Editor travels fantastically with three-stop tour across US

What do New York, Disney World and Albuquerque, N.M., have in common? So far, I have four vacations planned for my self-designated year of travel, and these lucky destinations happen to be the winners.

Each one has a special place in my heart, and although my first trip isn’t for another six weeks, I’m getting mighty excited.

My first stop, over Thanksgiving break, is New York; but this one never would have happened if it hadn’t been for the Disney World plans.

My family took an annual trip to Disney World from the time I was 3 until I was about 12 years old. The trips stopped happening mainly because our increase in age brought with it an increase of demands and activities that kept my family in Erie all year round.

Once we stopped going to Disney World, we pretty much stopped going on family vacations.

My mom and I have been discussing another trip to the resort, though, for a few years now. We haven’t been there as a family in about eight years, and we’re both looking for a Disney fix. When you’ve been there more than 11 times, you kind of become attached to it.

We finally committed this summer to going over New Year’s in 2012. It’s a time of year that we’ve never been there, and who can think of a better place to ring in the new year?

We certainly can’t. So we convinced my brother and my uncle to go with us, and our hot idea became a cool plan.

A week or so after my uncle agreed to go with us, he called me with a proposition. I’m still not sure how he’s benefiting from our deal.

He told me he would go to Disney with us if I took the train to visit him – at his expense – over Thanksgiving break. He lives an hour outside of New York, so my decision to do it was a no-brainer. The only catch is that I have to bring my 89-year-old grandparents along with me.

For that trouble, my uncle promised to take me into the city for a day. So I did a little research, and darn it if one of my all-time favorite actors – Alan Rickman, who plays Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” films – isn’t starring in a new play on Broadway in November.

I snatched up a couple of sixth-row center orchestra seats, and I will be on my merry way in late November.

My next trip is the aforementioned Disney World extravaganza, for which I will be spending eight days in Orlando, Fla., with my mom, brother and uncle.

Then, over spring break, I’ll be on another adventure to New York. This time I’m going on an annual trip with a group affectionately known as the “Fearsome Foursome.”

We’re basically just three girls and a guy wandering randomly around New York trying not to look like tourists and failing miserably. This is our third annual trip, and it should prove to be just as ridiculous – meant in the best possible manner – as the first two.

And, finally, my farthest-away, yet most-anticipated trip of the year: Albuquerque. It’s not as if I have this dreadful need to visit New Mexico – truthfully, I never considered going there before my sister moved there last year. I am going solely to visit Christi.

Because our family lives in Erie, she comes here for “Christ-i-mas” almost every year, and that’s pretty much the only time I get to see her in person. It’s also the only time everyone else in the family gets to see her, though, so our time is always limited.

When I go back home with her after our brother’s high school graduation in May, we will finally get that one-on-one sister bonding time we’ve been lacking all these years.

KELLY MORELAND

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