2013 Travel: Let the planning begin

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Lee & I have made it a sort-of annual tradition to sit down on New Year’s Day and outline how we want to spend our vacation days and dollars for the coming year. Sometimes we have a trip already booked but this year it’s a pretty clean slate. Lots of ideas but nothing booked. We always leave room for spur-of-the-moment trips and weekend excursions, but we like to start planning some of the big trips.

Here’s what’s on our list for the year:


I’ve been talking for years about wanting to see P!nk in concert. So when the new album came out and concert dates were set, I jumped on getting tickets at the nearest venue – American Airlines Center in Dallas in late February. It was originally supposed to be a group of girls from Wichita driving down to go to the concert together but when none of the others were able to get tickets, Lee decided he wants to drive down with me and we’ll make a vacation out of the trip.

Beyond Dallas, we are thinking of driving down to Big Bend National Park, which is nearly to the Mexican border. We also might drive through Austin on our way down or our way back up.


Kansas City

I’ll be heading to the opening weekend of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament – going to the nearest regional site has become an annual trip with my friend Holly and her dad, John. Lee doesn’t go because he prefers to be at home in front of a TV where he can watch games from around the country.

Believe it or not, I’m hoping Mizzou doesn’t end up playing here. The Tigers were in Omaha last year for the opening weekend and it’s much easier to enjoy a weekend of college basketball when you’re not stressing over an upset in the early rounds. I think KU fans know what I’m talking about … {Bucknell} {Bradley} {Northern Iowa}

I’m sure we’ll hit Kansas City a few other times during the year, to see friends or to go to a Royals baseball game.


Duh. Of course I’ll be heading to my hometown a few times this year, including two conferences affiliated with the Griffiths Leadership Society for Women, an organization sponsored by the Mizzou Alumni Association that pairs students and alumna. I’m sure there will be another trip or two – maybe a football game and to see family & friends at Christmas.


We had a time-share company constantly calling us to come spend a weekend at Breckenridge {yeah, thanks for giving them our number Elyse!} so we finally said yes. Since Lee avoids going anywhere colder than Wichita, we’ll likely go in the Spring. Hoping to coordinate the trip with Lee’s sister Elyse, her husband and our niece and nephew who live in western Colorado.

Tennessee or Canada

C’mon … this is a natural either-or scenario right? Kinda like Orlando or Miami. Ha!

There are a couple of travel and tourism conferences that look interesting. One is in Memphis and the other in Toronto, and they are within two weeks of one another. I’ll be picking one to attend, then we’ll wrap a trip around the conference.

Toronto is high on the list because it’s one of two cities remaining on Lee’s list of seeing a game in every Major League Baseball game.

New York and Pennsylvania

The past five or six years, we’ve gone on a baseball trip with our NY-based friends Charlie & Kim: Boston, Florida, California, Arizona, Kansas City. We always look forward to hanging out with them!

This trip is contingent on Craig Biggio being voted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He is one of Lee’s all-time favorite Houston Astros ballplayers. If he is voted in, we’ll head to Cooperstown in late July for the induction ceremony.

While there, we’ll check out a few other places in New York – maybe the Adirondacks? – and Lee would like to drive down to Philly to see a baseball game. Philadelphia is one of the two cities where he’s yet to see a MLB game (along with the above-mentioned Toronto).


We’ve talked for years about a driving trip to the Grand Canyon. This might be the year! It would be our first trip there. We’re thinking right after school starts in the fall would be a good time to go with smaller crowds.

Somewhere warm & tropical with umbrellas in the drinks

I received a Big Island guidebook for Christmas – a hint that Lee wants to go there for our next tropical trip. However, we became fast friends with Trisha & Raj on our trip to the Bahamas this past November. They’ve invited us to join them on their trip this November/December and right now they are leaning toward St. Maarten/Anguilla.


Now the fun begins … I get to start doing research on each destination! I’ve been asked numerous times what sites I use and other resources I use on all our travels, so I’m planning to share some of my planning process here on the blog.

I’d love to hear from any readers with ideas on must-do activities or places to see in any of these locations I’ve mentioned!


This entry was posted in Lee, travel.


  1. Elyse January 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Happy to see Breck is on the list! You’ll thank me one day… :-)

    • Melinda January 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

      Hope to coordinate with you on that trip … any plans for going there in late spring?

  2. Jodi Caruthers January 4, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    How about a girls trip this year? I have lots of vacation and Ben doesn’t and I would love to get away!

    • Melinda January 5, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

      Sure! Have anything in mind?

      • Jodi Caruthers January 9, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

        Not yet but I will be thinking about it and let you know!

  3. Melinda January 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Today the MLB Hall of Fame class was announced, or rather the lack of a class was announced. That means Craig Biggio did not get inducted so we won’t be going to Cooperstown this year. Maybe next year. Still thinking of a trip to Philly though. We’ve got to get a baseball trip in somewhere so we can see Charlie & Kim!!

  4. Kim Hale January 13, 2013 at 6:29 am #

    Hope you still have me penciled in for P!nk? :D
    And I like Jodi’s idea too!!
    Love the blog! ( and you of course!)

    • Melinda January 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

      Thanks for the encouragement Kim & glad you’re reading.

      Yes!! P!nk here we come! I love her The Truth About Love album and have worn it out since the day it was released! My friend Steph just shared her older albums because I need a refresher about having the new album on repeat for three months :)

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