Like most of us, I eagerly entered into 2020 excited to see what the fresh new year would bring. I also began the year with some very ambitious travel goals. But what 2020 delivered was a global pandemic that caused us to cancel all of our plans and shelter at home.
It was a horrible year full of racial tension, people struggling to make ends meet and political turmoil. Not the kind of year we were hoping for. I was afraid to imagine what 2021 might add to the churning cauldron of last years chaos. We are only a few weeks into the new year and so far it has been just as big of a mess as last year.
On a positive note though, I was fortunate enough to receive my first dose of the covid vaccine just before the new year arrived and I am scheduled for my second dose in just a few days. I am hopeful that the vaccine will continue to steadily roll out. The more people that get vaccinated, the less the virus will spread which will help us start slowly returning to some level of normal!
After 9 months of working from home and diligently sheltering in place, I am itching to get out of our house. Although it has been my fortress of safety and protection, this winter it has me feeling a little claustrophobic. Of course, I will still continue to follow best practices for covid safety, but I have begun to make some small plans to brighten up the first few months of this new year.
Winter Break Traverse City
Michigan has had a very strict year of lock downs compared to many states. Winter has now fully arrived here and I am eager to get out and enjoy some SnowVentures! That is why for my husbands upcoming birthday, I am booking a three day weekend winter break to the Traverse City Area. Businesses have had to be so creative in order to continue to stay open here. So this winter there are a myriad of new activities designed for social distancing that I am very anxious to check out.
Here are a few fun options
- Dress warm and enjoy an adult beverage at one of the Patios, Porches or Igloos that are being offered at many brewery and winery locations. Most even come equipped with heaters or fire pits.
- The 45 North Vineyard Trail is a 3 mile groomed trail that winds through the vineyard property. The trail can be used to hike, snowshoe or ride fat tire bikes and is free during regular business hours.
- Shorts Brewery in Bellaire has created the Kegger Campground. It is a social distance haven of individual camp site style areas which include string lights and fire pits and use empty beer kegs as the dividing walls. The perfect place for sharing a beer with folks in your covid bubble.
- The Enchanted Trail is located at Boyne Highlands Ski Resort and offers a snow shoe or night hiking trail which is illuminated by twinkly lights and comes with hot chocolate, smores and an optional cash bar.
If you are interested in any of these activities, first check out their covid safety rules and make your reservations in advance. Since it’s been such a hard year for the service industry, don’t forget to tip your waitstaff generously!
Arizona Girls Getaway
The first trip I had to cancel in 2020 was the Girls Getaway I take each year with my daughter. We had reservations to go to Phoenix where we planned to visit some friends then spend 2 days exploring Sedona and the Grand Canyon. When we cancelled our flights last March we were given credits for future air travel from both Southwest and Delta airlines. It was a big step for me, but when Southwest recently had a big fare sale I talked myself into rebooking that identical trip for this April. The rates were so low, we even had credits left over from both airlines for our next adventure!
Since I still had the hotel points which had been redeposited into my account when I cancelled the original reservation, I also went ahead and rebooked our stay at the Hyatt Sedona Pinon Pointe. This hotel looks amazing and is perfectly located within walking distance to town. Hopefully the weather will cooperate so that we can hike and explore both Sedona and the Grand Canyon while we are there. This was the easiest trip I have ever planned since it merely required rebooking everything the same way we had it set up for last year.
I have decided when it comes to making travel plans for this year, that it is best to take the approach of the Tortoise, rather than the Hare. After being cooped up for so long, it’s tempting to want to sprint out of the gate like the hare and plan a bunch of amazing trips. But in reality, there is still a ways to go before things are normal enough for that kind of travel to resume. For now I will be moving forward at a slow and steady pace while continuing to make safe and responsible choices and patiently waiting for the world to recover enough for bigger travels. Even though that means this isn’t the right year for us to reschedule trips like our 2020 anniversary adventure to Portugal, I do feel that it is necessary for my sanity to emerge from my cave and start taking some baby steps. It will take some time, but the level of travel we love so much will eventually come back!
Stay tuned for my upcoming adventure posts and reviews!
Dream, Plan, Save, and Take some Safe Little Mini Adventures!