I’m always up for an adventure, but what is it about the rising temperatures that make you wanna get out of town? Maybe it’s the nostalgia of summer vacation: being out of school, no responsibilities (lololol, remember when we thought we had “responsibilities” at the ripe old age of thirteen?), nothing but freedom and long days and sunshine for two solid months. We’ve got a few things planned this summer (starting next month), and then we go-go-go until late August.
Summertime is always the best of what might be.
It’s actually just hit me that we’re basically hitting the four corners of the United States this summer. Honestly, until I just reviewed the list of places we’re heading, it hadn’t dawned on me. One of my lifetime goals is to visit all fifty states, and I’m adding a new one this summer. I’d like to hit the Northeast (Massachusetts, Vermont, etc.) this fall, but I’ll save that for the fall travel list, of course.
That’s right! In a month, we’re heading back to Alaska. If you remember (and if you don’t, click here), we originally went up to Alaska in August/September of last year to shoot a set of engagement pictures. The bride is one of Dale’s old students from his teaching days, and now, it’s time for their beautiful wedding.
Oh, right, and this happened the last time we were in Alaska.
I’m so excited for this vacation, y’all. We’re heading north for a big, beautiful Pakistani wedding, and I’ve been scouring the internet for something wonderful to wear. Plus, we’re there during summer solstice, which means the sun will (just barely) dip below the horizon for about fifteen minutes … and other than that, the sun is up the entire time. I need to do some research on this … wasn’t there an Al Pacino movie about this, and he ends up going insane? On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t research it.
Tampa Bay, Florida
When we were on our honeymoon, we were fortunate enough to meet and click with two different couples: one from Florida and one from the UK. We decided pretty quickly that our travels in the next year would include trips to see our new friends, so to get started, we booked a flight to go see our Tampa Bay folks over Fourth of July weekend. In addition to seeing Carson and Alex, I get to show Dale my old stomping grounds (if you’re one of the original blog readers, you’ll remember I used to live in downtown St. Pete). I imagine things have probably changed since then — I mean, it was almost twelve years ago (gag) — but I can’t wait to wander around with nostalgia. I used to love a tea company on the water in downtown St. Pete. At that time, it was called The Hooker Tea Co., but I believe it was bought by a larger company. In any case, they serve a Mayan Mate green tea that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
Aloha, Maui! I’ve never been to Hawaii, except for in my mind when I read the Babysitters Club Super Special, Aloha Babysitters (anyone else? I want to visit the Dole Pineapple farm because of this book. Those damn babysitters got the best vacation ever). We’re taking a group trip with our friend Amanda and her two daughters. We haven’t nailed down all the specifics yet, except to say that we agree that we could all use a week of nothingness on the beach in early August. By that time, my friend Max will be settled into her new digs on the islands, so I’ll have a friend to visit as well.
Albany/Troy, New York
Yep, back to upstate New York! We went last year to visit Dale’s best friend, fellow photographer and best man, JP, plus his wife, Kris Ann, and their daughter Helene. No offense to JP or Kris Ann, but Helene is my main reason for visiting. She’s probably the funniest kid I’ve ever met, and not in the kid-funny sense. She is an objectively funny person, grownups included. We went up last year for Travers at Saratoga Springs, their Kentucky-Derby-of-the-Northeast horse race. This time, though, we have a larger group of people coming (stemming from downing a few cocktails at the WPPI Conference in February and booking the flights together).
my new friend Victoria (left) was kind enough to let me choose one of her fascinators to borrow for the race
We had the best time together last year. JP and Kris Ann have this incredible old house (the sort of house you have in my mind when you think of upstate New York — the wood floors, the giant baseboards), and even in August, we slept with the windows open and woke up to a cool breeze. It’s some of the best sleep I’ve gotten as an adult. Our Albany vacation last year was almost like staying at a B&B (thanks, Kris Ann), and we relaxed like we were on the clock for it. We definitely didn’t want to leave last summer, and I don’t think that will change on this trip.
We’ve got a lot going on this summer, and that isn’t even including Dale’s closer-to-home weddings and our remaining concerts. It will be a busy summer, but an exciting one. I’m absolutely giddy about escaping the landlocked Arkansas humidity for two cooler climates (!!) and two beach locations. Let the countdown to summer begin!
Bonus points for making it this far:
Go to my latest Instagram post and tell me what your summer plans are, followed by the sunshine emoji, and I’ll pick two of you for some Starbucks love!