where to go – but determined to make it happen in 2020.
What’s on your travel wish list for the new year? I’m sure my list will grow as the year progresses, but I’m excited to see where the year takes me.
Happy New Year to you! Here’s wishing you a year of travels and adventure!