Can you believe that summer is practically over? Although it’s as hot as the surface of the sun here, kids are back in school which, in my book at least, marks the end of the summer break.
So for accountability’s sake, let’s see how I ended up with my Summer Bucket List, shall we?
Final Summer 2017 Bucket List Check In!
I sure do love to travel so my list included several travel destinations.
- Florida Keys (times 2) – DONE! Thanks to hubby’s job we *had* to go to the Keys. On our second trip we took two of our kids and a friend of theirs. I heard from several of you that you are planning a trip to the Keys. Here are my posts on the Keys: 5 Must-Do Things in Key West, 5 Must-Do Things in Key Largo, and what to see and do in all the keys in between as you drive from the upper to the lower keys!
- St. Louis MO – DONE! Blog post about that HERE!)
- The Breakers in Palm Beach – DONE! Again a work trip for hubby. It’s a Henry Flagler hotel that is just beautiful.
The Mountains (maybe? still in the works)– Although we Floridians like to escape the heat in the middle of summer, the plans for doing so fell through. SCRAPPED. Not happening.
- Solar Eclipse trip – I can’t believe how controversial this event ended up being. I thought it was worth the time. In fact, it was pretty spectacular! We had bought the solar eclipse glasses, and they worked really well. They allowed us to see the various phases.
When the sun was about halfway covered, the light and the air started to change. It started growing dimmer like a dimmer switch was lowering the light and the temperature started to drop noticeably. The streetlights came on, and shortly after, the cicadas began chirping. Then the light dropped dramatically and there was just a fingernail of light until the diamond ring effect.
At that point we could no longer see through the glasses so we knew it was safe to remove them. The corona was a light blue shining out around the dark circle which was the moon. It was simply spectacular. After two minutes the right side began to glow red and we knew that the sun was about to pop out so we donned the glasses again and saw the diamond ring on the other side. The chirping stopped, the light returned and it grew warm again. We met a lovely British family who had a nice camera with a homemade solar filter. The dad, Ian, got some great shots. I asked if he would email me some and he sent these three: DONE!
We are already planning on going in 7 years!
Made it to several beach outings including one to Jekyll Island with Michael Ann for a beach day!
Michael’s boot and all the traveling has prevented us from our beach drive in our vintage Jeep. He JUST got to take it off last week so I’m hoping that it still might happen. You’ll have to follow me on social media if you want to see! (Hoping to do it Labor Day weekend!) NOT YET.
Yeah, yeah…I’m still working on my list of projects my decorator friend helped me come up with. I will eventually get to those blog posts or maybe not. But things are coming along. I just need to stay home to do some of these! (Read about my living room redo here.)
I’ve been enjoying reading a lot this summer. Here’s an update to my summer TBR list that I originally blogged about here.
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I’m not usually a fan of psychological thrillers but there was just something about this one that had me intrigued. The fact that it was about eclipse chasers made it that much more interesting considering I am going to be one. I liked it well enough for the genre.
I STILL haven’t gotten to this one! Too many library books have come in that I haven’t bought this one yet. I’ve really been enjoying her podcast though! (You can fin d it here.)
It isn’t available on audio from my library but I got the book. I just need time to read it now!
This one is not available from my library so I’m going to wait a bit and see if they get it or if I can get it on ILL. I do like to read books on marriage so it might be worth buying but I have so much to read still so I’m going to wait.
I already talked about this one. I recommend it but it deals with some tough issues.
Other books I ended up reading because they came in from my library:
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
I don’t remember where I heard about this one but I listened to it on audio and liked it at first and then I hated the ending! 3 stars.
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
I’m slowly working my way through these mysteries. I’m enjoying them well enough but maybe because I’m listening to them I’m missing some nuances and am not getting everything. 3.5 stars
We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
I liked the first book I read of hers (The Language of Flowers). The topic in this one is quite different but I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot about immigration, poverty through the well-developed characters.
A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
I read this one through the TBB book club and although it was well-liked by others I gave it 3 stars. The characters are not very likeable and I was tired of reading about smoking, drinking, and sex.
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
Two friends really liked it, however I gave it 3 stars. The story was okay but there were some pretty far-fetched parts.
The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg
Although I really liked the writing and marked lots of passages, it just missed the 4 star mark for me. I gave it 3.8 stars but not quite 4. I enjoyed the book well enough but there were a few things that bothered me or didn’t work for me. I wanted the main character to change a bit more in the end I guess. There wasn’t much growth in the characters. I also struggled with the title. I liked her well enough to try another book of hers for TBB book club.
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
I just finished this one on audio. It was such a great story about Einstein’s first wife (he had a wife? two wives? children?) although there were times were I found myself cringing! It really made Albert out to be very human, in fact not a super nice guy and certainly not the amazing super hero I thought of him. 4 stars.
Michael and I checked off the first lighthouse in the book on Florida lighthouses on our trip to Key West.
And then surprise surprise! We were able to hit one of the off-shore lighthouses on our last Keys trip! We rented a boat for a day and went out to Alligator Reef lighthouse first since it’s a popular spot. The kids and I went snorkeling under it. There were SO many fish under the lighthouse! Apparently the birds like to hang out there, pooping, and the fish hang out underneath, eating what the birds “drop.”
Isn’t this picture gorgeous? I want to blow it up for my wall but it was taken on a phone and I doubt it would look good blown up. I just love the colors! Makes me smile every time I look at it!
I’m technically training for the Zooma half marathon but I’ve injured my hip so I’m taking some time off to let it heal. I had joined the Zooma Summer Challenge but between my hip and the travel I didn’t do too well. I’ve restarted it this week and have completed the first week of the Ab Challenge.
I’ve joined a small Pilates/barre/yoga studio and I’ve really been enjoying the change. Also when I was traveling I found this Yoga for Runners routine that I really really like! I’m going to a myofacial clinic and I hope with their help,I’ll be able to get back to running soon!
Also I wanted to remind you of the Zooma Race invitation and to use my code to receive a 10% discount! (Code: SHEILA2017) And if you wanted to train for a race, here are my tips on how to train for one.
That’s a wrap! I’m pretty happy with all I was able to accomplish this summer. It’s time to start thinking about the fall bucket list. Will you join us next month?