Reviewing my summer

summer flowersWith just three weeks left of summer (by my definition, summer ends on Labor Day), it seems like perfect timing to review my summer design and renew (or relinquish) my summer goals.  

  • Take a day trip to a new location each week that doesn’t involve some other sort of travel

Day trips happened this summer… but other varieties of travel happened much more frequently.  Looking back through my planner, I see that Caleb and I were really only home in Providence for a weekend, and therefore had little opportunity for local adventures.  In June, we were gone every weekend (!!!) for weddings, his family’s vacation, and my sister’s Bachelorette weekend.  We were home the first weekend in July and went to Little Compton, where we visited a historic house, shopped at a local farm stand, and ate at the town’s Portuguese diner.   On the fourth of July, I checked out a new (to me) RI beach with some girlfriends and we enjoyed the Providence fireworks for the first time.  The rest of July’s weekends were occupied by a trip to Ohio and work-related service trips, and the first half of August was spent backpacking in California.

No wonder it has felt like summer has flown by!  Caleb is in Ohio visiting his family this weekend, and I’m using the time alone to catch up on the myriad of details that went neglected during my last four weeks of travel.  We have friends visiting the next two weekends, and I hope to explore some new towns while they are here.  And I’m making a commitment to taking a day trip with Caleb over Labor Day weekend, to end the summer with a flourish.

  • Eat/drink on the deck/patio of a new (to us) restaurant each non-traveling week

Thanks in large part to Providence Restaurant Week, we ate, drank and were merry at many new and fantastic places this summer.  During restaurant week, we went to Parkside Rotisserie, Waterman Grille and The Providence Oyster Bar.  Though we didn’t eat on the patio of any of these locations, we did grab drinks or eats on the patios of Whiskey Republic, Tallulah’s Taqueria and Point Tavern.  Other new restaurants/pubs/bars that we tried this summer were Tokyo and Eastside Pockets.

Growing up, my family almost never went out to eat, due to the expense and my parents’ frugality.  Admittedly, I feel a twinge of guilt when I think about how much C and I splurge on eating out, particularly because I know that we can afford to eat out largely because my parents were so frugal and therefore have been able to help us financially (ahem…college).  But… I also just love going out on date nights so much.  Between experiencing new environments and eating delicious food, it truly is one of my favorite activities.  For now, suffice it to say, these conflicting feelings are something I will just have to grapple with.

  • Talk to an old friend on the phone/facetime/skype every week

I have NOT done well with this goal.  Aside from catching up with my two best friends from when I studied abroad, I haven’t communicated with old friends at all.  I’m modifying the goal for the last three weeks of summer: talk to five old friends.  If I can manage to do that, I’ll call this goal accomplished.

  • Write one blog post each week

Miraculously, I kept up with this goal, aside from the weeks that I was sans computer (i.e. the past three weeks).  Go me.

  • Complete a few projects that have been on my list for ages:
    • Learn how to use Caleb’s camera
    • Create a photo wall to display recently taken pictures
    • Complete a writing project
    • Buy and fill in a birthday calendar
    • Hang artwork that has accumulated

I’m still determined to complete these projects.  And I’m thinking that tomorrow might be the day for at least two (maybe one and a half) of them.  I volunteer for a crisis hotline and am on tomorrow’s 24 hour shift, so I will be essentially homebound.  What a great opportunity to hang artwork, write, and read about DSLR cameras.  Ready, set, go!