Each year I like to look back on the family adventures we took the year before. Even though 2020 was a tough one, we found ourselves having unexpected adventures and created some really incredible family memories.
2020. It started off pretty normal and I was excited for the new year. I had big travel plans and shared them in my looking back at 2019 post.
We had plans for our usual February/March trip to Florida, and I was eagerly planning our travel for the year.
As we got through January I started hearing about a virus in China and I started following what was going on. Most people thought it would be nothing but I had a gut feeling that it would be something more.
Little did I know how much more it would really be.
Travel Moments from 2020
We ended up changing a lot of our plans but ended up having family adventures I never really considered until we had to look a little closer to home.
Walt Disney World/Disney Cruise February 2020
We were really excited to be invited to the Disney Creators Celebration. The Disney Creators Celebration is a conference event for media to learn about all the new and exciting things coming to Disney.
During the visit we got to visit Walt Disney World and take a 3 night Disney Cruise. It is an awesome event to meet new people in the industry, attend special events, and learn more about what is coming up for the Disney parks.
I admit I was concerned about the growing news stories of the Coronavirus and getting on a cruise but we felt we could do it safely, and in hindsight I am really happy we stuck with our plans.
The first few days of our trip was at Walt Disney World in the new Riviera Resort. I loved the resort and the rooms fit our family of five perfectly.
My favorite moment from our time at Disney World was exploring Epcot’s World Showcase with the kids. It was the first time we really spent time exploring the different countries and it was a lot of fun!
I have to be completely honest and say the cruise was not my favorite part!
Disney Cruises are amazing. Castaway Cay is their private island which is so much fun, but the cruise was really choppy, and I was uncomfortable every time the ship started moving!
The one thing that made it all worth it was the kids club. Disney Cruise kids club is so much fun, and my kids love it!
Everyone is different and deciding if a Disney cruise is worth it is a personal decision. I loved a lot of things about it but the weather made it difficult for me to relax. A lot of people on the ship mentioned this was the choppiest cruise they have ever been on!
After 7 full days with Disney we made a last minute stop at Universal Orlando for the day. We love visiting Universal and we had Annual Passes but this was one of the most exhausting vacation days ever.
We disembarked the ship, drove to Universal, spent the day at the parks, then took a 10:00pm flight to Pittsburgh, stayed in a hotel, and finally drove home to Rochester the following day.
To say we were exhausted would be an understatement but I am so grateful we had that trip because a few weeks later everything shut down.
Family Adventures at Home Lockdown March 2020-June 2020
In the spring months we got creative with making our own fun at home. We did a Rochester Scavenger hunt around the city. We combined our love of Disney with creative writing prompts. We watched a lot of Disney+ and spent time at home.
It was wonderful to have this time with the kids. We were healthy and safe. I look back and see a lot of great memories even though it was a very tough time for the world.
Watkins Glen June 2020
In mid-June we decided to try a hotel stay for a few nights close to home. We partnered with the Harbor Hotel to see what traveling would be like in these new times.
I was very nervous but did my research and felt that we could safely travel. We packed lysol, disinfectant wipes, extra masks, and hand sanitizer.
We felt safe for the most part but it was kind of scary venturing out again. We learned new ways to manage crowds and dined outside for most of our visit.
My favorite part of the trip was hiking at Watkins Glen State Park. Watkins Glen may be one of the best places to visit in NY state. The 16 waterfalls are beautiful and it is a unique hike along the gorge.
The trip was a good weekend getaway to get comfortable with travel again.
Summer in Rochester NY 2020
Enter the time of the day trips! We were not sure if we were ready to do any big trips yet so we planned a lot of day trips from Rochester and had family adventures closer to home.
We visited Chimney Bluffs State Park, planned lots of hikes around Rochester, and visited lots of places near Rochester, NY.
They weren’t big trips but they were special. We worked with what we had available and had some really awesome adventures.
Mystic, CT and Springfield, MA August 2020
Near the end of the summer we decided we would take a road trip to visit Mystic, Connecticut and Springfield, MA. We felt comfortable with the drive and we could add another state to our 50 state family travel goals challenge.
We decided to spend a few days in Mystic, Connecticut to visit the Mystic Seaport Village and the Mystic Aquarium. It is a great place to visit for a few days and there were lots of things to do in Mystic with kids.
Springfield, MA is a place we have always wanted to visit because it is home to the Dr. Seuss museum. Springfield was surprising a fun place to visit.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but we visited the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Springfield Museums and really enjoyed ourselves. I am working on writing up more about our visit and will add it here when its ready.
Central New York October 2020
After our summer trip we were starting back to school and navigating both in-person and virtual learning. By October we were ready to have a weekend away.
We partnered with Visit CNY to explore Utica and the Herkimer County area. It was a short drive away but perfect for the weekend.
I loved experiencing the Adirondack Railbikes. It was such a unique experience in the Adirondacks and a great time to see the fall foliage.
Lake George, New York December 2020
As a last minute trip we decided to spend a weekend in Lake George. We knew most of the activities would be closed but we found a great deal for the Lodges at Cresthaven and decided a quiet weekend would be perfect to finish the year.
I loved the area! We didn’t do a lot but a change of scenery was really nice. We worked on virtual school, walked to the beach, and enjoyed the views of the lake. It really was a perfect ending to 2020.
2020 was nothing like I expected but it made us take a close look at our priorities and figure out what is really important to us. We create awesome memories and I look forward to what 2021 will bring.