Much like I spent the months up to Christmas counting down the days, I am now wishing away each 30-degree day and clinging to our sporadic 50-degree ones. Don't get me wrong, winter is typically my favorite season, but a winter without snow is kind of miserable.

At first, I love the cold days that winter brings along but as my colleague, Bryna Zumer, recently said in her column, it's just weird to not have any snow. But Bryna is wishing for a snowstorm and I am ready to move on.


As unusual as they are, I've really enjoyed our random warm days, so much so that I prefer them over the cold ones. I've given up on winter and I'm excitedly looking toward spring.

To me at least, there are so many more options for activities during the warmer months. I suppose if I were more dedicated I could still exercise through the winter, but it's really hard for me to get motivated when it is so cold outside.

But once it gets warmer, how do you not go to the Ma and Pa trail or Rocks State Park? I can't help but want to be outside and sitting on the back porch doesn't always cut it. We are pretty fortunate in Harford County to have that trail and I plan to use it frequently as the temperatures rise.

Although they aren't in Harford County, we are also fairly close by to places like Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

I went to Longwood Gardens for their Christmas display and it was absolutely beautiful, but I don't think it compares to their gardens in the springtime. There is also Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, which is considerably closer for many people. I have never been, but I imagine it's just as good.

As for the Baltimore Zoo, that is well worth it if you can make it. I went a few years ago with my husband, John, and my younger sisters, but I'm itching for a return trip. The Maryland Zoo is open during the winter as well, but I prefer to wait until it gets warmer to go.

It's a toss up for me between the Maryland Zoo and the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., but Baltimore's usually wins because of location and convenience. Plus, the Maryland Zoo has penguins. Also, did you know the Maryland Zoo has a giraffe feeding station? How did I not know that?

But, the National Zoo does have pandas. See how torn I am? I just might have to go to both this year...

It's not for me anyway, it's for my sisters. I have to go for them. Same for the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It's a learning opportunity I can't deprive them of because then what kind of a sister would I be?

Of course, there are several free springtime activities I love, like taking my 4-year-old sister to Annie's Playground in Fallston. Although she will swing on occasion, Peyton really just loves to run like a maniac through the treehouse.

If I can convince her to go down one slide, however, then she goes down it repeatedly, dragging me along, but I don't mind. It's a fun and active way to spend a nice day outdoors, just like the zoo, so I'm up for it.

As I mentioned before, there is always Rocks State Park as well. I'm pretty terrified of heights, but I still go at least once a year to the King and Queen seat. It's a beautiful view.

See now this column has gotten me into trouble because I've spent a good bit of time thinking about all the things I love to do in spring and it's going to be even harder to wait.

From jogging on the trail to reading a book on the back porch, I am ready for all things springtime, so bring it on!