Making the Most of Summer … Starting With a Trip to Arizona!

Hello Fossil Creek Canyon! I think I will visit you, thank you very much ...

Hello Fossil Creek Canyon! I think I will visit you, thank you very much …

Hi friends!

Welcome officially to summer! I must admit something that I realize makes me relatively unpopular — I normally hate the summer. (My husband is either laughing or shaking his head right now. We have a running joke that he’s going to count the number of times I complain about summer this summer. If you’re reading this husband: This doesn’t count …)

I know, I know. Summer means visits to the beach and sleeping under the stars and spending hours outside in the sun. Problem is … when you live in New York City, it can be hard to fill your summer days with these activities, and if you instead end up spending most of those summer days within the confines of this concrete jungle (Jay-Z’s words, not mine), those days are actually nothing short of hot, sweaty and stinky.

I’m sorry, but it’s true. I have no illusions of what the city is like in the summer.

So my solution to my souring mood in the summer is to plan lots of exciting trips for this year. Next weekend my sister and I are heading to Bradley Beach while my sister-in-law (who’s visiting with her boyfriend from Australia … a wahoooo!!!) are in Boston, and then Chris and I fly out to Arizona to visit an old friend of mine for the long July 4th weekend.

In fact, said friend just sent me and Chris the itinerary for our trip. It includes a 4 a.m. wake-up call on July 4th so she and Chris can run this race, followed by a barbecue and swimming and lounging about with drinks in-hand. Then on Friday we’ll be heading to Strawberry, AZ, to hike Fossil Creek Canyon. I’m beyond excited for this outing … I just hope I can keep up with those two, who are, let’s say, slightly more in shape than I happen to be at the moment. Dinner Friday night will be in Old Town Scottsdale, which sounds lovely as well.

Needless to say, starting the summer out with some trips planned outside of the city makes me able to look forward to this season a bit more than I have in past years.

And speaking of trips … Chris and I have started working on what could potentially be some very exciting travel news in the upcoming months. I’m not going to share here just yet, since we’re only in the very beginning stages of planning, but let’s just say … I really, really hope we can make it all work! Promise to share more details as soon as we know more about what we’re actually doing.

Okay bis bald, friends! Hope you all have some amazingly fun plans for the summer, as well!

Photo courtesy of turnuptherad

P.S. Isn’t the tune for the Jersey Shore ads quite catchy? I kind of love it–go visit the Jersey Shore!

The Excitement of Upcoming Travel

Hi friends!

Well we’re firmly into the second quarter of 2013 here, and it’s time for me to start getting excited about some of the trips we have planned for the rest of the year.

So let’s see. For starters, my in-laws will be making their way to the U.S. the week after next, and Chris and I will be heading to London with them to watch Chris run the London Marathon:

100_6027^^A little flashback to when Steph and I first visited London back in 2010

Then, Chris and I booked a trip out to Arizona to visit an old friend of mine for the weekend of July 4th. Neither one of us has been before, so we’re super excited. We’re going to go camping and hiking, and visit Lake Powell and Havasu Falls:

images

September will be a big month for us, too. We’ll be heading to Australia to celebrate our wedding with Chris’s side of the family, and then taking a couple-day honeymoon to The Great Barrier Reef:

100_5405

^^A little memory from our last trip to Australia (written about here and here). That’s Shawn the Koala, the subject of my soon-to-written children’s book series. Seriously. It’s coming.

There will be another trip in September two weekends before Australia, but that’s super secret for now, as it’s a surprise trip in honor of Chris’s 30th birthday. Let’s just say—I’m super excited about it!

And that’s about it (for now)! Bis bald, friends! I’ll catch up with you again super soon …

A Camp Weekend at Rockywold, New Hampshire

Hi friends,

Okay, so this past weekend I headed upstate (it took us about 7 hours to get there, with traffic, on Friday!) to New Hampshire and Rockywold-Deephaven Campgrounds for my cousin Courtney’s wedding. The cabins and grounds here mostly surround the fabulous Squam Lake, which makes for an awesome time of fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming.

Which is exactly what we did:

Our 3-bedroom cabin came with a huge living room (where I slept!), a fireplace, a bathroom with shower and separate toilet room, and a kitchen and porches. Fabulous.

Our parents cabin was on the lake

A doc in the backyard? Yes, please!

Squam Lake

Canoeing

So Friday night, after arriving a little after 7 in a car full of strangers (who, by the way, all turned out to be totally rockin’!), we all quickly changed and headed over to the area where the barbecue was being held. And although it would have been awesome, the only thing that we weren’t able to do because of the weather for the entire weekend was a bonfire on Friday. I don’t think anyone missed it.

The happy couple addressing their adoring friends and family

Then Saturday, after a morning of canoeing and swimming and sunbathing and hiking, we all started getting ready for the 3:30 p.m. ceremony.

Now, getting married outside can be tricky business, right? But let me tell you something, this weather was specially tailored for Courtney and Charlie last weekend. The ceremony, held right on the lake, was breezy and beautiful, sunny and fabulous. Then, just about everyone got to take photos outside before it started pouring down rain. And even then, when the rain came, it stopped again right before we all had to head out to the place where the reception was.

Personal touches—like wooden direction signs made by Courtney and this chalkboard with all the ceremony info on it—really made the day belong to the couple.

Where the magic happened

Guests without seats stood on the porch for the ceremony, and everyone enjoyed a beer during the service

The bride looked beautiful, in a short, fitted strapless dress and hot pink sandal

So overall, I have to say that this campground is a fabulous place to get married, to bring your significant other, and even to bring the family. The kids in our family who joined in on the weekend festivities couldn’t have been happier.

Bis bald, friends! And get out there and go camping this summer!

We’re Back From Camp!

Who doesn't love a great lake?

As you may or may not remember, I headed a bit up North this past weekend (six hours up North, to be exact) to New Hampshire and Rockywold-Deephaven Camp on Squam Lake for my cousin’s wedding. Well I’m back—and it was awesome! I haven’t had a chance to download photos yet (and unfortunately my camera batteries were acting up, so I don’t have that many photos at all), but I’ll tell you this much—there was hiking, and fishing, and lake swimming, and canoeing.

All in all, a pretty fun time.

More details to follow soon, friends!

Bis bald.

A Camp Wedding Tomorrow!

I'm off—to a camp wedding

Alright friends, I’m off tomorrow morning to Rockywold-Deephaven Camps in New Hampshire for my cousin Courtney’s nuptials. If we are lucky enough to get fabulous weather, it appears there will be a lot of drinking by the lake, smores, campfires, games, and general merriment all around.

Update and photos on Monday!

Have a great weekend, friends!