I started 2018 with the best of intentions. I had planned to write at least one blog post a month. January – check. February – check. And then came March Madness. I don’t mean the NCAA Basketball tournament, although the similarities are striking.
My middle child, Corinne, had applied to several different graduate schools. Most of the schools that accepted her offered an all-expenses-paid visit weekend. Between our family vacation and her grad school visits, she visited 17 states in a four-month period! Several of the visits were during the month of March and I was keeping track of her decision process on the dry erase board in our kitchen, while my husband had posted the basketball bracket on the bottom. One day it struck me that both sections of our board were tracking several universities that were undergoing an elimination process and that only one would remain standing by April 2.
If you follow basketball, you know that Villanova was the basketball winner. The winner of Corinne’s grad school decision was Stanford.
After her acceptances started rolling in, Corinne’s college (Mary Baldwin University) asked if they could do a press release about her. We agreed, hoping it would raise awareness of this unique program and be useful to other parents of gifted children. The press coverage started with an interview on the local TV news in Virginia (near MBU) and then an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, where we live. The next day, I woke up to find out that USA TODAY had picked up the story. The next week was a surreal blur as it became a top story and I fielded requests from several other national news media outlets. CBS News, Insider, and other outlets did stories. NowThis made a video and asked me to supply several photos of Corinne and our family, which gave me an opportunity to show some of our family travel photos. If you watch it, keep your eye out for a black sand beach in Hawaii, sled dog pups at the Iditarod Headquarters in Alaska, a photo of formal night on a Caribbean cruise, and one of our arrival in Hawaii, complete with leis.
The spring also kept me busy booking several vacations for my clients. I thoroughly enjoyed planning anniversary trips to Texas for two couples, a family trip to an all-inclusive in Mexico, a last-hurrah trip to Hawaii for a family with a new high school graduate, a National Parks family trip to Utah and Arizona, and a mother-daughter cruise to Cuba. Here are just a few of their photos that they gave me permission to post.
As a travel writer, I don’t always know when my writing has inspired someone to take a trip with their loved ones. One reason why I decided to also become a travel agent is so that I can hear about my clients’ trips after they get back home! It is very fulfilling to know that I’ve helped someone create some meaningful memories with their loved ones.
Now that my husband and I are empty nesters, many of our short trips involve visiting one or more of our kids. I was able to go to Austin, Texas with Corinne on one of her grad school visits. During Corinne and Camille’s short break before May Term, we were finally able to visit Luray Caverns, which has been on my wish list for many years. This summer, my son Connor has been working at Florida Atlantic University. The rest of us went to visit him for his birthday and Independence Day. We visited Everglades and Biscayne National Parks while in Florida and then stopped at Congaree and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks on the drive back home. This past weekend, we met my sister-in-law and her family in Indiana for a glamping trip. This month we are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary with a family trip to Costa Rica. In September, Corinne and I will make cross-country road trip to California before her move-in at Stanford, and then we’ll finish out the year with a beach trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Once all my kids are back in school, I hope to find some time to write about these places, but I’m also grateful to be busy planning trips for clients. If you’d like me to help you plan a trip, click here to learn about how my services work.