As school sessions begin and vacations for everyone end, it seems like the phrase, “summer just seems to fly by,” is used more frequently than “at the end of the day…” While I agree that it doesn’t seem too long ago that I was making the drive back home, fresh off the heels of Elon’s commencement festivities, I notice that I tend to overlook or forget about the fun things I did throughout the season. Here are some of the highlights that made the summer of 2015 special.
Milestone: I graduated from college!
Book(s) I read: Summer in the City by Candace Bushnell
PA/ Baltimore/Philadelphia: Toward the end of the month, I visited my aunt, uncle, and three cousins in Wyomissing, PA (hometown of Taylor Swift and neighboring town of the infamous Kate sans Jon plus 8). I had such a great time catching up with them and we were even able to make a day trip to the Baltimore Aquarium, which was a ton of fun. Needless to say, I perfected the art of taking group selfies with the abundance of fish…and my cousins, too. Later that week, we drove into Philadelphia, where my mom was on a business trip. I had never been to the city that was supposedly ‘always sunny’ (FYI, it was overcast BOTH days I was there), none the less, I was able to cross off a bucket list item: running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, just like Rocky. I even made my cousins run up with me (they’re more spry than I am, so they beat me by a few paces) and proceeded to play the Rocky theme song on my phone. Surprisingly enough, there were many other people running up the steps, too—I guess tourists fly together? Anyway, Philadelphia was an awesome city. After visiting the six-story Anthropologie on Walnut Street, who wouldn’t want to move there?
Book(s) I read: Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close / The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Lake Time: It’s safe to say that July was definitely the most memorable month of the season, primarily because it was action packed. My older (and only) brother Michael’s birthday falls on July 4, so he and a few of his friends came up to our family’s lake house for the holiday weekend. Although their visit lasted for a short 3 ½ days, we had a lot of laughs and fun times on the boat and hanging out at the house. My Wyomissing cousins also visited later in the month, which was such a blast. Before making the trek down there, we all visited the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center, a.k.a. the other National Air and Space Museum. Living in Smithsonian territory, I have had my fair share of museum visits and in my opinion, the old planes and rockets inside the museum, as well as its proximity to Dulles Airport, make it a more exciting attraction than the one in D.C. The museum also has a few interactive rides—one that resulted in my cousin Emma and me screaming so loud, the attendant asked if we were okay when the ride ended. Ah, good times.
Bike Rides: Staying with the Americana theme of July, a fun fact about me is that I am from the Washington, D.C. area, if this wasn’t already made apparent from my tangent about the Smithsonian. While going into the city isn’t a rarity, I love paying visits to our nation’s capitol. In July, my dad and I decided to bring our bikes into the city and ride around the paths by the National Mall. In theory this was a good idea, but in reality, I haven’t ridden a bike since the seventh grade. I proved the idiom “it’s like riding a bike” to be a load of nonsense. It wasn’t a pretty sight and I’m sure there were a bunch of tourists laughing at me, but c’est la vie, am I right?
Boston: I think I need to point out that Good Will Hunting is my favorite movie of all time—for this reason, I have been in love with Boston. However, until mid July, I hadn’t ever been to Beantown. My interest in Boston/Cambridge/Harvard began when I was eight years old and my dad took me to see Legally Blonde when it was in theaters. In college, my obsession with the adjacent cities and Harvard only deepened. I even signed up to receive breaking news published by The Harvard Crimson, so that I could receive the latest news from Harvard’s yard to mine. You see? I’m all about that Veritas. So naturally, the first stop we made was in Cambridge where I nearly tagged along an undergrad tour of Harvard (cue: SHE DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE) and hyperventilated (in a good way) when I stepped foot in the Harvard Book Store and saw shelves of hardcover Penguin Classics. We only stayed in Cambridge for the afternoon, but even as we drove over the bridge to Boston, I felt like the city was subliminally singing “Baby Come Back” to me. But I digress. The two big attractions were the Red Sox/Yankee game, where we toured the stadium and even got to see batting practice. My family bleeds pinstripe blue and white, so we obviously rooted for the Yankees, despite the fact that my mom and I wore Red Sox shirts to the game—we were the Benedict Arnolds of our family picture. That Saturday, we, along with our family friends, attended the U2 concert at TD Garden. IT. WAS. AMAZING. I’m a huge U2 fan and ever since I got the How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb CD in 2004 for Christmas, I’ve been a true fan girl. Bono and The Edge performed exceptionally well and aesthetically, it was a great show. I mean they played With Or Without You live…could it get any better? No, no it can’t.
Book(s) I read: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen / In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner / Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Ikea Room Reno: Since I’ve temporarily moved back home, I decided that my bedroom needed a well-deserved furniture renovation. In terms of style, my taste hasn’t changed dramatically since high school; however, between the old vanity and twin-sized bed in my room, I felt like I had moved back to a space that suited my high school self. At Ikea, I purchased a few items, including a full sized bed, a white desk, and a bookshelf. I’m still in the process of redecorating my room, but I’ll be sure to post pictures of it after I’ve completed my room renovation.
Old Friends, New Adventures: One of the most difficult realities of post grad life is not having my closest friends around to do things with on a daily basis. I met my best friends in college, so it’s definitely been a weird adjustment since most of us live in different cities. However, I was thrilled when my friend Mackenzie, who works as a reporter in North Carolina, drove up to D.C. for a visit. We went shopping in Georgetown and were on a quest to find the best pastries on M Street. I kid you not, we went to Sprinkles, Georgetown Cupcake, Dean and Deluca, and Olivia Macaron. We also went to the taping of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption (our friend interned there), where we got to meet Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon. As the saying goes, “we came, I fan girled, we conquered.” Mackenzie and I even got to take a picture with them. Don’t they look enthused to be in our presence?
Later that day, we and our friend Raj, (the intern) went to dinner at my favorite restaurant in D.C., Café Milano. While we were only able to see each other for the day, I had so much fun seeing Mackenzie. Although we’ve only been finished with school for a few months, it’s nice to be able to make new, post grad memories.
Book(s) I read: Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky /The Smart One by Jennifer Close
This summer has certainly been an adjustment period filled with a lot of mixed emotions. While it can sometimes be unsettling not knowing what’s to come next, I am so excited for the future and the fun adventures I’ve yet to embark on.