I wrote last week about keeping a micro-journal — a few lines about something quirky, fun, or meaningful that happened each day. The idea is to create a record of good things — a document of awesomeness, as it were — that conjures up specific memories that can otherwise be forgotten.
So what did I record from this weekend?
It was quite a string of hours, and unusual in its composition. Much of it was kid-free. My husband and I left our house around 5 p.m. Friday and drove into New York City. We checked into the Union Square W and then met some friends at Le Bernardin. I put on my List of 100 Dreams to eat through the top Zagat-rated restaurants in NYC, and this was the top (it scored a 29, for you Zagat junkies out there). I figure if you get a chance to cross an item off the list, you should do so, right? The friend who’d arranged the get-together had recently completed a rather intense wine training course, and had selected all our wines in advance. It was, indeed, incredible. It was also rather expensive. Not something that will likely happen often.
But another memory from that night was absolutely free. My husband and I walked part of the way back toward our hotel. It was a lovely late summer night and in mid-town Manhattan you can walk the streets at 1 a.m. There are lots of people about. There are cars, taxis, doormen standing outside. I don’t know if the city really never sleeps, but if it does, its bedtime is well after 2 a.m. This late night walk was the sort of thing we did ten years ago. We would amble through the streets in the wee hours on weekends, knowing we had no where to be early the next morning, but it’s not something we’d done in a while. It was fun to revisit those old early days of our time together.
On Saturday morning we got NYC bagels — real, chewy bagels — and then drove to a friend’s house in New Jersey. We ate brunch in her back yard looking out at her wild flowers. Then we drove to a wedding in Princeton, which was also lovely. We got all nerdy and worked at the library for the few hours between the wedding and the reception. I wrote some, but after a while couldn’t concentrate (that happens when you’re up until 2 a.m.!) So I read a book by my old Princeton writing teacher, John McPhee, that happened to be sitting there in the library. I’d write that in my micro-journal: reading a serendipitously-discovered book I liked was a nice way to spend the afternoon before dinner and dancing that night.
We drove back late Saturday to Philly, but fortunately, the kids slept in Sunday. I spent the afternoon at a pool birthday party with my 3-year-old. He no longer needs to be hovered over, and I knew enough of the other guests that I could relax and chat (and drink a cheap beer to atone for my expensive wine on Friday). After, my son and I came back to the house and spent a very chill few hours together — watching TV and playing in the driveway. I’m amazed at the energy a 3-year-old has. I liked just sitting there, but he’d roll the ball down the driveway then chase after it every single time. It was a slightly cool evening and as the light grew slanted, I could watch it glint off his hair as he raced into the grass.
(In case anyone was wondering, I did not participate in the famous Philly Naked Bike Ride this weekend, though my husband did catch a glimpse of it when he was down town on Sunday).
I am conscious of these days slipping into autumn. Already, some leaves on our bushes have turned mottled, yellow, at the edges. The nights turn cool. My soon-to-be-first grader just got his teacher assignment. But on a weekend like this, I can appreciate that it is still August. There is still time. And we can still wring plenty of enjoyment from the 60 hours that each weekend contains.
How did you spend this last full weekend in August?
In other news: Want tips on creating great weekends? My book, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, will be out Tuesday. One of the included short books is called What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend, with advice from Mike Huckabee and others, on making the most of this time. You can order it from Amazon here and Barnes & Noble here, and it should be in major bookstores this week as well.
Photo courtesy flickr user gailf548
6 thoughts on “Notes from the last weekend in August”
My husband and I went away in our EuroVan for the last time in two months, since we are leaving for Asia on Friday. The first day we camped in classic California chapparal country. Woke up gazing at land below us that looked underwater, well, under fog. Hiked the hilly grassland tracks of the Redwood National Park, interspersed by tea breaks and naps in the van. The second day we drove down to the coast and walked the moist green, green coastal paths and fell asleep listening to the ocean.
@Louisa – wow, that sounds amazing. I love the image of the landscape looking like you’re under water when you’re under fog…
My husband took the weekend off and we celebrated my 31st birthday with Mexican food and cupcakes Friday night. We took a trip to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning and on Sunday evening we went to a “gender reveal” party for a couple who are having their second. Lots of good adult and child company.
@Chelsea – cupcakes always make for a great Friday night. Happy birthday!
We started the weekend on Friday afternoon driving back up to the Midlands after a few days spent in London – and promptly got stuck in Bank holiday weekend traffic, which is what we traditionally do in Britain during the last weekend of August (as well as finish the DIY projects that were begun during the Easter Bank holiday weekend back in April!). Surprisingly the weather was lovely, so this afternoon was spent getting our 6 year old to stick all the holiday photos in his summer scrapbook, and then playing frisbee in the children’s park of a stately home that’s open to the public. A brilliant distraction to take our minds off the very scary appointment with DH’s oncologist tomorrow (keep your fingers crossed for us please, Laura). Feels like summer’s last hurrah before term starts again next week and all the summer clothes are relegated to the back of the wardrobe again.
@Karen – I’m glad the weekend went well, and I’m intrigued by the idea of getting one’s 6-year-old to do the photo album making. We have a bit of a backlog over here… Maybe I need to ask my kid! I hope the oncologist appointment goes as well as it possibly can.