I am the queen of the mini-vacation! As Julie McCoy , cruise director of the SS Greenmomster, I find that planning vacations is almost as much fun as going on them. So this year, I decided that we were going to take a mini-vacation at the beginning of spring break. Lucky for us, we live less than two hours from Shenandoah National Park. This time of year, the trees aren’t quite budding (except for an early blooming dogwood or redbud), but there’s plenty of beauty to be had. The views are stunning and the early blooming spring ephemerals were out, including this cute little Hepatica (thanks Dirck!) Spring is also a great time for waterfalls , searching for salamanders on Fox Hollow trail , finding salamanders on Milam trail (one of my favorites) , and catching those first millipedes as they warm up . And there’s always time for relaxing in the leaves . Where’s your favorite National Park getaway?