Mid-summer update on the Summer Fun List

School let out about 5.5 weeks ago, and we have 5.5 weeks before it starts up again. So I figured it was time for a summer fun list update!

Enjoy some outdoor music. My husband and I went to the Phish concert at the Mann Center last night. I don’t think Phish was my husband’s favorite but the music was good (I like the piano jam parts!) and we ate BBQ sandwiches and had a beer outside on a nice night, so that was good. We saw Billy Joel + Stevie Nicks back in June (more his style), and in May I saw Taylor Swift. So this has really been quite the summer of live outdoor music. This is something I enjoy and so I’ll make sure to look at concert listings for future summers (my 16-year-old recently mentioned that he would have liked to see Beyonce when she was here in Philly but…I guess we can’t get to everything!).

Eat lobster in Maine. The 13-year-old and I took a trip to Bar Harbor and Acadia from June 17-20. The other kids have noted that this was a very long Mommy Day, but he did ask for this as his Christmas present — hence the extra days We had a lot of fun hiking (including some demanding hilly hikes!), taking a lobster boat, and eating lobster by the water. Acadia is beautiful if sometimes a wee bit cold, even in summer. I’m really glad we took this trip, especially since the 13-year-old has spent much of his summer at sleep away camp.

Meet up with SHU and do a BOBW meet-up. We did! Sarah and I recorded an episode at my house in early July, then headed to a Mexican place in Conshohocken, where enough people showed up for our meet-up that we wound up on our own patio. It was awesome to meet people and chat. And the margaritas were good too. A definite summer highlight!

Take a writing retreat. From July 7-10 I went to Lititz, PA, and locked myself up in a room at the Wilbur hotel (the old chocolate factory). I worked through my entire novel manuscript and had a lot of fun doing so. I’m pretty much at my happiest when deeply involved in edits, and I can see that I’m making a manuscript better. Time flies by. I enjoyed walking around the town on my breaks — it’s cute (and also had a good Mexican place + a fun brewery).

Go to a beer garden. I haven’t done this yet, but hope to at the beach! And maybe as part of a future date night.

Spend two weeks at the beach. Not yet. But all booked. Because we’ll be there so long I haven’t done any day trips to the beach so far this summer — I feel like two weeks might do us.

Do Mommy Days. When you have five kids, this starts to be quite the time commitment. But it’s mostly happened. The 13-year-old and I had Maine. I took the 11-year-old to get her ears pierced, get lunch at a favorite Italian place, and go shopping. I took the 16-year-old into NYC with me (for the Today show taping) and we toured colleges, went out to eat, stayed overnight near Bryant Park, and went to Starbucks twice. The 8-year-old (with some encouragement from me) elected to do a Daddy Day. My husband planned out an adventure that involved biking down Blue Mountain and fishing in a stocked pond. I have spent several full days with the 3-year-old just by virtue of him being little (see: on the extended family vacation…chasing him away from the infinity pools…) so I’m not sure if I’m going to do a specific Mommy Day for him but I might take him on an excursion one of these days.

Ride my bike. I’ve done this on my own several times now just around the neighborhood. I hope to set up a biking date with my husband soon.

Run in the early AMs a few times. I’d say I’ve been doing this once or twice during the week when I’m home, so it’s definitely happening. It is much more pleasant to run in, say, 70 degree temperatures than 85 degree temperatures. So for summer, morning is where it’s at. Plus it’s nice to have it over, and shower, and then begin my day. If I wake at 6:45, I can be out the door by 6:58 or so, and then run until 7:35, shower, and be ready to get kids going for their camp runs. That’s really not so early, so there’s no reason not to do it if it’s not raining and my husband is home (to be an adult in the house for if the 3-year-old gets up).

Enjoy my yard. I’d say I’m doing pretty well here. In my post on my five free Saturday hours, I mentioned sitting on the hammock and the balcony to read, as well as going for a walk. We’ve gone in the pool many times now that it’s functional (and not green) — including hosting a good chunk of my extended family this past weekend. We hosted a party on the patio in June. We’ve been using the Solo Stove on a different patio (under the new cafe lights!) a few nights now. I even started a fire a few times with the 8-year-old as an evening non-screen activity, though this is more my Eagle Scout husband’s purview.

Go fruit picking. Eh…June strawberry picking was kind of a bust. I might go peach picking though honestly the 3-year-old already did that with his Saturday sitter this past weekend so…maybe not. I’ll go apple picking in September! I should try to make it to the local farmers market at least once.

Refresh my summer wardrobe. Or I could just stop caring. That’s another option  I’m currently leaning towards.

Travel internationally. Trip number one is done (Turks & Caicos with my husband’s extended family). I met my bar of having a few enjoyable moments, such as reading Emma in the shade while my husband had the 3-year-old, and kayaking with the 8-year-old for a bit. I got everyone matching shirts, and I arranged for a photographer to get shots of the whole family, and I think people were happy about both those things. The second trip is yet to come — I’ll report back in September on finishing the summer fun list!

Photo: Kind of hard to see, but this is Phish up on stage

10 thoughts on “Mid-summer update on the Summer Fun List

  1. Your seasonal fun lists, and their subsequent updates, are my favorite! Every time I read them it gives me a little boost of motivation to either write out my list or make progress on it.

    For whatever reason I feel like this summer has been a bit dull. We have done a few evenings at the beach, which I prefer over a day trip. The kids play in the sand or the water and my husband and I can pretty much relax because the beach is empty and we can keep a close eye on them. We normally stop for dinner at a restaurant on the way home and it is a generally fun night. It might be one of the only things that every single member of the family enjoys 🙂 We did a day trip down to a cute farm / ice cream stand in Connecticut earlier this summer. Both of my boys have asked to go blueberry picking, so that is on the list. Our annual 1-2 week beach trip comes in August, as well as all three kid birthdays (!!!) So there is more coming…. But perhaps I need to add a couple solo things! I bought a kayak a couple years ago and haven’t used it yet. Maybe a day off from work to attempt a small adventure in it..!

    1. @Lori C – an evening at the beach sounds nice – a little cooler and quieter than the day. I’m hoping we’ll make a few evening trips when we’re there – it’s a quick enough walk so we should…

  2. I also really enjoy your seasonal fun lists! I feel like this summer has been mixed. We have done some fun things, but the kids have had more screen time than ever, so I have had some mom guilt from that. It seems like for the first time screens are becoming their default activity. They have convinced me that they are just so stressed from school, that they need lots of chill time this summer.

    I also wanted to update my summer wardrobe, but did not and have now lost my motivation for it. Maybe next year!

    1. The BOBW meet-up was a highlight of my summer!!

      I love that you are pausing to reflect and also recognizing just how much more summer adventure time is left! This time of the year the end of summer dread feeling could start to creep in, but it’s up to us if we let it! I will follow your approach -recheck my summer fun list, and heck, maybe I will add on more things. Keep rockin’!

    2. @Jessica – maybe next year! And yep, we’ve had a lot of screen time too. I let the 8-year-old back on his iPad for the summer and the old habits are pretty much back…

  3. I’m in awe of how much you checked off from your list, Laura. LoriC-now I don’t feel so guilty about not yet launching the Costco inflatable kayak that I bought last summer…….
    Here’s my list update:
    I’ve started summer early-in beautiful Portugal right now. My list:
    1. Complete our 6 week European trip-Portugal-Spain/Med. cruise-Italy. What you get to do when your kids are grown and you save up points, miles and a bit of cash for adventures. Result: the trip was epic! We came back exhausted, but did so many great things that I would do it all over in a heartbeat.
    2. See Dead & Company in concert on what is supposedly their last tour. Result: Yes we did, 36 hours after returning from our 6 week trip. My husband is nowhere near the fan that I am, but he gets a gold star for going. Laura, there is a fair amount of overlap in the Dead and Phish fan base..
    3. Take my toddler grandson to story time at the library. In all my years as a working mom, I never got to do this with my kids. I’m not missing this opportunity. Result: Signed him up for toddler Move and Groove, Story time and Art. Move and Groove and Story time have been a success-my heart melted when my grandson flapped his butterfly wings without prompting after listening to “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Art was a bust-at the first meeting, the instructor kept 15 toddlers and their parents waiting while she chatted with a colleague in the art room, and then decided to share the details about her recent Cape Cod vacation with very squirmy toddlers. Multiple meltdowns ensued, including my grandson’s. The moral of the story-know your audience.
    4. Spend July 4th week at the beach in North Carolina with my husband, sister and brother in law. Results: We went and had a really nice time. It was so hot that we bagged the beach most days and instead floated around in their pool with adult libations in hand.
    5. Meet up with a close friend from college and her husband and visit Burlington, Vermont for a few days in August. Result: Planned and booked.
    6. Get into a mad veggie planting rush when we get back from our 6 week trip and hope that there is enough time left of the summer to realize the fruits of my planting labors. Our beloved CSA died on the vine this year, so I’m hoping our own crops will make up for this loss. Results: Max planting occurred, and I think we will have a bumper winter squash, summer squash, cucumber, beet and Italian red onion harvest.
    7. Spend a whole afternoon reading on the deck with homemade lemonade in hand. Results: Not yet.
    8. Hang out with my adult daughter who moved back home for a bit-we were away for Mothers Day, but she put together a wonderful brunch for my daughter in law and then they FaceTimed with us. I’m glad I raised thoughtful and kind humans. Results: We found a random distillery in Columbus, NJ that has outdone seating, live music, and surprisingly good cocktails and spent a couple of pleasant hours there last Saturday night. Also have had some Home Goods shopping expeditions with my daughter and some other fun day to day interactions.
    9. Keep on keeping on with post ankle surgery recovery-I have had a long road, but managed over 10,000 steps at 2 different hilly palace locations in Sintra, Portugal. This may not seem like much, but it was a huge victory for me. Results: Back in PT to move things along, but I am doing much better. Happy that I improved from walking a lot in Europe.
    10. Plan a dinner at our house with friends. This will be a do-over of a planned late December dinner which I had to cancel because I broke my ankle while preparing said dinner.. Results: On the calendar for early September.
    Even though I am in an older demographic than most Patreon members, I was sad to miss the Philadelphia area meet-up. I am local, but we were away.

    1. @Beth C – I love it! Portugal sounds amazing (on my bucket list). I am laughing about the bust of art time. At least story time was good! Here’s to spending a whole afternoon on the deck with your lemonade.

  4. I can never put my finger on my list when check in time comes for fun stuff. It feels like the summer is flying by, so taking stock of what we did do would probably help me realize that it’s been a rich, long summer.
    1. We had my nieces over and they swam in the Y pool and we went to the grafiti quarry and went to the arcade.
    2. My sister’s family and my family went camping on Cape Cod. We swam in the ocean and had ice cream and smores.
    3. My family when to Heritage Gardens and rode on a carousel.
    4. I went to Martha’s Vineyard on my birthday.
    5. I ran a 10K with beers and music after.
    6. We saw 2 sets of fireworks and went to the water fight 4th of July parade
    7. I went on a historical mansion tour
    8. I toured an art museum
    9. We went into Boston and splashed in the fountains on the Greenway.
    10. My husband and I went to a canned cocktail tasting.

    1. @LK – this is a great list! And the canned cocktail tasting sounds fascinating. We have not been camping this summer. I didn’t put it on the list (I have to really commit if I’m going to do it…) and I don’t think it will happen this summer but maybe next. The child who likes camping spent a week at boy scout camp so that kind of solves the immediate need…

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