When I decided to quit my job this past June and leave for a round-the-world trip in late August, I expected to have a lot of time to prepare and relax. My flight is in a matter of days now and I can’t say I feel I’ve accomplished either of these goals. I have, however, had the best summer ever and have gone on a full-on farewell tour. You’ve read June, but here’s my round-up of July.
July 4th was spent with my best friend/cousin/soulmate, Kimmy Cunningham. We’ve all heard of love at first sight, but have you ever heard of it when meeting a family member at one year old? That’s Kimmy and me. She’s my lobster. Kimmy has been living in the Southwest while I was in Boston, so our time together is always limited.
We had a great time over Independence Day, despite the terrible, non-stop down-pouring. We spent the day with my other cousins, aunt, and uncle playing an old family card game called 6-7-8-9-10, which is similar to gin but with different rounds and requirements. After the day had come and gone without a break in the rain, in a fit of absolute stir-craziness, we ran down to the Atlantic and sprinted into the freezing cold water and then up to the pool, which felt like a bathtub comparatively.
The next days were gorgeous and we were able to get some new freckles while gossiping endlessly. It was, in hindsight, the most relaxing weekend of my whole summer.
Early on in the spring, my stepdad told me he wanted us to take a bike ride together along the Lake Champlain. The ride is called The Causeway and it starts in Burlington, VT. So on July 10th, Steve picked me up halfway from Boston and we drove up to Burlington, which, despite it’s proximity, I’ve never really spent time in. We rode the 18 miles and stopped to enjoy the view several times. It felt like a secret gem I never knew existed and I was totally charmed by Burlington. I even got to try some Hill Farmstead Beer and walk around the numerous shops and buy gear for my trip. After dinner in town, we drove back to my mom’s house in Southern Vermont. I got to swim in our pond and eat dinner on our deck overlooking acres of land. Their house is my favorite place on Earth, and you can probably see why.
July 18th was my third annual “Brown House Weekend”. One thing you should know about me is that my mother is one of seven children and that all of her siblings like having kids. That means that I have over 25 cousins on one side… and that’s before marriage is even factored into things. Yep – we’re huge! Anyways, my family rents out a very old, somewhat dilapidated house to business school students during the year. Every summer this house is open for my family members to use. The whole point of going is to spend time swimming, kayaking, rope swinging, and relaxing on the Connecticut River. This year, we accomplished all of those things and more. Getting to share this place with friends is a treat and we spend the entire weekend outdoors. We have taken up the title of “Laziest Group Ever,” since we pretty much just float on tubes for two days straight.
The next weekend was my second time attending the Newport Folk Festival in some capacity. (If you haven’t caught on to this already, I have some really solid hook-ups and this weekend might be the absolute best one.) My sister’s fiancé, Jake, owns a 45-foot sailboat which sleeps 7 people. Last year was the first time we put this boat to use to attend what was become named “Newport Float Fest.” This year, we bought tickets to the Friday set to see Jenny Lewis, Band of Horses, and Ryan Adams (who, as it turns out, makes a habit of swearing in front of children) and went on land before spending the remaining time on the boat.
For the floating portion, we parked pretty much straight-on, facing the show’s main stage so that we could see the video screen and hear all the music clearly. If it were up to me, I’d spend all concerts in this exact situation. I love going to live shows, but it seems like I’m always next to the most obnoxious people in the room. I’ll gladly take the distance if it means I can have my own space. As an extra bonus, my sister mounted a hammock on the bow, which was the envy of all other boats. Despite the borderline motion sickness it gave me due to the windy conditions, I was on cloud nine for the whole day.
Sleeping on a boat is an absolute trip. My sister, who has been known to have motion sickness every now and then, was able to pull it off for a six week-long boat trip, so I figured I could do it too. I kept those seasickness bracelets with weights on the whole time and kept the overhead window open so whenever I woke up I could see the stars and remember where I was.
August has been jam-packed as well. More to come!