Summer of ’19 Memories

Happy Labor Day, y’all! While I’m usually sad to see this day come as it typically symbolizes the end of long summer days, this year, I’m eager for the season ahead. But before we jump right into fall (y’all, fall does not begin until September 23!!), I thought it would be nice to take a moment to reminisce on the sweetness of this summer. It was full of celebrations, love, adventure and of course, sunshine!

In June, we started our summer off by taking a quick trip to the beach. Jody and I spent a few hours that morning in the sand and spent the afternoon looking for a few more winter clothing items that we could pack for our vacation to Alaska. It was a great way to relax a bit before our busy month!

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Since we had spent the weekend before celebrating my dad’s retirement with a surprise party (I still can’t believe I forgot to take pictures!),  I opted for a low-key birthday celebration at a new tapas restaurant that I had been dying to try. We enjoyed cocktails and sharing some small plates, before returning home for another glass of rose, presents and birthday cake that Jody himself had made! Even though it was low-key, it was such a great night celebrating turning 26 with my best friend!

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Later that week, my best gal from college and her husband were on the shore for a wedding, so we met them for lunch. After enjoying an entire plate of raw oysters (I mean is there anything better than ice-cold oysters on a hot summer day?!), we had time to stop by Cascia Vineyards, which the four of us had tried to visit during one of their last visits to the shore! Even just a few hours with the girl is so good for the soul.

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Jody and I spent the last week of June in Washington State and Alaska for our family vacation cruising through the Inside Passage. We were blessed with such beautiful weather throughout the entire trip, and Jody and I especially enjoyed our two days in Seattle, as well. You can read more about our trip to Alaska here and here, and stay tuned for a recap of our time in Seattle, coming soon!

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Thanks to both of us having July 4th and 5th off of work, we headed to Richmond for a long weekend of visiting friends and family. Jody and I enjoyed visiting with his dad, brother, and friends, and even had time for a stop at the local winery, James River Cellars. It was the first time I had done a tasting there since we lived in Richmond, and even though I enjoyed it, the best part was the wine slushy — you can’t beat it on a hot summer day!

The main point of our visit was as sweet as it gets. Our friends, the Whiteners, are expecting and hosted a gender reveal party that weekend. Sticking with the patriotic summer theme, we enjoyed hot dogs and burgers before they crushed a watermelon, filled with paint to symbolize the baby’s gender. Jody and I had both guess that the baby was a boy, so we were all surprised when we saw that it’s a girl! To add to the excitement, Austin and Leeanne had also asked us to be baby girl’s godparents! We are so honored and can’t wait for her arrival this fall!

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One afternoon, my friend Ashley texted me “Want to go berry picking?”. So an hour later, we were filling our baskets with the juiciest blueberries! Although we had to fight off some bees, mosquitos, and horseflies, it was a fun, spontaneous afternoon picking fresh berries. I ended up freezing most of them to use in recipes this fall!

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It was such a hot summer, but I still wanted to reach my goal of walking 10,000 steps every day, so I rose with the sun to get in a walk in before the heat of the day was too overwhelming. Often, I was greeted with a hazy view like this when I walked to the river. While I joke that I woke up earlier this summer than I usually do during the school year, I am proud that I have reached or exceeded my goal of walking 10,000 steps every day since July 10th!

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As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, my mom was named Teacher of the Year for our district for the 2019-2020 school year. One of the festivities that this honor includes is a gala held at Martins West, which is an exquisite banquet hall in Baltimore. We spent several days this summer trying on dresses for the gala and while I haven’t decided what gown I’ll wear, she found hers! I can’t wait for the celebration in October! E4E4513D-508A-409A-85BC-A35147F4CF5A

Every summer, Triple Creek Winery holds their annual Chesapeake Bay Balloon and Wine Festival, and for the first time since Jody and I moved to Maryland, we were finally able to attend! It was as hot as could be but we enjoyed relaxing in the grass and sipping on chilled wine as we watched the hot air balloons! My sister, Madison, was even home before she moved to Baltimore for school, so it was a plus to spend time with her at the festival, too! It was such a fun event and we can’t wait to go again next summer!

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I shared this picture on Instagram, but I had the best beach day earlier in August. Instead of driving an hour to the Delaware beaches, I decided to make the much shorter drive to Oxford, and give their little beach a go. Y’all, it was such a good day. Since I went by myself, I spent almost five hours laying on the beach reading “The Secret to Southern Charm” (the perfect beach read, I might add!), getting up occasionally to walk along the water. I’m hoping to squeeze in one or two more days in Oxford before the weather gets too cool!

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Nothing says summer quite like peaches! While all of my peaches rotted before having a chance to make peach cobbler this summer, they did brighten my kitchen for the week they were there. I also enjoyed strolling through the farmer’s market and seeing all of the fresh produce. Summertime has the best produce!

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After months of trying to find a weekend that worked for both of our work schedules and wasn’t too outrageously expensive, I was finally able to fly to Colorado to spend a long weekend with my gal, Amber and her husband, Kendall. It was the first time I saw either of them in eight months, so I was so excited to be able to make the trip before the school year started again. Unfortunately, Jody wasn’t able to make the trip this time, but I can’t wait for him to join me the next time we visit.

After flying in Friday evening, Amber and I went out for drinks and dinner before heading to her apartment. We even made a stop at Target to buy Taylor Swift’s new album, which we spent the entire weekend listening to. She and Kendall took me hiking to St. Mary’s Glacier, before having a late lunch in Idaho Springs. It was wild how it was 85 degrees in Denver, but had dropped to 54 by the time we made it to the mountain — I was so glad I brought a long sleeve shirt with me! Later that evening, Amber and I went bar hopping downtown, including a stop at 54thirty, which was the prettiest rooftop bar I’ve ever been to, with the most breathtaking view of the sun setting over the Rockies.

We spent most of the day Sunday eating and drinking our way through Denver. After a few stops at local cideries and wineries (and one really bad game of Jenga later), we decided to go to their favorite ramen restaurant for dinner. We ended the evening watching “The Office”, and I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend before an incredibly busy work week! I’m so grateful for this gal’s friendship (and thanks Kendall for dealing with us!) and I cannot wait to visit her again!CBE1D4D4-D37B-4EE0-B4DC-EFD4DB2B43412D16CC4D-0E44-4387-8C4E-37FDA5B1E0ADE731946A-6B84-441D-8E4D-6279A597F4081993BA4B-6049-4145-A9E6-D4A90451CD80F131E224-3A02-4276-B75B-787504855682

And of course, no Maryland summer is complete without crabs. While we loved the King Crab legs we had in Alaska, nothing compares to picking crabs in the backyard with a cold drink and family. So tonight, we are ending this part of summer with burgers and crabs — hopefully with enough meat leftover to use all winter long!

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