A Happy June

June was a really, really good month. The days were filled with sunshine (most of the time, at least), lots of outings with friends, brunch & beer and healthy habits.

The nice weather makes me want to get outside as much as possible, Since I work from home, it’s all-too-easy to spend the entire day indoors. So in addition to going for runs, we’ve been taking coffee breaks in the park or going for after-dinner walks. Whenever and wherever we move next, an outdoor patio is on my must-have list so that we can enjoy more time outside during the warmer months.

june1

We started the month with a visit from my cousin Justin and his girlfriend Sarah. The weather was pretty fantastic while they were here. On the days D and I had to work, they explored the city on their own. But we had plenty of time to hang-out together. We toured the Sam Adams Brewery and Harvard. We ate at so many restaurants. We took them to a few parks and walked through Boston College’s campus. It was such an easy and enjoyable visit. (Justin and Sarah, if you’re reading this–feel free to come back anytime!)

june2

Mid-month, I went to see Rascal Flatts with two of my friends (shout-out to Laurie and Lauren!). Honestly, I had low expectations since I’m not a huge country music fan. But I had the.best.time! It was the perfect way to welcome the official start of summer.

The next morning wasn’t the best, but we had plans to meet my grandparents and Aunty Sharon for lunch so I had to put my hangover aside and get myself together. Lunch was nice; I hadn’t seen my aunt since she moved in February so that was great.

After lunch, D and I drove to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut to settle him into his temporary summer home. He’s doing a 5 week research program on maritime history that keeps him in Connecticut on the weekdays. 😦

Spending last week alone wasn’t so bad, though, because I took a day off and went to the beach with Lisa. It was perfect beach weather. But despite my best efforts, the sun was too much for my pale skin and I came home with an unattractive and uncomfortable sunburn on my back. #palepeopleproblems

june3Last weekend D came home for a night and we mostly just relaxed. I convinced him to cross a few things off the wedding planning to-do list and we went for a short hike. I felt like he had to leave just after arriving home so I’m looking forward to the upcoming long holiday weekend.

July promises to be an even busier month as I’ll be traveling to Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Ohio and then back to Washington in the span of three weeks.

Hoping that there is plenty more sunshine, friends and beer in my future (and yours too!).

-A

Over the Weekend(s): Part 2

I was looking forward to last weekend’s music festival for months. My absolute favorite band of all time is Death Cab for Cutie. Yet, despite my love for them, I had never seen a live performance. I would have paid the same ticket price just to see them. But fortunately for me, they were part of awesome festival line-up that included some other faves, new and old.

bc set list

My friend Laurie and I arrived to the plaza just after 1pm on Saturday afternoon. We watched the first few bands from afar; enjoying our beers and catching up in the sunshine. She’s a big fan of The Neighborhood so we worked our way close to the stage for their set. Although I wasn’t familiar with their music before the festival, I really enjoyed it. I think they may have given the best performance of the weekend. #newfan

bc day 1

Once The Neighborhood ended, and we could break free from the crowd, we grabbed some lunch and found a good spot to sit between both stages. I was looking forward to The Head & The Heart but I was a little disappointed by them live. After that, it was just a countdown to Death Cab. Unfortunately, the weather turned right before The Decemberists started playing. It rained enough to thoroughly soak us and then once the rain stopped, the wind started blowing. It wasn’t so comfortable but I’m glad we stuck it out. Death Cab played all my favorites; it was such a soul-filling experience. Definitely worth waiting in the rain.

On Sunday, we weren’t familiar with any of the early bands so we took our time waking up and making our way to the plaza. I think it was 3ish when we arrived. It was another beautiful day and we were content to sit in the sun and take in the music for a few hours. Laurie was excited to see Tegan & Sara. I only knew one of their songs, but it was an enjoyable performance. Bastille killed it and made me love them even more.

bc day 2

Then Brand New was up. So here’s the thing. I like Brand New and I thought I knew quite a bit of their music. But standing amongst super fans at a live show put things into perspective–they played some songs I had never heard before and then even the songs I knew, I couldn’t quite sing along. Maybe I should have studied. 🙂 Oh well, it was a great performance and now Laurie is a fan too.

Modest Mouse closed out the weekend with a solid show. I’m only a moderate fan, but they are one of Laurie’s faves so it was cool to share in her experience. The weather held up better on Sunday so the whole evening in general was more enjoyable.

I don’t know how else to describe the weekend, and the festival, other than really really great. There is something about live music–especially in an outdoor venue–that is so enchanting and inspiring. It was the perfect kick-off to the summer season.

Over the Weekend(s): Part 1

The last two weekends have been really great. The weather’s been getting nicer, the days are getting longer and I’ve been living life as best as I can.

Let’s back-track to two weekends ago. Derek had a conference to attend in Erie, PA and I needed to make a trip back to Cleveland to check in with my office. We combined the two into a five day road trip and took advantage of the fact that Niagara Falls was on the route home.

I intended to spend Saturday exploring a state park in Erie, but the weather didn’t cooperate and I had to deal with car trouble so I did a little shopping instead. After D’s conference ended Saturday night, we drove two hours to Niagara Falls where we spent the night.

ImageIn the morning, we made our way to the border crossing where we parked the car and headed to the Canadian side on foot. This ended up being a really great decision. Not only was it a perfect day for walking around, but it was so much less stressful than driving across.

We opted out of the tourist attractions and just walked along the river for a while. We eventually found ourselves sampling the local beers on a patio overlooking the falls–it was such a perfect afternoon. The sunshine, the scenery and the beer put D in such a blissful mood that he willingly discussed honeymoon options. (His fiscally responsible, practical side can be a bit of a buzz-kill for my daydreamer, explorer side; but not this day.)

ImageAfter a few hours in Canada, we decided it was best to head back to the car and start our seven hour drive home. It ended taking closer to nine hours, but most of the drive was scenic and easy.

It was one of those days where I felt so full and happy. You know the kind? Spring weather had finally arrived and, with it, the promise of even more sunshine and happy memories to come.

Stay tuned for Over the Weekend(s): Part 2, a recap of Boston Calling.

Sunshiny Summer Weekend

I know it’s Tuesday now, but I’m still smiling from the wonderful weekend Derek and I had. It sort of started early–I had a convention to attend in NYC on Thursday and Friday. So while I was technically still working, we were able to spend some time in the evenings exploring the city.

pretzel

We drove in early (really really early) on Thursday morning–arriving at the hotel by 7:30am, I spent the day at the convention and then after a quick nap, we got fancy and went out for a date. We ate at a cute Asian fusion vegan cafe, then walked up to Central Park and ended the evening with some beers and street vendor snacks. It was perfect. Until I had to get up early for day 2 of the convention, but whatcha gonna do? After the convention on Friday, we picked up some burritos and headed back to Central Park for a little picnic dinner. We left the city around 7pm and drove to my grandparent’s house in Connecticut for the night.

roses

After taking us out for breakfast Saturday morning, Gram and Gramp showed us the rose garden at Elizabeth Park in Hartford. It happened to be Rose Weekend, so there was a little festival going on and the speaker informed us that it was the one weekend a year when all 800 rose varieties are in bloom. The flowers were beautiful and the company was great. We wandered around for an hour or so and then headed back. Derek and I drove back to Boston and had a low-key Saturday night. Our bodies were tired from the long days and all the NYC walking.

Sunday was another beautiful day and I was determined to spend some time outside. We met up with Derek’s brother Tyler and his boyfriend Mark on the waterfront for some drinks on the patio. While it was just a little too hot in the sun, the shaded patio was perfect. Several drinks later, we all felt refreshed. We walked along the harbor for a bit, before making our way to Boston Common where we parted ways. Tyler and Mark, smartly, went home. Derek and I went to another bar.

beer

After our fourth drinks of the night, at about 9pm, we realized we hadn’t had dinner yet. So we hopped on the T, back to our neighborhood, and headed to our usual spot for more drinks and dinner–a basket of pretzels for me and a quesadilla for him. We ate. We drank. And then we eventually went home. I crawled right into bed and sleep happily until my mean alarm told me the weekend was over.

It was just one of those perfect weekends, the kind that exemplifies summer: carefree, sunshine, time with family, beers on the patio. I hope you all welcomed summer with equally amazing weekends. Here’s to many more!

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