It gets worse every year, and I suppose one day I may have to re-evaluate how I can live my life to have way more summer in it, but for now, I’m perfectly happy asking my readers to write to their Senators, Presidents, Kings and Queens and even future Presidents (I’m looking at YOU – Bernie) and asking if we can safely and environmentally arrange to have only three seasons in some parts of the world. Four months of glorious fall, four months of luscious spring & four months of sexy summer.
Every year I rail against fall, and every year, I embrace fall like the strange, old friend it is – if you have a friend with glorious colors and the smells of cinnamon and pine, who is warm in the day, cold at night, and sometimes makes you sicker than sick.
In this post back in late May, link HERE, I presented you with my Summer 2015 Bucket List. I think it’s only fitting right now to go through it and give myself a final grade for Summer 2015. School starts in three days for Scarlet and sort of four days for Des. We went to the Fair today and I bought Des cotton candy ice cream on the way home from a road trip to the Berkshires (yes, all in one day) so I think I can safely say that we’re sucking the marrow out of summer 2015. I can’t wait to grade it!
1. The White Mountains are alive with the sound of music. One of my birthday wishes is to visit the White Mountains of New Hampshire with my family. One of my dreams is to ride the Cog Railway up Mt. Washington but it’s very expensive and I’d be happy to go to the summit in our car. I haven’t been there in ages, but I do remember and I have read that there’s clam chowder (and other goodies) at the top of the tallest mountain this side of the Mississippi. Do it for the chowder. I also want to ride the gondola at Wildcat Mountain or Loon Mountain, take the kids to Story Land, and DEFINITELY try to see moose.
Yes! Yes. We did this. We went on my actual birthday weekend too. We didn’t ride the Cog Railway because it’s slow as molasses but we did the Auto Road and I DID have clam chowder up there. We absolutely rode the Wildcat Mountain gondola, we absolutely went to Story Land, and we DID try to see moose! We didn’t see any, but I only said we’d try, didn’t I?
Grade for Summer 2015 Bucket List Item #1 – A+. I would have given an A++ for seeing moose.
2. Well, heck. I’m even trying to do this next weekend, family willing. I want to go back to the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont. We went for our sixth anniversary last April, just the two of us, and it was very cold and rainy. Fun and successful, but very cold and rainy. We had talked about bringing the kids back to the bogs and basins. It’s so moose-y there!
Yes! Yes. Scarlet and I did this. LAST weekend. It was warm and sunny, but moose-unsuccessful. It was still incredibly special.
Grade for 2015 Bucket List Item #2 – A+. Even without moose, it was a mother-daughter adventure for the record books.
3. Since my parents live near the Poconos, I would love to go back to Bushkill Falls. I haven’t been in decades! Another dream is Hershey Park but that might be next summer instead. In the least, we can go to The Land of Make Believe with the cousins!
Boo! We came so close to doing this, but we were so exhausted and it was hot. We did have an incredible Jersey trip, though.
Grade for 2015 Bucket List Item #3 – I’m going to give it a solid B. Even though we didn’t do ANYTHING listed above, we had pony rides, John Deere gator rides, family bonding, and ice cream from my favorite childhood place ever.
4. New England day trips! I always have big dreams and I always think summer will just be a series of wonderful, weather-perfect day trips. And then real life and thunderstorms and day camp and anxiety pile up like a brick wall and I can’t quite get through. So I lounge around in air-conditioning. Well-planned trips and accountability do leave room for a lot, and the kids will be game and I will be pushing through. I’m thinking Six Flags a lot since we get season passes, Legoland Boston and Flour Bakery (Hi, Bev!), and Edaville. Thomasland is opening in mid-August. Perfect. Add in museums, zoos, and parks galore.
Yes! So much this. We spent a whole week reaching museum, play place and Basketball Hall of Fame dreams. We absolutely did Legoland Boston and Scarlet did Six Flags, and ice cream was had a lot. We didn’t lounge around much after all.
Grade for 2015 Bucket List Item #4 – I’ll give it a solid A. It could have been better, but there’s only so much we can do with limited time. There’s an amazing New England day trip for every day of the year, with day trips left over. Not days.
5. Cape Cod, of course! Last year we didn’t get to go for very long. Two years ago we went twice – once for a quick overnight and a second time mid-week without Cassidy to spend more time there. That second time was key. The weather was horrible but we were never rushing anywhere. It was the feel of a real summer vacation – within our own state, and within our own family’s beach house. You can’t beat it! Last year we went out for ice cream – bonus points this year for a romantic dinner.
And of course we did Cape Cod, for three nights, which was pretty great. The weather was lovely and we absolutely went out for ice cream. We didn’t have a romantic dinner, but we had incredible dinners, and that was just bonus points anyway.
Grade for 2015 Bucket List Item #5 – A-. I missed the drive-in movie that Cassidy and Scarlet did, as well as the whale Des and Cassidy saw, but had my first Moby Dick’s meal and we had ample beach time and it was absolutely lovely and relaxing.
6. Fireworks, of course! Scarlet and I try to go on a fireworks date each year. Perhaps, Des will join us. Perhaps not.
Some circumstances were beyond our control. The fireworks we always go to were canceled, and the Northampton ones were postponed until September. We did happen to light off our own incredible ones, though.. so there’s that.
Grade for 2015 Bucket List Item #6 – C. We get points for doing our own, and we can’t help the canceled ones, but there were still towns lighting them off throughout July and we didn’t make the trip to go see them. We’ll see them in September!
7. Meet Janine! And see Allie, Bev, Jennifer and many other blog friends again along our travels.
I didn’t meet Janine! Sob. I did see Bev and Jennifer, and I did get to meet Christy of Sweet and Savoring.
Grade for 2015 Summer Bucket List Item #7 – A-. I got to meet Christy! And see Bev and Jennifer!
8. We always do Tanglewood in the summer but I also want to see a concert there! Sheryl Crow is playing with the Boston Pops.. Huey Freakin’ Lewis is playing.. James Taylor is playing but it’s sold out. I believe we already missed the Indigo Girls.
We did none of this! Grade for 2015 Summer Bucket List Item #8 – F!
9. Nature-ous stuff! Berry picking and even some light gardening. I get weird after too long in the sun but I’d like to help Scarlet and Cassidy. Is night gardening a thing? I also want to climb Sugarloaf Mountain with the family!
We did significant berry picking in our own yard! We absolutely climbed Sugarloaf Mountain!
Grade for 2015 Summer Bucket List Item #9 – A+!
10. Personal growth, marital growth, parental growth, sexy summer nights, ice cream, and fighting my demons.
Well of course. As that song says, “I did it all.” There’s still much to do. There always is.
Grade for 2015 Bucket List Item #10 – A+.
What’s my final grade? B+. That’s if you’re looking technically, and I did say I’m a tough grader! Emotionally, I’ll give it an A, and I so, so look forward to next summer. And I’m so glad I don’t really get graded, by myself or others, and please know I did this in a fun and lighthearted way, and we all get an A+. We’re all beyond the grading scale because living and loving and parenting is hard and wonderful, and really, really hard. And really, really wonderful. And that’s a fact, Jack!