Home for the Summer!
Wow everyone! In all this excitement of moving, I have left you all hanging about how the rest of our trip went. The last location specific post was about our trip to Colorado, which ended in early JULY! YIKES! A lot has happened since then, including heading home for the summer to to New England. We also had a quick stop in Philly, a few weeks in the Triangle of North Carolina, Charlotte, Asheville, and one more trip to Florida before moving to Charlotte!
I guess I knew I was going to miss traveling so I had to relive it through postponing some writing! We decided to head back home to New England for the summer to save some money, visit with family and friends, and see parts of New England in the summer that we wouldn’t normally see. Little did we know at the time, that visiting our friends, family, and beloved North East would hold so much significance, leaving us to believe our visit was meant to be.
Shortly after the 4th of July, we left Denver, Colorado and flew home to Boston. My mom was there to pick us up and she could not have been more excited to have us home for the summer! My mother is hands down, my best friend, and us being so far away has been pretty challenging to say the least. We have, however, found several times to see each other while we traveled. Returning home not only meant we would be able to spend some quality time with family and friends, but we finally had our car back! While on the road, we had been doing a lot of 1 way rentals through Avis, which, even with some great discounts, was still pretty expensive! It was nice to have my “Ol’ Bessie” back or my 2003 Subaru Outback.
For the first 2 weeks, we stayed with my best friend Kim, her boyfriend Rob and their FOUR large dogs! Yes. You have read that correctly. Harley, Rocky, Remi and Avalanche were our roommates and body guards for 2 weeks. We loved it! This visit was a much needed catch up time with a friend that I normally only see a few times a year. We had many nights drinking wine on the porch, sitting by the fire, nightly dinner dates and we even brought Kim along for a run at the park one night!
While we were home for the summer, I got to help plan and organize my Grandmother’s surprise 80th party! Since we had the party over a month before her actual birthday, she had NO clue! She was genuinely surprised when the doors to her party opened up, and 50 of her close friends and family were there to celebrate! After this celebration, we made our way to Cape Cod to celebrate my Mother In-Law’s family party celebrating 50 years in America! 50 years prior, my husband’s grandparents, 3 aunts and mother got on the Queen Mary in England to set sail for a new life in America. The rest is history!
It was a wonderful gathering of friends and family around the country, and even some relatives from England. The week started with a catered dinner, many toasts, and lots of laughs. We enjoyed the beach, P-Town, water sports, family dinners, and of course some seafood! After returning from the Cape, we headed up to Vermont and New Hampshire for a few weeks to get away, see the north in the summer, which we are used to seeing in the winter. Don’t worry! I will be writing more about our visits to Vermont and New Hampshire soon! We absolutely loved each location including Woodstock, Burlington, Stowe, and North Conway.
Even More to Celebrate!
It isn’t summer without some summer BBQs! Since my family is full of summer babies, so we had many other birthdays to celebrate! Included in the celebration was my brother, great Auntie Pat, , cousin Lindsay, her daughter Layla and celebrating my Aunts 48th birthday. Little did we know, this would be her last birthday with us. We tend to do a joint summer party for everyone, but since Layla was celebrating her 5th Birthday, we naturally turned most of the focus on her! It was so fun watching her and my brother’s girlfriend’s daughter open gifts together. I think Stella was more excited to open Layla’s gifts than Layla was! Kids really do have a way of bringing family together, keeping everyone young, and as well as providing lots of laughs!
Our timing to come home for the summer worked out perfectly. We were able to meet up with another close friend of ours while her and her husband were visiting Boston. We had an excellent evening with Kim and Jav at Bin 26 Enoteca. There was lots of catching up, laughing, and of course wine!
I also got to attend Jav’s surprise 40th birthday which went off without a hitch! He thought he was attending a shotgun wedding, but instead all of his good friends and family there to celebrate HIM! Kim, being the Type A planner that she is, didn’t leave out a single detail. Everything was perfect, from the decorations, to the food, and the whole master plan! It was a great night celebrating with my good friend before she found out she was expecting her first baby! One that they have been waiting a long time for!
I am especially happy for the amount of time I was able to spend with my family this year. Life is truly too short. It is so important to spend quality time with the ones you love as much as you can, as you never know when the last time will be. I didn’t know it at the time, but it would be the last birthday I would celebrate for my aunt. We would also spend our last family vacation together a few months later. It is crazy to think with slightly different planning, I would have missed the opportunity to spend a few more moments with my aunt.
Fast forward to Dec 4th, we would lose my aunt’s new husband, Bobbie to a heart attack. Only two days later, we would lose my aunt in a tragic car accident. How does this happen to someone so young? How have my grandparents lost not only their daughter at 48, but also their son at 17 many years ago? We might never have those answers, but one thing is certain, is that the universe works in mysterious ways. Looking back, I am so grateful for our decision to spend the summer home with family.
One thing that I feel very strongly about, with travel and life in general, is the idea of building memories. For Christmas of 2016, my mom’s gift theme was all about “creating memories,” which included doing things together versus just handing out physical gifts. I think this is such an important thing to remember. Travel isn’t just about collecting souvenirs and the perfect Instagram photos, but rather finding memories to remember, share and cherish forever.
While home for the summer, I created some great memories with my friends and family. Kayaking on Quinsig with mom cousin was something we had never done as a family before, but it certainly won’t be the last! We found our new favorite brewery, Treehouse Brewing, and stocked up several times while we visited for the summer! We even found time to go out with our friends to Elm City Social, a great cocktail bar and restaurant in New Haven, CT with an intimate rooftop bar. Seeing my grandmothers dumbfounded face when she walked into her surprise party. PRICELESS! All of these moments are truly priceless, and some of the best gifts life has to give!
After Lady Gaga performed at the Super Bowl, she announced her tour and ticket sales, which my mom and I both agreed we HAD to go! Talk about creating memories! At 5 in the morning, I hopped online, had credit card info, and everything ready to go. As soon as it was time, I clicked the link to purchase tickets, and I get……..SOLD OUT. WHAT!? HOW! It was only about 10 seconds into the pre-sale! Damn robots! Well instead of going to the show we wanted to go see, we ended up going to Brooklyn NY for a great experience! Thanks to my good friend Cariann at Kustom Tees LLC, we showed up with some rockin’ tanks with some Gaga lyrics on them!
As I write about our adventures while we were home for the summer summer, I get this warm and fuzzy feeling reliving some of my favorite summer memories. Because of this, I encourage everyone to write. It doesn’t have to be in a public forum. It might just be bullet journaling to jot down activities and feelings. My favorite way to track the awesome moments in my life is my Panda Planner! It has a great way to track your gratitude, affirmation, schedule out your day, set goals and more! When we are busy, it is crazy how fast life flies by, and how easy it is to forget the wonderful things that happen in our lives. Cherish the moments in the moment, and revisit those happy memories as often as you can.