So it is summer time and that means holidays and vacation time. Unfortunately for me I am stranded on Cancer Island! I have never been grounded before (aside from my last 2 months of pregnancy) and I have always gone somewhere wonderful and fun ever since I was a little girl. However as I am in treatment my plans will consist of a visit to Kitchen Island (AKA my house) with some little trips to the cabin here and there. It also really irritates me that I can’t jump on a plane to go and provide some much needed emotional support to Captain AC. I am happy to report that the Captain is doing very well but it is always nice to have someone to laugh with, share a glass of wine or talk about those fears that always seem to creep up when you are on your own in the dark of night. And I wish I could be that person to sit there, hold her hand and just listen.
So seeing as this bird ain’t doing any flying anytime soon, I must live vicariously through my past summers and the memories that really stand out for me.
For many years as a child, my family would pack up our station wagon to the brim and do the days long drive down to Maine on the east coast of the States. We always stayed at the same hotel by Wells Beach and it was a truly idealic time. As soon as the car was parked and the bags taken upstairs, I would run straight for the pool and spend hours perfecting my hands stands, showing off my syncro moves and doing laps until I was truly water-logged. It was also the only few weeks of the year I was allowed to eat sugary cereal and would eat giant bowls of Lucky Charms and Captain Crunch all day. It was also the time I discovered my entrepreneurial side as I began an avid can collecting business along the beach which I used to buy candy and ice cream at the beach shop. I think it made it all taste even sweeter knowing I had earned it all myself. And my last favorite holiday memory? Fresh lobster sandwiches sold in stalls by the beach – fresh, warm and fluffy white rolls stuffed to the brim with lobster meat and smothered in melted butter and lemon. Does it get any better than this??
As inspired by the National Lampoons European Vacation, my family also embarked on our first European summer vacation when I was 6 and it was an adventure. Five people crammed into a small car over a few weeks could test anyone’s patience but we did have a good time. The highlights – eating shoebox lunches on a freezing cold beach in Northern England and tasting Bacon crisps for the first time; the Remus and Romulus sculpture in the Louvre; my dad bribing us kids to try a mussel in the South of France (I don’t think any of us were brave enough to try); the Punks in London with the Mohawks and safety pin t-shirts; and watching a man fish out an octopus from the docks in Nice. It was a real experience of a lifetime for a little six year old and there are many things that I still remember like they happened yesterday. And what it made so special was that we did it all together.
More recently, my husband and I went on a baby-moon a few months before our daughter was born. We jetted off to the Canary Islands for a week of sun, sand and good food. It an amazing time and we really used the time to do things we would struggle to do on later holidays. Eating dinner past 7pm, playing mini golf, going for walks late at night by the sea, and enjoying the silence! It was a wonderful adieu to our old life of being just the two of us and also allowed us to find some solace to plan for our new life with our little monkey.
Though I have been lucky enough to have travelled to many places throughout my 31 years of life and had some truly amazing summers, I do think some of the best ones I have had were at home. Be it biking to the local pool every day and being the definition of a “pool rat” or having marathon monopoly sessions in the basement when the rain came down with my best friends. I guess it is the people around you that make the difference and maybe not so much the surroundings at the end of the day. So even though I am stuck at home this summer, I am fortunate to have some amazing people around me to make it memorable. So now that I have leant to never take time for granted again, I am living in the moment and rockin’ it in Kitchen Island this year – bald head and all!
What are your favorite memories of summer past and present?
“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.” Celia Thaxter
Happy summer everyone,