Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Travel Wish List

2011 was a year full of traveling for me.  I traveled more last year than I ever have in my life.  So much so, I am now referring to it as The Year of the Suitcase.  Or maybe I'll call it The Year That I Finally Started Checking Off My Travel Wish List.  Ok, maybe that's a bit too long but you get my point.

I love to travel.  Love, love, love it!  Road trips, flying, family getaways, and girlfriend get-togethers...I love them all!  If I could (meaning: if I was rollin' in the dough) I would travel all the time!  I love exploring new places, staying in nice hotels, eating out, taking a ton of pictures...it makes me feel free.  I also love returning to favorite locations for the same reasons.

Because I love traveling so much, I have a "Travel Wish List."  This is a list that I've compiled throughout the years of all the places I want to visit, at least once, in my lifetime.  A Bucket Travel List, if you will.  Or is it a Travel Bucket List??

Last year, I was able to scratch off 2 locations, Washington, D.C. and Seattle/Forks, Washington!  I totally just realized I went to BOTH Washingtons in the same year!  SMH!  They were both dream-come-true vacations but, unfortunately, I wasn't able to do/see everything I wanted to, so I can't mark them off my list completely.

So, without further jibber-jabber, here is my Travel Wish List (in no particular order):

1. Washington, D.C. - We didn't get close to doing everything while we were there last summer.  Next time, we have to see the Library of Congress, the Declaration of Independence, a few more museums, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the inside of the Washington Monument.  I also would like to see the White House without my son vomiting in the front lawn.

2. Seattle and Forks, Washington - I'd love to go explore Seattle some more and see the Space Needle.  As far as Forks goes, I really don't have to go back for the Twilight stuff, except for when I take my mom.  She will never forgive me for going to Forks without her!  The next time I am in the Forks-area, I plan on renting a cabin on Second Beach and then take my time exploring more of La Push and seeing the Sol Duc waterfalls.

3. New Orleans, Louisiana - Yes, I have been to New Orleans many, many times but it has been 14 years since I was there and I am dying to go back!  I really want to take the kiddos and show them the beautiful culture the city has to offer...and then I want to leave them with family so that I can meet my NOLA-area Tweeps on Bourbon Street!

4. New York, NY - Of course, it has been a dream to go to NYC...all the sights, shopping, and excitement!  I'd love to go during the Christmas holidays to see Rockefeller Center and the big Christmas tree.  I also want to see as many Broadway shows as possible!

5. England/Ireland/Scotland - These three places have always been at the top of my list.  There are simply too many places to visit and things to do to mention here but, WHEN I go, it will be the trip of a lifetime!

6. Australia/New Zealand - Again, I've always wanted to travel to New Zealand but the desire is even stronger now that The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and both Hobbit movies have been filmed there.  And, since Australia is close-by, might as well mark that one of my list at the same time!

7. Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida - I LOVE Disney World and it will always have a place on my list.

8. Los Angeles, California - Being a fan of music, TV, movies, and pop culture all of my life, I have been dying to travel to LA for as long as I can remember.  I have always wanted to see the famous "Hollywood" sign, Rodeo Drive, and movie sets, as well as, anything else that has to do with the entertainment industry.  This is the year that I MUST go.  I mean, REALLY.  As in, I'm gonna throw a very ugly 30-something year old fit, flailing and crying on the floor, if I can't go.  That might be a slight exaggeration but not by much.  For those of you who don't know, this year marks the end of the Twilight Saga.  The greatness that is The Saga will live on forever but this is the last time there will be a Twilight Saga movie premiere and I want to be there!  I know quite a few Tweeps that were there for the epicness last year and even more are going this year!  It will be a week of tents, Tweeps, celebs, and amazing fun!!  I know some of you think I'm crazy, including my husband, but this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that I hope I can take this November! *bats eyelashes at Hubby*

9. Hawaii - because everyone wants to go to Hawaii!

10. Cleveland, Ohio - because I want to see the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and I couldn't leave my list on an odd number.  :-)

What travel destinations do YOU dream about?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

An Ode to Mackenzie

In honor of my daughter turning 11 today, this post will celebrate the awesome-ness that is my Mackenzie Drew and highlight some of my favorite Mac moments and traits.  Enjoy!

1. When Mackenzie was just a day old, she would pick her head up and look at me as I held her and talked to her.  I imagine her thinking, "Ok, Mom, I'm out now.  You can highlight your hair again...soon, please."

2. When she was 2 or 3, she asked me why my "tee tee" had a beard.  This is probably be one of my all-time favorite Mackenzie stories ever.  I should be embarrassed but I just can't be...it's funny, pure and simple.

3. "Harry Potter" has been her boyfriend since she was 3 years old.  She would even say his name in a British accent like they do in the movies.  Also, in her preschool class, she had a "boyfriend" named Thomas....who had black hair, green eyes, and glasses!  The only thing missing was the lightening bolt scar, I swear!

4. I have always referred to her as "Scott with a vagina" because she looks and acts just like her daddy.  She does share some of my traits, though, like....umm...hold on, let me think of some....  Well, we both really like music and movies....we love staying in hotels.... Yeah, I'll have to come back to this one.

5. Mackenzie is quick witted and has an awesome sense of humor (there's something else we share!) but I do have to remind her occasionally that not everyone considers sarcasm as a form of entertainment.

6. She loves dogs almost as much as she loves her family.  I fear for when she moves out of the house and can have as many dogs as she wants...

7. Mackenzie loves to irritate her brother but she is very protective of him in that "I can mess with him but you better not" kind of way.  I can't wait for them to be teenagers! *sarcasm*

8. Although she likes watching those annoying Disney shows, her favorite TV channels are The Food Network and HGTV.

9. She says she hates Twilight and thinks Robert Pattinson is ugly.  I can forgive her because I KNOW that will change in 2-3 years.

10. Although, Mackenzie has never "lived" in Louisiana, she bleeds Purple & Gold through and through. That's simply good parenting skills, I'm just sayin'.

11. Of course, she's very tall for her age (5'3" and growing) and is very skinny but that does not mean she is weak.  Let her give you one of her rib-crushing hugs and you'll see what I mean!

12. She set her sights on joining the local swim team, worked hard during 3 months of lessons, and achieved her goal.  I was so proud to see her succeed.

13. She thinks I'm beautiful and should not wear make-up.  This is another trait she shares with Scott and not with me.  ;-)

Mackenzie is a beautiful young lady with an infectious laugh and loving heart.  She has blessed me in more ways than I can count.  I look forward to watching her change and grow and I can't wait to see what's in store for her.

Happy birthday, Precious Angel!!