Today is the last day of summer break, and it has been wondrous. It’s staggering how the time and experiences have been swept away like the tide – and challenging to narrow the moments to a few favorites because each day had its own magic, whether I was exploring the world or hermiting like a crab. This was a summer I shall never forget.
Here are my five favs:
- Viva La Mexico
Summer began with the sun rising and falling over Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. The trip, as a whole, was the quintessential vacation, each day bringing new memories that will last a lifetime. However, if I have to pick one, specific moment out of the trip as my favorite, it would have to be the last day. Perhaps it was partly the knowledge that time in paradise was ephemeral, but something about our last trip to the turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya was ideal. Of all of our days on beach, the sand never felt softer on my feet; the sun never blazed hotter over the water, accentuating the greens and blues; the parasails never glowed as bright, casting rainbow orbs in the sky; the surf never washed my worries away quite the same way. My husband and I had our last few drinks together in Mexico, which, in itself, was memorable because he doesn’t often partake with me, but the water beckoned him, and he answered, drink in hand. We floated around and talked, everyone we know thousands of miles from us, our technology nowhere to be found, and appreciated the moment in time and space. Best of all, it was just the end of Mexico yet the beginning of our summer.
2. Fireworks over the mountains
We were fortunate to go from the sea level to the peak of mountains in the course of one summer. Our trip to the mountains was also full of adventure and exploration. Again, choosing between the experiences is not an easy task, but the experience that stands out to me the most was spending the 4th of July with my sister. We ate a delicious, southern-inspired dinner on a patio that overlooked lovely scenery and watched as the sun set on the monochromatic green of the mountain. I spent quality time with my sister for the first time in two years, drinking and laughing, with a front row seat to a cacophony of fireworks over the mountains. The food, the drinks, the view, the company – it was splendid.
3. Exploring the moon
We took a reprieve from the mountains while on vacation and meandered down to the desert. It boggled my mind to consider the difference in elevation and scenery we experienced in the course of one day. We went from the lush mountains which are 8,668′ above sea level, down to the harsh desert, yet it had a barren beauty. Stepping into White Sands, New Mexico, you leave earth and step onto the surface of the moon. All you can see are dunes stretching for mile and miles. Climbing to the top of a nearby dune and surveying the surroundings is breathtaking. My husband had never been there before, and he didn’t have many expectations. I delighted in watching his surprise and elation at exactly how enjoyable it was. We made sandmen, rolled down the dunes, laughed, played. It was an other-worldly experience – truly unique.
4. This, the (weekend) of my birth
My sweet husband treats my birthday like a national holiday. He proclaims the entire week “the week of Kendall” and does whatever humanly possible to make sure I have a blast. This year, our friend, Walter, flew into town to enjoy the festivities with us. He showed up with a bottle of my favorite champagne, Veuve Clicquot, and we celebrated in style. We went to a beach close to home that is a far stretch from the turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya. The sand is sticky and wet, and the water is murky brown. However, we still had a terrific time. We had a decadent seafood lunch on a pier, then waded around together, finding hermit crabs, and joking that I would die on my birthday from flesh eating bacteria.
5. Furever love
Towards the end of summer, we made the decision to add a new member to our family, Muppet. After some research, we selected our teeny little persian full of personality. She is the purrfect new addition to our family of fur-children. She’s pint-sized and spunky, but takes up plenty of room in our hearts (and our bed, too, surprisingly for such a little kitten). The day we went to pick up Muppet is the last of my five fav. During the car ride home, I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her as she slept in the most ridiculous positions in her cat bed. Watching her adjust to her new surroundings that evening and come out of her shell was fun, but watching my husband melt on the floor of a closet with his new little orange fur-ball was priceless.
Sun sets on summer tonight, but my heart is full, my mind is well-stocked with memories to recall on tough days, and I’m refreshed, renewed, reinvigorated, and ready to re-enter the whirlwind of real life. I began this blog at the beginning of this summer, and I’ve been sure to immortalize my memories and philosophies along the way. I’ve grown as a person, as a writer, as a wife, a friend, a cat mom. These keys have been my therapist in rough moments and my biggest cheerleader in the celebrations. Adventures aside, I have accomplished my goal this summer – to write, and write, and write. I have become a writer; I’m no longer aspiring.