Nothing excites me as much as having travel plans! So I am excited to announce my plans for this spring. With limited vacation time, I am squeezing in trips to Boston, Atlanta, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon – all before June 1! While I would love to be heading overseas again too, I am excited about the prospect of checking out some brand new parts of the United States.
First up is Boston in February. I am going there officially for a conference on annual giving for work, but since the conference is Monday through Wednesday, I figured I would fly out on Friday night to enjoy the weekend there before the conference starts. I did the tourist thing in Boston way back in 2004 but that was a long time ago and all I really remember is that I walked the Freedom Trail. My trips there last year were just quick jaunts for job interviews. So in addition to meeting up with a few friends while in Boston, I really want to do some more sightseeing.
Next up will be Atlanta toward the end of March. I have only been to Atlanta once before and that was back when I was a lawyer and I flew in and out the same day. Doesn’t really count. I’ll be arriving late on a Thursday night so I’ll have two days to explore before I run the Georgia Marathon on Sunday, March 23. The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau is providing me with a CityPass to make it easier for me to check out some of the city’s best attractions:
- Georgia Aquarium
- World of Coca-Cola
- Inside CNN Studio Tour
- Zoo Atlanta or the Atlanta History Center
- Fernbank Museum of Natural History or the High Museum of Art
Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon
Finally, over Memorial Day weekend, I will be heading to Flagstaff, Arizona on my way to the Grand Canyon! This will be a big check off my “14 Before 40” list and I am so excited! And I won’t just be visiting the canyon, I will be hiking down to the bottom. I have booked a four-day, three-night Rim to Rim trek with Wildland Trekking Company. I will start with a free day to explore Flagstaff before setting out on the trek. We will start on the North Rim of the canyon, which is allegedly only visited by about 10% of canyon visitors, and then spend two days descending a total of 5,600 feet in altitude and hiking about 14 miles total. On Day 3, we will start heading back up to the South Rim, hiking 4.5 miles that will take us up 1,500 feet. Finally, on the last day we’ll hike the last 5 miles out of the canyon, going up the popular Bright Angel Trail. An hour and a half later, we’ll be back in Flagstaff for a much-needed shower!
I have to admit, the trek makes me a little nervous. Sure, I survived two weeks of trekking in the Himalayas at much higher altitudes. And sure, I completed a three day hike into Peru’s Colca Canyon in 2009, which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. But this will be a bit different. For one, I will have to carry a 25-30 pound pack with all of my stuff plus a share of the group’s food. In Nepal, I only had to carry a much lighter day pack and in Peru, I just carried three days’ worth of clothes. Training will be key and I will especially be focusing on strengthening my legs and back.
So there you have my spring travel plans. I have already been thinking about summer, but I also don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. While I entertained the idea of heading to Iceland in late June to run a midnight half marathon with some law school friends, I am now leaning against that so I can save those vacation days for a larger trip at the end of the summer – a trip that would involve checking another big item off “14 Before 40” list. More on that later…
Have you been to Boston, Atlanta or Flagstaff? Any recommendations for me?
8 thoughts on “My Spring Travel Plans”
Hope to see you here in Atlanta!
Definitely! Would love to meet up for a pre-race meal or post-race drinks!
Many awesome restaurants in Atlanta. Not sure where you’re staying, but I’d head over to Little Five Points if you can for shopping, food and drinks. I’ll be there in two weeks and visiting those same CityPASS attractions. I’ve been to Atlanta many times, but have never visited those attractions. Keep up your running after the race and that will obviously help for the Grand Canyon. Good luck!
what an exciting spring! i have been to atlanta and boston (although i have been a lot and went for sports tournaments and stuff, so i dont really have recommendations) but never the grand canyon. im so embarrassed to say that lol. been to 45 states, including AZ, but never actually the grand canyon. i hope to make it there one of these days. until then, ill live vicariously through your photos 🙂
Pray for good weather. Boston in February can be brutal!
Yes, but so is Chicago! I’m used to it! 🙂
Great line up for the ATL! Checkout Piedmont Park, Oakland Cemetery and the Grant Park neighborhood and Little Five Points if you have the chance.
Thanks for the suggestions! I only have 2 days so we’ll see how much I can get to!
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