It’s that time again! Memorial Day is around the corner, and it’s time to start planning. Every summer, I make a list of activities that make summer feel like summer to me. The goal is to enjoy the season, and make copious memories by the time Labor Day rolls around. The more memories we have of a period of time, the longer it seems as we think back on it. Why not have a summer that seems to last forever? It’s a great way to feel…off the clock.
Here’s what’s on this year’s list. Please send me yours! I am always looking for ideas.
Savor the launch of Off the Clock. If you’ve ordered the book (thank you!) you’ll soon find out that savoring is a big theme. Thanks to my research, I am now armed with tools to stretch the experience of time. And so I am committing to savor this launch. Yes, I’ve written books before. But still, it is such a cool thing to see one’s ideas made manifest. I wanted to write books for a living and I do! I intend to pause and enjoy that fact many times this summer. (And enjoy a toast around publication.)
Go strawberry picking. Nothing says summer like ripe red strawberries with homemade whipped cream. I need to get this on the calendar soon because remember, the berry season is short. (Bonus points if you know what that phrase is from.)
Visit the Pine Barrens. I’ve been reading John McPhee’s book on this forest in New Jersey. This wilderness — and it is a wilderness — is in the middle of one of the most densely populated corridors in the country. It would be easy enough to go there as a day trip, and so I’d like to visit and hike and see what it’s all about.
Come up with a good birthday present for my husband. He is celebrating a milestone birthday this summer. (I am celebrating one this winter, but a different one!) Something creative…
Go to a beer garden. Philly has several. It would be a fun, easy date night, or a way to get together with friends.
Eat ice cream at Days in Ocean Grove. We’ll be spending a week there again this summer. Visiting this little town on the Jersey shore is definitely part of making summer feel like summer for me (also, now that I’ve created the fictional Jersey Shore town of Maris Stella for Juliet’s School of Possibilities, it’s good to visit and make sure I got it right!)
Eat lobster in Cape May. Another repeat from previous years: eating at The Lobster House on the water is always nice.
Do “Mommy Days” with all four kids. Spending one-on-one time with my kids is often the most pleasant (and memorable) part of parenting. I will do a day trip with each of the kids to some place they’re excited about visiting. This has often been Hersheypark, or Dutch Wonderland, but we’ll see if anyone comes up with a different idea this year.
See the fountains and fireworks at Longwood Gardens. We have tickets for August. Come to think of it, there’s a beer garden there, so this might be a combo.
Visit Yellowstone. On the agenda! Longtime readers may recall that I made my booking in the Old Faithful Lodge on May 1, 2017 in order to get prime August 2018 dates. Given how much I liked Provo, UT, we may add a Utah stop onto the beginning (SLC, as far as I can tell, is the airport closest to the Yellowstone area that actually has direct Philly flights.)
Sit on the porch on summer evenings. Watching the light change, listening to the birds — all great ways to wind down. Before sitting on the porch, I also want to go for some walks. At least one evening a week, a little post prandial stroll, maybe with a kid or two.
Go for some solo swims. As a mom, I wind up spending a lot of time watching various little people in the pool. I want to go in the pool ALL BY MYSELF and not watch anyone else. Related to this:
Read a book on the beach. Meaning I am not keeping anyone who can’t swim from leaping into the waves, refereeing sand wars between siblings, etc.
Update my summer wardrobe. I would like to get a better swimsuit, and some more casual clothes and shoes that I enjoy wearing. To do this, though, I also need to clean out my closet, which is having some trouble making its way up my priority list. Maybe by putting this entry on this list, I can nudge myself to get it done.
What’s on your summer fun list?