Its incredible to think of the year we have had. Thank you all so much for your support and for following along. Here is the year wrap up of exactly what me and 2 crazy kids go up to in 2014.
2014 Wrap Up
We started the year off with a bang checking out the new Luxury villas at Beaches Turks and Caicos, doing our first Pay it Forward post with Sandals Foundation and even snorkelling in the wide open ocean.
The coldest month of the year brought new adventures in the Canadian frozen tundra. Okay it was just Muskoka but trust me it was COLD. We checked out the JW Marriott (The Rosseau), went ice fishing and snowmobiling and met the cutest sled dogs in the world.
Although by this point, I was ready for a break from the cold, we decided on some more winter adventures in Toronto and Michigan. We started off with a day exploring Maple Syrup farms. After that we crossed the border to check out Boyne Ski School and a pretty awesome water park at Boyne Mountain.
April brought not only my 35th birthday but an unexpected invite to join TravelingMom.Com. With that news, we jumped on the chance to head to Orlando and visit the Nick Hotel, the New Fantasy Land at the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Art of Animation Hotel.
June meant farm visits, hospital visits for Charlie’s broken arm and a much needed escape to Deerhurst Resort. It was back to the hospital after that for a quick cast removal and then a weekend at Horseshoe Resort to celebrate! Once we returned home, we capped off the month with a trip to Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan.
After Vermont, we headed to New York state to meet some friends for a Jimmy Buffett concert in Bethel Woods the home of the original Woodstock. Then, it was off to Sesame Place in Pennsylvania where we learnt that not all family parks are built for families of 3.
To be frank, that was enough budget travel for a little while and we stepped it up a notch visiting one of my top 5 favorite places in all of America, The Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long but the next few days brought a reunion with family and a visit to another one of my favourite cities, Savannah, Georgia where we slept and ate like royalty at The Brice, another Kimpton Hotel.
We wrapped off the month in style by visiting a destination I had never visited but had dreamed of seeing, New Orleans, Louisiana where we ate delicious gumbo and disgusting bugs and took the time to learn a lot about the history of the city.
Our first stop of the month was Baton Rouge, Louisiana where the kids and I held gators, did nature walks and most importantly discovered snowballs (seriously fly to Baton Rouge and order one).
Once we left Baton Rouge, we hit our goal as we crossed into Texas and Will found his favourite city ever in Houston. After spending some time at NASA, it was time to see real Texas and we found more than just deer and BBQ at the Mayan Dude Ranch.
A somewhat surprising city that we all fell instantly in love with was San Antonio. We spent a few days in the city and then were treated to a perfect weekend of relaxation and fun at the J.W. Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.
Next, we were off to the Hyatt Lost Pines outside of Austin, Texas that can be credited with inspiring the whole trip. Apparently, if you post a nice photo on Twitter when its snowing in Toronto, I literally will drive 5000 KM to get to you. The resort was everything I had dreamed of and more and I owe them a lot for the summer of memories that they helped me create for the kids.
After leaving Lost Pines, we had a very bad travel day and I realized it had been our first in over a month on the road. Still, as we kept driving we found unexpected fun in a mall in Dallas, Texas while staying at the Westin Dallas.
As we traveled across the Texas border, a gloom took over the minivan. We were finally headed home but we at least had some travel left in us.
After Tennessee, we received an incredibly warm welcome from friends as we arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana. Although Charlie fell ill and we saw more of the hospital than the city, we truly loved it and would return in a heartbeat.
Soon, we were already back in Michigan but visiting places I had never heard of. We simply fell in love with St. Joseph, and nicknamed it the cutest town in the world. Next, we were blown away by how much cool stuff there was to do in Kalamazoo.
By the end of August, we returned home almost 10,000 kilometres later and showed new friends around the city for an entire week. After visiting Canada’s Wonderland, seeing the Blue Jays, heading up the CN Tower and eating poutine it was time for a break. School started 3 days later.
By the time the kids had found their bearings in school and I learnt how to spend my days truly solo, September was almost over. Still I was able to squeak in a trip to check out Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio with a few girlfriends. It truly is the best amusement park in the world for roller coaster lovers.
I spent most of September promising my husband I wouldn’t travel in October but my wanderlust got the best of me and before I knew it, I had arranged a trip to California. I had my Pretty Woman moment at the Beverly Wilshire in L.A., found the best glamping in Yosemite and found my inner John Muir under the sequoia trees of Sequoia National Park.
I almost wrote that I didn’t travel in November. Buy alas I did as I headed for another quick trip to Detroit, Michigan. Other than that we stayed busy exploring Leslieville, hanging at Nintendo events and prepping for Christmas at the Toronto Christmas Market.
December is meant for families and that is what we did. The kids are I ate our way through Toronto starting at one of our favourites Pizzeria Libretto and ending with some great mom’s nights out at CC Lounge and the Four Seasons d Bar.
We ended the year in style with a visit to Sudbury, Ontario to check out the Towneplace Suites over Christmas and a day at the Drake Hotel Devonshire Inn. Both posts will be up soon.
There’s already so much to look forward to in 2015! So far, here is what we have planned for the Winter and early Spring:
- January- The Ice Hotel in Quebec City, a trip to Miami, Florida and Caribbean Disney Cruise
- February- San Diego and L.A.
- March- Boyne, Michigan and the Women’s Travel Summit in Boston where I am an official speaker!
- April- Disney World and the Four Seasons Orlando
All this is leading up to another epic road trip that is already in the planning stages!