Endless Summer

Image via LookUp Quotes

Every summer as the season comes to a close, I experience a summer sadness.  It’s not anything as serious as depression, but certainly a malaise. As our trip home to Ohio edges ever closer, a little bit of greyness starts clouding my head and my heart. About a week ago, when I felt that greyness creeping in, I began to think just how silly it was. How foolish to be missing something that isn’t even over yet? Missing the beach while you are sitting on it? Duh.

It got me thinking–just what about summer is it that I love so much? Of course, everyone loves action packed summer days, beautiful starry nights, bike rides, beach sand, swimming…I could go on and on. But there is something else for me. I have almost a different personality or persona–happier, more relaxed, carefree and fun. I’ll call her Summer Beth, and I definitely like her better than that more stressed out, uptight Rest of the Year Beth.

So, I decided this year, Summer Beth needs to have a talk with Rest of the Year Beth because Summer Beth doesn’t need go away. Even after summer has waned and the cold, crisp days of fall have set in, Rest of the Year Beth needs to remember–that greyness can’t creep in if the warm summer thoughts, relaxed attitude and especially the memories are there to keep it out. After all, as the ultimate Queen of Summer, Lilly Pulitzer, once said, “Its always summer somewhere.” Yep–in my heart and mind.

On Holiday

Image via MySoti.com

Image via MySoti.com

In August 2006, my husband and I took what I have since (annoyingly) heard referred to as a Babymoon–a big last hurrah trip before the arrival of our first baby. It was a fantastic trip with stops all over Europe, one of them being the lovely city of Florence. I spent a semester in college living in Florence and I was excited to show Tim all of my favorite spots from that time–my favorite gelato bar, that sweet little gift shop, a restaurant I loved but couldn’t afford as a college student. They were all still there, but at each one we came across signs–some officially printed and others hastily handwritten in Italian–that in one way or another said:

On Holiday for the month of August

See you in September

At the time, I was disappointed, but since then I have often thought about the act of putting up a sign, walking away from your life and business for a month and going on holiday. How incredibly freeing, unhampered and really, un-American–in a good way–it is to just take a break because you need it and because it is just what people do in Italy.

I had big plans for my blog post this week. Lots of pictures with a great how to. But remember those house guests I was readying for in my post a few weeks ago? We have had a steady stream of them–with one more beloved guest coming tonight. I adore having house guests and the past few weeks with ours have been wonderful, memorable and fun. But we have been so busy having fun that I haven’t had any time to sit down to the computer to put my little how to together. So, I am going to take a cue from the Italians and put up my “Holiday” sign, but just for this week. I’ll be back next week with that great how to. Ciao!

 

Planes, Ferries & Automobiles

I think there has got to be a quote or an adage that says the more difficult somewhere is to get, the more rewarding it is when you finally get there. Every year, we travel to the island of Nantucket for our summer vacation. It is not an easy place to get to, especially from Ohio, so traveling here can definitely qualify in the difficult category. A combination of cars, airplanes and a ferry boat are required transportation–and that is on a good day when you don’t have any delays due to fog, wind or other such things.

If you are not familiar, Nantucket is a small island off the coast of Cape Cod, 14 miles long by about 7 miles wide. Its hey day was in the mid-1700s to the late 1830s when the island was the whaling capital of the world, with as many as 150 ships making port on the island during its peak. There is not a single traffic light and next to no chain stores so everything here is wonderfully, authentically Nantucket. Its so unique that it makes even the most difficult travel day melt away to a distant memory once you arrive because it is so worth the trouble.

I’m convinced that somewhere across the ocean between Nantucket and America (as the locals call the mainland) some kind of magic happens. I swear that flowers bloom more brilliantly here, birds chirp a little louder, stars are brighter and tomatoes and strawberries grow even more luscious (more on the strawberries in next weeks post!). And even though adults are not supposed to believe in such things, I can almost agree with my 7 year old that mermaids DO live in Nantucket harbor. (She swears she has seen one, even if it was just a glimpse!)

Traveling anywhere with small children, as many of you know,  can be challenging. Our trips to Nantucket have had their ups and downs but the more we have done the trip, the more I have tried to just enjoy the ride and take it all in–the plane, the car ride,the ferry… After all, as I’ve been telling myself a lot lately: The journey is the destination.

With that, here is a little photo journaling of our long, but fun journey here this year.

 

On the plane - thank God for iPads!

On the plane – thank God for iPads!

Leg 1 complete - getting off the  plane in Boston

Leg 1 complete – getting off the plane in Boston

In the car on the way to the Cape - this is the best shot I could get of our quick pass through Boston. Look close, that building says Boston on it!

In the car on the way to the Cape – this is the best shot I could get of our quick pass through Boston. Look close, that building says Boston on it!

Waiting for the ferry in Hyannis

Waiting for the ferry in Hyannis

Bye Hyannis! Looking out the back window of the ferry

Bye Hyannis! Looking out the back window of the ferry

Even when we try to keep a positive attitude, everybody still gets a little grumpy

Even when we try to keep a positive attitude, everybody still gets a little grumpy

Looking out the ferry at Brant Point Lighthouse. One of the best views ever because you are so close!

Looking out the ferry window at Brant Point Lighthouse. One of the best views ever because you are so close!

Back in the car but ALMOST THERE!

Back in the car but ALMOST THERE!

We're here! And at the end of the day, it was all worth it.

We’re here! And at the end of the day, it was all worth it.

 

For more photos, information and fun things to do with kids on Nantucket, stay posted to my blog! In the meantime, visit some of these websites:

  • Nantucket BlACKbook – Great site for all things fun, fashionable and unique on Nantucket
  • Townpool – A great site for travel, food and retail deals on the island (yes, there are some!). Follow them on Instagram or Facebook too for amazing pictures of the island.
  • I found some fun facts about Nantucket and its history here
  • The Inquirer & Mirror (aka The Inky Mirror) is Nantucket’s only newspaper and their website is a good resource
  • Nantucket.net is a good source for Nantucket travel information

 

 

 

 

The First Day After the Last Day of School

Memorial Day has passed and the pool is open, but I’ve always felt like summer doesn’t really arrive until the day after the last day of school. Even as an adult, I’ve found that having kids in school keeps this childhood rule of mine as true as ever. While many people mark the new year on January 1 and others love the crispness of the first day of school in the fall, the day after the last day of school feels like a new year to me.  The beginning of a new routine (or lack thereof) filled with days at the pool, ice cream, dinner on the patio, and late sunsets by the ocean provide me with a freshness that only summer can bring.

So, on the first day after the last day of school, I am taking the advice of a very good friend and jumping into something new with my first post on this blog. I have studied and stewed over creating a blog all winter long but it took a pep talk by an honest friend and the feeling that there was no better time than MY new year, to just go ahead and take the leap to launch.

In honor of the first day after the last day of school and new beginnings, I pulled together a few old favorites that always feel fresh and new for summer–pink peonies from the garden, my favorite summer purse and the best summer lip gloss  ever (Nars lip gloss in Orgasm–I swear it looks great on everybody). All I need now is a glass of wine and that sunset I mentioned earlier and summer has officially arrived. Cheers!