planning on planning
Portland, Maine, here we come! Henry so loves any fries served in paper cones.
Although I have not officially started planning our vacation, which is coming up in … um… less than two weeks. I do have some online resources that I am excited about exploring.
Thankfully, I have a pretty good idea about which cities we are stopping in on our Northeastern road trip. I bought a good ol’ folded map so that we could open it up and easily see the cities that we might explore. Lauren helped me write down a brief agenda. Kyle also suggested cities that we should consider along the way. He even had the brilliant idea of checking out what places look like on Flickr before hand to “avoid the ugly places.”
With my cities in hand, we are going to start by creating a plan using Google maps. They have a great new feature where you can create your own map and designate it as public or private. I created a map of our favorite restaurants in DC. You can easily add notes to the different businesses, which Google will find for you with a simple search. This is a great planning tool. I can’t wait to use it, along with the navigation system. Just think of how easy it should be to just search for the next spot. Alex told me that he was loving Google maps for the family trip to DC last weekend.
The only downside is that the note box does not automatically save the URL for a location. So you have to remember to copy and paste it into the notes yourself. And it does not become a hyper link. So you would have to copy and paste the information into the web site browser. I don’t understand why this isn’t already a feature. But I hope that someone is working away on it, as I type.
Next I am excited about exploring the resources available on Frommer’s Budget Travel. There are tons of travel guides available. But don’t forget about travel magazines. I found that most travel magazines include a list of the cities featured somewhere in their index. This is extremely helpful if you are in the bookstore browsing around. But I was even more excited to discover all of the online resources that are available. They even having walking tours like this one for Portland. I must admit that we are more likely to pick our road trip cities based on BT’s web site.
Finally, for the road trip itself. I am excited about loading up the iPod with not only my many forgotten podcasts. Chris and Kate said that they listened to an amusing Spanish language podcast created by someone from Ireland. So now they know a few key phrases of Spanish with an Irish accent. Amusing… I wonder how my Spanish family would react. They would probably just be happy with my effort to learn more.
I also discovered that the DC Public Library has made downloadable books available on their web site. I must admit that I haven’t fully figured out how it works yet. But I am very excited about the idea. I used to listen to books on tape during my commute to Raleigh from Chapel Hill everyday. The narrator easily makes or breaks the book. One terrible reader and the tape ended up ejected and neglected. But there were so many audio books that I feel in love with. I would sit in the parking lot, eagerly listening to the story. One of my favorites was Kaye Gibbon’s Ellen Foster. I really missed her once the story ended.
Anyway, I look forward to visiting old friends, exploring new places and making new audio friends with Henry. Now I need to get to planning.