So, my Summer Bucket List. It feels like just last week I was writing up the list and anxiously anticipating the summer months ahead. Now here we are in the middle of September and I’m already Googling new cognac boots and spending too much money on fall scented candles from Bath and Body Works.
This summer went far from planned. To start, we moved. We had started looking at some new little nest options but weren’t planning on moving until later this season. However, we fell in love with an apartment and it was priced appropriately. In this area those two factors mean ACT NOW. So we did. While we accomplished some things on the Bucket List, many got left behind or forgotten altogether. Despite that, it truly was an amazing summer. We traveled, we “cheers-ed”, we laughed, we lived in the moment, and we were certainly never bored.
Here’s the rundown on our list:
– Read 8 books between Memorial Day and Labor Day
So, I didn’t make it to eight. I think I read five? When I created the list I anticipated reading much more on my vacations to Cape Cod and Europe than I actually did. Aside from travel time in the car or planes, I hardly read at all on those trips, which is actually probably a good sign. I will say that by creating a book list I really made it a point to pick up the titles I wanted to read. The list helped put the reading process back into my daily routine (even if I was only reading a few pages before bed), and that was ultimately the point. I definitely plan to create a fall reading list to share later this month.
– Go to Six Flags
Yep, we didn’t make it. We truly had no free weekends, and with all the other awesome things we were doing it never even crossed our minds.
– Attend at least one outdoor concert
Woo! We can actually cross this one off the list. Early in the summer we saw that Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson were going to be performing at Wolf Trap and we scooped up tickets and blocked out the evening on our calendar. Wolf Trap is a really fun and unique concert venue with a rustic vibe. They allow everyone to bring in their own blankets, picnic baskets, and alcohol, so we packed up nibbles and a bottle of wine and had a really perfect summer date night.
– Try three new restaurants in our area
I know we had to have done this, but I’m having trouble remembering what restaurants we frequented all summer. Crepes, BBQ, and lots of fresh seafood were all part of our summer diets, and we made it a point to try out new spots when we went out. While not at all in our area, the best meal we ate this season was hands-down at Barbecoa in London.
– Visit two new local Farmer’s Markets
I made it to the Annapolis market (meh), but so far I still haven’t gotten to Fell’s Point for theirs. Free Saturday mornings were at a premium. It is still on my list to get to though, and fall markets are sometimes even better than summer!
– Go to Sandy Point State Park
Nope, didn’t make it. Like Six Flags, it never even crossed our minds. Maybe next year!
– Visit a local winery
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to an actual winery. I did get to a few wine festivals and tried lots of new local wines – even finding some new favorites and go-tos. Boordy still has some events happening this fall, and I’m going to keep this goal for the coming season.
– Make homemade doughnuts
In the midst of travel and moving this never happened. For a couple of weeks there I was doing minimal cooking, let alone baking. Now that my pots and pans are unpacked and I’ve gotten the hang of my new gas stove (love it!) I may give this a go.
– Have a picnic outside on a blanket
We did this a few times, but as mentioned above, my favorite picnic was definitely at the Gavin/Matt concert.
– Make caprese salad using basil and tomatoes from my own plants
So the neighborhood we lived in before we moved in August was pretty residential and had deer. Lots and lots of deer. When my first few tomatoes started to appear back in June the deer swept in and ate my plant down to a stump. It is just finally recovering and has a few lone green tomatoes sprouting, but I have low hopes. We have much better outdoor space at our new apartment and I can’t wait to start fresh in the spring.
– Craft something
I think I crafted a few things over the last few months, but I honestly can’t remember. I did finally get around to staining an unfinished wood crate over Labor Day weekend. We used it as part of our wedding reception decor, and I’ve been meaning to stain it for two years now. Inspired by my new outdoor patio space and a three day weekend, I set about staining it and turning it into a small bookshelf/side table. I love the end result and the bit of personality it adds to our primarily Ikea-furnished living space.
– Buy a piece of artwork while traveling
Unfortunately, this never happened. We never saw anything that really struck us that we loved enough to haul around. We do plan to go through some photos and hopefully get some great prints from our travels to add to a gallery wall that is on our to-do list.
So, we didn’t do all that well at crossing things off the list, but so is life. What was something on your summer bucket list that you never got to? Or, what was something fun and unexpected you did this season? xx
We’ve officially been back from Europe for two weeks. It feels like a lifetime. We had an amazing time – filled with laughter, good friends, bubbly, and glow sticks. I’ll start getting back into some regular posting around here in the coming days, but for now, I’m going to stay in a state of wanderlust and reminisce.
Happy Wednesday! How’s everyone’s week going? To keep it perfectly real, I’ve been in a total pre-vacation slump. We leave for Cape Cod on Sunday, and nothing makes you feel like you need a vacation more than knowing that you have one waiting for you. J and I have taken turns all week telling one another that we just have to make it to Friday. Alas, despite the slump, there have also been some great highlights over the last few days. Here are this week’s mid-week peaks (as well as a fun little story about our rocky relationship with NYC):
- A Get-Together With Alumnae Sisters
After work on Friday I headed toward Baltimore for a dinner meeting with some of my alumnae chapter sorority sisters. Getting involved with my local alumnae chapter was one of the best decisions I made after moving to the DC area. Making friends as an adult is hard work, and having this great group of women as a support system made the transition so much easier! I love J beyond measure, but I really look forward to the laid-back, once-a-month girl time I get to have with this eclectic group of ladies. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s amazing how much you have in common with those who have shared life experiences. We are a range of women in different age groups, professional fields, from different areas of the country, and in varying stages of life, but we all come together because of a commitment to our sorority that we made in college… and somehow, we click.
- Day-cation to NYC
On Saturday J and I made a little daytrip to New York City and finally put to use the MegaBus tickets we bought almost two years ago. To give you a little back-story, J and I got engaged one memorable weekend in the city in October 2011. However, the proposal wasn’t the only thing that made the trip memorable – it was also the weekend a snowstorm hit the Northeast. In October. With plans for a grand autumn proposal in NYC (unbeknownst to me), poor J and I trekked around the city getting wind-blown and soaked through before he popped the question at a romantic little restaurant in Greenwich Village over dinner and by that point, much needed wine.
The ring was in his jacket pocket during this experience… I can’t help but laugh now…
So while that proposal weekend was perfect all in it’s own right, in 2012 J and I decided to give the city in autumn another chance. We wanted to see the fall leaves in Central Park and eat pastries on the sidewalk in Little Italy. We purchased two MegaBus tickets and looked forward to our weekend getaway. Then, in the days before we were set to leave, Hurricane Sandy hit New York. Needless to say, we cancelled the trip. However, if you know anything about MegaBus, you can’t really cancel. You either lose your money, or you have to keep scheduling future trips (never more than 2-3 months out), and rescheduling, and rescheduling… In our case, we rescheduled for almost two years. Life got in the way and there was never a good weekend to go. Until the last time I went to amend the reservations, and I told J “This is it. We either go or admit defeat.” So we went! And the weather was glorious!
We couldn’t make a weekend out of it, so we committed to seven great hours in the city. We ate, we took pictures, we walked – a lot, we strolled Central Park and watched street performers, and we enjoyed a day together with minimal distractions. And despite the long hours and over-air conditioned bus ride home, it was a pretty great day.
What’s been a highlight of your week? Cheers! xx
Friday, Friday! Happy almost-weekend! Any fun plans in store? We’re NYC bound tomorrow for a little day trip, and I’m looking forward to a fun day of walking around the city with J. Until then, here’s this week’s Fit for a Friday – a compilation of musings, findings, and favorite links I’ve stumbled across in the past week.
- 9 Ways Women Can Become Better Women – Marissa Jayne/Thought Catalog
- How #likeagirl is important for boys, too – Amy Joyce/The Washington Post
I must be in a really feminist mood today (please note #4 in the first link.) Despite not being a parent, this article really spoke to me. I consider myself a pretty strong, independent woman, but I often catch myself saying things like “You’re so pretty” or “Act like a lady” to young girls and cringing later after realizing what I did. Props to Proctor & Gamble – Always #likeagirl
- The Top 50 Cities to See in Your Lifetime – Huffington Post/HuffPost Travel Blog
I’ve seen 8 … 42 to go!
Have a great weekend! xx
- An Alumni Get-Together
My alma-mater, Duquesne University, hosted a DC Alumni Chapter Kickoff event after work on Thursday, and I had a great time catching up with old classmates and sorority sisters (pictured below), as well as meeting some fellow alum for the first time. The event itself was a cocktail hour at an office building right in Chinatown, but when it wrapped up at 8, the younger alum kept the party going next door at PennSocial with a game of “Sorry!” and lots of corn hole. It was a really fun evening, and despite experiencing it all the time with my sorority events and activities, I never cease to be amazed by how well a group of strangers can get along when they have just one thing, like a shared collegiate experience, in common.
- A Trip Home
J and I both took the day off work on Friday so we could get to Charleston before suppertime. It’s about a 6-7 hour drive for us depending on traffic and stops, and we arrived just in time to enjoy homemade pizza courtesy of Mom. After dinner, we freshened up and headed downtown where I got my much anticipated Ellen’s Ice Cream before strolling over to Live on the Levee for some music and a walk along the riverfront. Charleston’s annual art festival, FestivALL, was taking place, so there were plenty of sights and sounds to keep us occupied over the course of the weekend.
After a good Friday night’s sleep and a leisurely Saturday morning, J and I finally got ourselves together to head downtown again and check out the arts & crafts vendors on Capitol Street. We also stopped in to The Purple Moon, owned by my dad and stepmom, to visit and scope out all their new offerings in mid-century modern design. After we had walked through the fair and enjoyed some hotdogs and street performances, we met up with my mom, stepdad, and aunt to head over to Wine & All That Jazz. We had such a fun time visiting the different winery booths, enjoying views of the State Capitol, and listening to some great jazz. I also got to visit with a few old friends, like the lovely Sydney, pictured below. 🙂
All in all, it was a pretty fabulous weekend. It’s always nice to get back to my hometown and see so many familiar faces, but it sure did feel good to get home Sunday evening and veg out on the couch with the cat. We’re still playing catch up from being out of town, and the work week has been off to a fast start. I’m definitely looking forward to the long weekend ahead. What’s been a highlight of your week? Any fun plans for the 4th?
In case you missed it, be sure to check out Seven Ways to Make July Great. xx