Tag Archives: summer

Menorca, Spain

I had to turn the heat on in my house today because it was so cold I couldn’t feel the tip of my nose.  While I waited for the radiators to heat up so I could lean against them and get warm, I flipped through the photo album from our summer trip to Menorca. 

Beaches and sunshine — even just in photos  — made me warmer.

Menorca is an island off the coast of Spain, the less-well-known sister to Ibiza and Mallorca. 

Quaint and relaxed and pristine, this was one of the most ruggedly beautiful places we’ve been. 

With a pool in the back yard of our fantastic Airbnb and two beaches within a five-minute walk from our house, this quick 4-day trip was all about relaxation. 

But because we can’t sit still for four straight days, it was also about kayaking and snorkeling and catamaran trips.

We sailed around the island on a big catamaran, jumped off the boat and explored hidden coves, fed the seagulls and the fish. 

My children took turns steering the boat.

The kids had never been snorkeling before, but we bought everyone fins and masks before the trip and they took to it, well, like fish to water. 

Fearless and curious, they swam around the coves and beaches in shallow pools and in water 20+ feet deep, searching out cool fish and crazy rock formations. 

A little octopus, maybe a foot across stretched out tentacle-to-tentacle made an appearance at the beach one day, wrapping himself around Matt’s shin to announce his presence, and for twenty minutes we all followed him and his swirling progress across the ocean floor, just amazed and mesmerized.

White sandy beaches surrounded by rocky cliffs.  Crystal clear water and nothing but sunshine for days on end. 

All the seafood we could eat. 

We baked in the sunshine, read books on the beach, climbed the rocks, and swam in the sea.  

We threw ourselves into the Spanish lifestyle, eating dinner at 9PM. 

Not all of us made it to dessert every night.

Whenever it’s cold this winter, when it’s rainy and windy and raw and damp and the chill gets in my bones and I just can’t get warm, I’ll look back on this trip and remember the perfect sun and it will get me through.

Menorca was amazing.  You should go.

A New School Year

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After a summer well-spent, we’re back to school.  Thank goodness!  We loved our break, we fully relaxed and enjoyed ourselves and we took an amazing 2.5 week trip back to America, but after 10 weeks off, every last one of us was in need of some structure and time apart.

Summer vacation is always lovely and much-needed, but by the end of August the kids have had too much togetherness and they can’t go thirty minutes without bickering.  They’re sick of each other and they need to see their friends.  I’m done with making snacks and lunches and reminding them to clean up after themselves and mediating arguments over stupid things.  I’m tired of spending hundreds of dollars on food every week only to have them all descend like locusts and eat it all in a day, or be told that, despite the full pantry and fridge, there’s nothing to eat. 

We were all ready for school to start.  Clearly.

back-to-school-yay

The children go into this year in a completely different frame of mind compared to last fall.  No longer the new kids, no longer unsure what to expect, they were all counting down the days in anticipation of getting back.  Unlike years past, they were truly excited to be starting back in school.  They couldn’t wait to see their friends, get started on their sports teams, find out which teachers they have for what subjects, compare holiday adventures, and get back into the swing of it all.

I am also excited, because, like the kids, I’m no longer doing things for the first time, unsure of how it will all go.  It felt lovely to walk into the school yesterday morning and greet so many familiar faces, to chat about the summer holidays and upcoming sports matches, to arrange coffee dates with other moms.  I think I’m looking forward to this year even more than the kids.

With a full year behind us and at least that long ahead of us, we’re in a groove and I like it.  Long may it last!


Also, the first day of school last year when my baby went off and left me, and an ode to Back to School.


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British Summer

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School doesn’t get out until July 6th.  The temperature here hovers in the high 60s, maybe low 70s.  The sun makes rare appearances, but we’ve had at least a little bit of rain most days.  And I have yet to don a pair of shorts, not even once.  Beach weather, this is not.

The term “British Summer” seems to be an oxymoron.  It doesn’t feel like summer here.

Living in D.C., you get hot and humid summers, the kind that make me retreat into the air conditioned house and peruse real estate listings in cooler climates.  I don’t miss the 90+ degree temps or the 80% humidity that made the air feel thick and heavy.

But it doesn’t feel like summer here, no matter what the calendar says.

I’ll take 68 degrees over 98 degrees every day of the week, every month of the year.  But I’d love just one 80-degree day with the sun shining, if only to finally break out a pair of shorts and get some color on my pasty white legs.

I’m holding out hope that when July arrives, some warm and sunny days arrive with it.  But I’m definitely not complaining — British summer is vastly better than D.C. summer, and God knows I’ve spent the last decade loudly announcing my hatred for the heat of July and August in D.C.

I just want a tan on my legs. 


Also, we did find a beach in England last summer, and the biggest thing we’re missing about summer at home.


 

Summer Fun

fathers day_md crabs

Every summer, the kids and I make a list of things we want to do over vacation.  Some of them are big events (go to Boston) and some of them are smaller in scale (go to the movies).  But we always make one and try to check off as many items on our “To Do” list as possible before school starts in the fall. (Because, let’s be honest, for me, a list always makes everything better!)

This year, we didn’t make one because we didn’t think we’d be here for much of the summer.

Now, it turns out we will be here, for MOST of the summer.  And so we’re making our list.

I asked each of the kids to give me their top choices for summer fun activities, and here’s what we’ve got:

Go To The Movies

Go To The Library

Watch the whole Star Wars movie series

Go To A Baseball Game

Have a Crab Feast

Go for a Family Bike Ride

Go into DC for a day and see the monuments

Go to the National Zoo

Make it to All-Stars in Swimming

I love it!  Some big things, some small, but all doable.  In fact, we’ve already checked a few off the list.  I think we can easily get all these in before school rolls around, and then we can look back and say that summer was, officially, a success.

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