With the start of summer right around the corner on Friday, I keep thinking about all the things I want to do before July 30th which is technically the end to my summer.
Ever since I got my first job junior year of high school, I haven’t really had the opportunity to enjoy my summers. (Ok, let’s just forget about the fact that I’ve been to Peru twice during my summers since then, and had multiple family vacations at the beach…) I have had a full-time job every summer, plus various volunteering gigs, appointments, and obligations. With working all the time, I’m sure many other adults are in the same boat as I am- we just want to take off for the day and do something fun!
Being an AmeriCorps member, I’m required to serve 1,700 hours during a year at my service site. After checking my time sheet just yesterday, I discovered that I am only 166 hours away from fulfilling that required amount!!! Do you know what that means? It means I don’t have to work my rear off for the next two months. It means I can take spontaneous day trips and do fun things. It means I can start enjoying my summer!
As any blogger would do, I decided to create a summer bucket list of some things I want to accomplish this summer.
- Spending a day at the rock quarry :: This little (somewhat secret) Durham gem is a fun way to relax on a hot day. You hike a mile through the cool woods to the giant watering hole, and then spend hours floating or swimming in the chilly quarry water. If you’re/I’m feeling extra adventurous, there are rocks to jump off of, but I think I’ll stick to swimming
- Kayaking & Paddle Boarding at the lake :: I discovered the joys of kayaking and paddle boarding a few summers ago, and I unfortunately haven’t been back since. I think they are super fun activities that count as workouts without you realizing it. And anything that involves a body of water makes me happy.
- Hiking in the NC mountains :: There are some awesome state parks out in Western North Carolina, and I want to experience at least one new one this summer! I’ve been to Mount Mitchell State Park & Chimney Rock Park quite a bit in the past, so I’m hoping to branch out and try a new park. A few I have my eyes on: Stone Mountain, Dupont State Forest, Crowders Mountain State Park .
- Day trip to the beach! :: I can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny summer day than on a beach, toes in the sand, and a book in my sweaty, sandy hands. Sure, the sand can be annoying getting into any and everything, but that salty ocean air and relaxing sound of crashing waves make up for it! Anyone want to take a day trip?
- A summertime bonfire :: If you have a backyard with a fire pit, please invite me over for a bonfire this summer. Nothing says “summer nights” to me like a bonfire. You really can’t go wrong with fire, friends, and smores. Just saying.
- An outdoor yoga session :: It may sound crazy, but I really want to participate in an outdoor yoga session over the summer. I’m so in tune to my body during summer, and much more aware of the movements I make with it (mainly because it’s swimsuit season!) I think an outdoor yoga session would be challenging yet rewarding and would increase my self-awareness during yoga. Maybe I’ll attend this one this weekend, or one of these!
- Make watermelon lemonade :: I can’t imagine a more refreshing summer drink. If you have a good recipe for some, send it my way!
- Ice cream from The Parlour in Durham :: I’ve heard amazing things about the newest ice cream shop in downtown Durham, and am so excited to try it out over the summer! Ice cream in the summer is perfect! And with unique flavors like Purple Sweet Potato, Salted Butter Caramel & Vietnamese Coffee, to name a few, how could you go wrong?
- Outdoor concert :: Any chance I get to be outside during the summer, I snatch up. Add music to the outdoors, and I’m there. There are lots of options in the Durham area, and I’m hoping to check some out! Downtown Durham has a series on Thursday nights, Golden Belt has some Friday night performances lined up, Brightleaf Square has weekly concerts, Duke Gardens is having a few, and even the Streets at Southpoint has an outdoor series going on!
- Visit the Nasher Museum :: I’ve never been and am hoping to go this summer! I pass by it every day on my way to and from work, so there’s really no reason why I shouldn’t stop by some day.
- Outdoor movies :: I went to my first outdoor movie last month (The Life of Pi) and am now hooked! There’s no better way to experience a movie than outside in a camping chair under the stars. The Lumina in Chapel Hill is showing movies every weekend, and it costs only $4! Maybe I’ll see you there?
- Watch Bull Durham :: I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I was born and raised in Durham I have yet to see the iconic Bull Durham. It’s on my “to-watch” list this summer, especially since it just recently celebrated it’s 25th anniversary!
- Saturday mornings at the Farmer’s Market :: This one has summer written all over it! A Saturday morning perusing the stands of local farmers, buying fresh produce, and experiencing what I like to call the true Durhamites- what could be better?
- Mark some books off my reading list :: Yes, I have a reading list. Nerdy, I know. I’m hoping to finish these books before July 30th- Little Bee, Eat Pray Love, The Great Gatsby, Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Practice Spanish :: Self-explanatory. I need to start practicing so when I’m immersed in it in a few weeks, I’ll be able to communicate clearly!
- Making homemade ice cream :: I’ve had a hankering to make homemade ice cream like Jessica from How Sweet It Is. Seriously- Toasted Marshmallow Coconut Milk Ice Cream?! Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream?! White Chocolate Buttermint Ice Cream?! YUM. I will hopefully try one of these recipes out this summer!
- Picnic at Duke Gardens :: So what if picnics are for dating couples or families with kids, I think a big potluck picnic with a few friends in the gardens would be a blast! Soaking up the sun on big, fluffy blankets, and feasting on good food? Yes, please.
Well, there’s my list of a few things I want to accomplish this summer. I’m up for any suggestions or recommendations!
What’s on your summer bucket list?