Out with 2015 and Looking Forward to 2016!!

Well, I certainly could have done better on my 2015 wishlist — of the 11 items I wanted to do, I did 4 1/2 — the half being that, although I didn’t actually get there, a guest blogger kindly did the strenuous hiking up Maryland Heights (it’s straight up the side of a mountain). Check out the entry from a year ago to read about what I wanted to do, and see what I actually did get to go see and do by following the new links I’ve inserted into the post. But in lieu of my wishlist, I went to a wide variety of places this past year — a good year overall!

This year I’m setting new resolutions to get myself out there doing fun things and exploring the mid-Atlantic region!

1. A resolution borrowed from last year, I’d like to go camping at Dolly Sods wilderness. There’s a camp ground near Bear Rocks that provides still modest facilities — it would be so cool to see the night sky from there! 

2. And for the third year in a row, see the Illumination at Antietam Battlefield. Each year, on the first Saturday in December, volunteers light more than 22 thousand luminaries at Antietam National Battlefield in honor of each casualty of the battle that took place on 17 September 1862. The 22,717 deaths that day at Antietam represent the largest single day loss of American (and they were, indeed, all Americans) lives. In fact, we’d meant to go in 2014, but the day had been a rainy, icky day so we found ourselves elsewhere. 2015’s day rolled around and away we were, on a business trip NOT in Maryland.

3. and 4. In 2015 I’d put visiting out Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, and we did; we even visited Fort Frederick — both worth checking out. Now I’d also like to return to Fort Delaware (I took my young sons there multiple times) and while I’m at it, 4. just for the sake of rounding out the blog’s coverage of the area’s historic forts, Fort Washington as well.

5. We saw Fort McHenry, but a natural pairing is to see the Star Spangled Banner House. It was closed the day we tried to visit, but this year I’ll try again!

6. Next year for the holidays, I’d like to walk through Brookside Gardens to see the holiday light display. I’ve been there before, and enjoyed the stroll through the gardens. And we’ve gone to Longwood Gardens (and that’s gorgeous) and to A Longwood Christmas, but I’ve heard good things about Brookside Gardens’ Christmas light display. It’s pretty close by, so no more excuses! 

7. I’d like to ride my bike down the Mount Vernon Trail in northern VA and then park our bikes at Mount Vernon, tour the presidential estate, and then ride back. I’ll have to wait for my biking friend to return from a few months in Wisconsin before I plan this daytrip excursion.

8. I’d like to see Shirley Plantation, in Charles City, VA, the oldest active plantation in Virginia and the oldest family-owned business in North America, dating back to 1614 with operations starting in 1638. 

9. I just heard about New Jersey’s Island Beach State Park — a great place to see foxes in winter and even snowy owls who’ve migrated that far south. Definitely high on my list!! 

10. I’ve all but ignored lovely Shenandoah National Park in the blog, only checking it out for annual leaf-peeping visits (in 2014 and 2015). So how about some hikes there to check out some of the great views and experiences this wonderful park offers?

11. and 12. I don’t think I went to a single Maryland winery this year, and I only visited Virginia wineries once. So yeah, I’d like to visit some more Maryland wineries and 12. go check out some Virginia wineries again as well.

Keep an eye on the blog — there’ll be lots of fun adventures! More bike rides, more walks, more house museums and lighthouses. And I hope there’ll be the unexpected adventures 

Happy New Year! I wish everyone safe and interesting travels!

Check out the blog’s FB page for updates on places we’ve visited and blogged about:  facebook.com/midatlanticdaytrips!

Have you daytripped somewhere interesting? I’d love to hear what you’re doing! Email daytripgal@gmail.com if you’re interested in being a guest-blogger!