I suppose, with next summer's family travel season on the horizon, it's helpful to know where we are not going. We had a number of possibilities, but last week China fell off the list. We had tentatively agreed to chaperone another university group to Beijing and WeiHai for 8 weeks, but the group needed to be at least 15 for the program to "make" and they only got 12 to sign up, so perhaps another summer. I'm ok with it actually, although the girls would really have liked to go.
Where we might go:
Europe. Antwerp would, of course, be on the itinerary. John asked me what other parts of Europe I'd like to see, and immediately I said Germany! We'd gotten all kinds of info about bike touring in the Moselle Valley, and it looked so lovely. A couple of nights ago we watched Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel and he was in Berlin--great show, tantalizing food! I'll just skip the "art gallery for sleeping" (you have to watch the show to understand).
And then there is the whole thing with the possibility of getting a second car, depending entirely upon finances, of course. Here's a tantalizing option: we opt into the Volvo Overseas Delivery Program and get a deep discount on an XC90 and two free airline tickets to Gothenburg and an overnight stay there and a tour of the Volvo factory and a Volvo engineer will take us on the test track to show us all the cool things about our new car and they set up your European insurance for you so you can use your new car to explore before you return to Gothenburg to fly home. Sounds cool, eh? I've seen posts to the edmunds.com forums where people got about $6-8,000 off their car and they also got some fairly expensive add-on packages thrown in for free. Why is it so much less? To put it simply, it's because the car comes into the U.S. as a used car, which affects the taxes you pay on it. As far as paperwork goes, the local dealer handles it all. You just need to be able to wait about 2 months to get your car after you come home from your trip, which for us isn't a problem. So who knows? But right now, that's a great looking option, and I love the XC90. My Swedish neighbor says she just can't ever own a Volvo or a Saab, since when she grew up they were everywhere. I understand.
Maine is also a possibility. We love the Portland area, especially the islands in Casco Bay.
Minnesota/Wisconsin is also a possibility. My whole extended family is there, and we loved the kitschy family resort stuff in the Wisconsin Dells too.
Who knows? An unknown future is like an unwrapped present. It could be anything, and it could be a none-of-the-above that is actually even better!