Every summer, I create a Summer Fun List. This is a list of things that I want to do by the end of the summer to make memories, enjoy myself, and to make summer feel like summer to me.
School has now started. Even the little guy has preschool orientation today! So it’s time for an update: how did we do?
Pretty well, as you’ll see below. It was a great summer. It was a spaciously long summer, and long in a good way. Memorial Day seems like ages ago. I have not found myself saying “where did summer go?” partly because, thanks to my time-tracking, I know exactly where the summer went! It went to many wonderful, adventurous places, some planned, some not.
Anyway, even though school is starting and the light is definitely changing — slanting into fall — I want to keep the summer vibe going as much as possible. Hopefully you do too! So, for the next week or so on this blog, I’ll be sharing tips from Off the Clock to help you feel like time is abundant, rather than scarce. Taken together, these tips will keep the summer vibe going, to the equinox and beyond. Summer in September! Why not?
Now, on to my list:
Savor the launch of Off the Clock. I did my best! There were some hiccups with the launch that I will work to improve upon for Juliet’s School of Possibilities (March 12, 2019). That said, I toasted the launch with friends and family in NYC, and I have loved talking about the book and seeing it on social media. I have made sure to really read and absorb the notes I’ve gotten from people who enjoyed the book. (Feel free to send me more such notes! Or post them at the retail site where you purchased the book.)
Go strawberry picking. Done. We tried a new-to-us strawberry patch that was less mobbed — and closer — than the one we’ve normally visited, so that was a win.
Visit the Pine Barrens. We tested out the kids’ new hiking books (pre-Yellowstone) with a hike through this pine forest in New Jersey. The landscape was fascinating to see, and there’s nothing like listening to the wind in the pines. We also enjoyed visiting the Evergreen Dairy Bar afterwards!
Come up with a good birthday present for my husband. Not really, though we did celebrate this particular milestone birthday with his extended family when we went to the beach in North Carolina for the week.
Go to a beer garden. My husband and I had a drink at the beer garden in Asbury Park during our week at the Jersey shore. Then we visited the one at Longwood Gardens, though that day was rainy, which makes an outdoor beer garden a bit less enjoyable.
Eat ice cream at Days in Ocean Grove. Many times! We went during our week at the beach, and then I took my 11-year-old there during his Mommy Day.
Eat lobster in Cape May. We made our annual pilgrimage to the Lobster House. Then we hung out on the beach and saw dolphins.
Do “Mommy Days” with all four kids. I hit the American Girl Place in NYC with my daughter, a local DefCon1/trampoline park place with my 8-year-old, the beach and a pinball arcade with my 11-year-old, and the Please Touch Museum with my 3-year-old.
See the fountains and fireworks at Longwood Gardens. We did this in August, and it was great, despite the rain. I was amazed at the 3-year-old’s ability to fall asleep during the fireworks!
Visit Yellowstone. Yes! We went (with the three older children) to Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Rocky Mountain National Parks the last week before Labor Day. We had a great time hiking, seeing wildlife, and watching the geothermal activity. Because I made a reservation on May 1, 2017, we got to stay in the Old Faithful Inn, which was a real treat. We could be walking along the hallway and boom! There would go Old Faithful.
Sit on the porch on summer evenings. I did this almost every day I was home (though I didn’t go for a lot of post-dinner strolls, as I mentioned in the summer fun list. These two items sort of substituted for each other, and I elected to sit and read rather than walk. On the plus side, I did make it through Middlemarch and Infinite Jest.)
Go for some solo swims. I did a few, often as little breaks during the work day when no one else was home. This happened a lot in early August when I had cleared my schedule for jury duty and then was not selected. The solo swims were heavenly.
Read a book on the beach. Not a whole book, but I read parts of Infinite Jest while at the beach with my 11-year-old, who doesn’t need a whole lot of supervision.
Update my summer wardrobe. I didn’t get a nicer swimsuit. I tried, and the one I ordered, which looked so cute on Instagram, looked horrible on me. Like, comically horrible. However, I did clean out my closet — and my book shelves — and got rid of 8 bags/boxes of stuff. I got a few new pieces to fill out the gaps, and ordered some duplicates on the secondary market of a few items that I love, but are falling apart (eBay and ThreadUp for the win!).
So that’s been the summer of 2018! If you made a Summer Fun List, how did it go?