Saturday, August 31, 2013

Summer Recap - 2013

Summer has flown by. And here I sit, in a beautiful home in Brant Beach, NJ (part of Long Beach Island), reflecting on all I've done in the last few months. I am happy to report that I have accomplished many of my summer goals. While I have MUCH blogging to do in the coming weeks and months, I figured I'd 'check in' and give you an update on my summer bucket list.

1. Readington Balloon Festival
Mom and I woke up one Sunday morning at around 5am to make it to the festival by the time the balloons were due to take off. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get up the morning prior, because the clouds were much more appealing, but we are still glad we went.

2) Peach Festival (NJ)
An annual family tradition includes going to the Annual Peach Festival, held at the Chester Presbyterian Church. It's one of those "you-have-to-be-there" kind of experiences, because while there are peach treats, it's so much more about the "white elephant" they have, where peoples' donated wares are sold. I only took pictures with my iPhone b/c it was rainy, but we went anyway. I was glad to have friends come along, as has become a tradition the past few years.

The ad on the church's website

Dessert tent, complete with peach ice cream, cobbler, sweetened and unsweetened peaches,
and homemade whipped cream

Yummy peach kuchen 
Peaches, ice cream, and whipped cream

A great poetry book I got for $.50
3) Peach Festival (Peddler's Village)
It is with sadness that I report that the Peach Festival in Peddler's Village was very disappointing. I guess I'll just stick to my small-town fun. My dear friend Rikki came to visit for my birthday, which happened to be the weekend of this peach festival. We drove through the countryside to get to Lahaska, PA, and were excited to walk around and enjoy the festivities. While there was a pie eating contest, peach melba, and fresh peaches being sold, we were disappointed to find out there wasn't much more. No ice cream, no pies, no other peach desserts, yet it's advertised to be a Peach Festival. We had a good time nevertheless, and enjoyed a beautiful day in August.

4) Go to the Philadelphia Zoo
While I have not yet gotten to the zoo, I plan to go before fall comes to a close.

5) Go to PA local parks I've not yet been to
I went and did a maternity session at Peace Valley Park. We took photos near the Nature Center, and then drove to another location, close to the lake that runs through the park. I have a photo session in September at Ridley State Park, so I am excited to go there as well. There are still many more parks I'd like to go to, but it's been fun being outside a lot more this past summer.

6) Have a picnic dinner with friends
When my friend Rikki was in town for the weekend of my birthday, we had a modified picnic in a (small) park in town. While we cheated a bit (getting subs from Wawa), we had a great time laughing with one another and enjoying a nice evening. It was a wonderful way to spend my birthday. We left as soon as the mosquitos realized we were their dinner for the evening.

7) Take my nephews on their birthday dates
I regretfully admit I didn't get a chance to do this, BUT we DID have a 'date night' last weekend. We went to Wendy's for dinner, Dairy Queen for dessert, and then went back to their house to watch the movie '42', complete with popcorn. Yes, we had a very healthy evening. :-)

8) Eat as much potato and macaroni salad as possible, and drink sweet tea
All I have to say is this has been been a success. My mom has made numerous batches of her famous potato salad, and what's most ironic about her salad is that it's such a basic potato salad - potatoes, mayo, some slices of hard boiled eggs, and some salt, pepper, and onion powder. I've also had my fair share of iced tea, lemonade, and summer drinks.

9) Get to the NJ beaches at least once
I am VERY happy to say I am AT the beach RIGHT NOW!! I am sitting at the kitchen table of this beautiful home we rented for the week. While I wish I could stay all week, I'll be heading back to PA on Tuesday, as I have to go back to work. But it'll be nice to enjoy at least a few days with my family.
I took some pictures today (day one):

10) Attend a free music night in the park and then get ice cream
I had high hopes of going to Bristol, PA - a town who puts on outdoor concerts, but I didn't make it there. I did, however, eat a lot of ice cream.....haha!!

It was fun keeping a 'bucket list' this summer, and I'm glad I could do so much. It's sad that summer is over, but I am excited to usher in the fall. I can't WAIT to pick apples, enjoy the changing of the leaves, travel to see friends, pick pumpkins, drink caramel apple cider at Starbucks, and start wearing my down vests.
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