banner
Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Vacation planning

Posted January 7, 2009 9:29 a.m. EST
Updated January 7, 2009 7:50 p.m. EST

January is a good time to plan a vacation. It can be cold and dreary month and it's good to find something to lift your spirits during the bleak mid winter.  We need vacations to break the grind and feed our souls.

What are your plans for vacation this year?

Will you vacation close to home? What NC destinations appeal to you?

How has the economy affected you family's plan to enjoy a vacation?

What family vacation would you recommend in our state?

Please feel free to offer your thoughts and ideas.

I am planning several short working vacations this year. I have the pleasure of emceeing the Celtic Adventure Weekend at Asheville’s Grove Park Inn February 6 and 7.th This festival features an Irish dancing workshop and music by Gaelic Storm and my group Lorica. I can almost feel the warm glow from the magnificent stone fireplace in the Great Hall of the Grove Park Inn. That should be an awesome weekend. Another working vacation will be at Grandfather Mountain for what people call “the world’s greatest Highland games.” The dates this year are July 9-12 at MacRae Meadows. I’ve helped emcee the games there for several years and performed there with the Celtic fusion group Bragh Adair.

Cindy and I have also been saving up our airline miles and have managed to accumulate enough points to secure two “almost free” tickets to New Zealand. Our April trip will focus on the South Island with its scenic hikes and dazzling mountain vistas. With a lot of planning we have found ways to make the trip affordable. The biggest challenge may be the 22 hour plane flight to Auckland.

I would also like to take some side trips this year to Lake Mattamuskeet to see the wintering snow geese and tundra swans. And I’m definitely making the spring wildflower excursion at Big Yellow Mountain near Minneapolis in Avery County.

What about you?  What would you recommend?