2017 Summer Bucket List

Over a decade ago, my mom dubbed Bill and me as the traveling gypsies (she had a unique way with words). Having moved away from home after college, we travelled more weekends than not, and she routinely asked, “Where are the traveling gypsies headed this weekend?” We visited friends and family in VA and MD, and explored exciting new cities across the US and Western Europe. Bill and I still have the traveling gypsy bug (let’s call it wanderlust to sound more romantic) and want our kids to experience it with us. And, we want to create adventures that are more outdoors and immersed in nature.

So, we bought a small pull-behind Winnebago (cue up the Randy Quaid Christmas Vacation quotes) and planned out several weekend family trips around NC this summer. It might sound a little crazy, but the girls seem super excited, and we think we’re in the sweet spot of traveling with them right now – high curiosity, good sleep patterns, and easily distractible. We want to keep things simple, yet comfortable and imaginative – similar to the gypsy caravan from Wind in the Willows:

 

He led the way to the stable-yard and there, drawn out of the coach-house, they saw a gipsy caravan, shining with newness, painted a canary-yellow picked out with green, and red wheels. “There you are!” cried the Toad, straddling and expanding himself. “There’s the real life for you. The open road, the dust highway, the heath, the common, the rolling downs! Here today, and off somewhere else tomorrow! The whole world before you! And mind, this is the finest cart of its sort ever built.” The mole followed him eagerly up the steps and into the caravan. It was very compact and comfortable. Little sleeping-bunks – a table that folded up against the wall – a cooking-stove, lockers, bookshelves and pots, pans, jugs and kettles of every size and variety.

– excerpt from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Even though our Winnie isn’t a canary-yellow caravan with green and red wheels, we’re excited to hit the open road. Finally, whether we’re out on the open road or back in Raleigh, we still have some summer bucket list items for 2017:

  1. Enjoy a low country boil
  2. Survive having two kids on summer swim team
  3. See some waterfalls
  4. Swim at a lake
  5. Discover new & easy campfire recipes
  6. Go blueberry picking
  7. Discover new hiking trails on our travels
  8. Catch fireflies
  9. Try a new ice cream place
  10. Visit a new museum
  11. Perfect my mojito making
  12. Start composting
  13. Have a water balloon fight
  14. Read a long book together as a family
  15. Enjoy Winnebago camping as a family

 

2016 Summer Bucket List

IMG_5057Our neighborhood pool opened, another year of preschool finished up (including Claire’s first year and Ashley’s final year) and we had kindergarten orientation this week! Phew…it’s been a busy week, but that also means it’s time to switch gears and think summer activities!  While we were able to cross a lot off our bucket list goals from last summer, we have some of the same goals and some lofty new goals this summer.  With help from little ones, here’s my mostly kiddo-friendly summer bucket list for 2016.

  1. Visit the library
  2. Build a backyard water wall (Bill will looooove this)
  3. Visit a recreational lake
  4. Visit a farm
  5. Enjoy a bushel of crabs
  6. Visit the rivah
  7. Go to the beach
  8. Use my smoker
  9. Make pizza with ingredients from our pizza garden
  10. Explore a new brewery
  11. Visit the Durham farmer’s market
  12. Take a boat ride
  13. Visit CA
  14. Go to Frankie’s Fun Park
  15. Make ice cream sandwich brownies
  16. Wash the car
  17. Have a water balloon fight
  18. Watch an outdoor movie
  19. Go backyard camping
  20. Stay in our pjs at least until noon
  21. Go to Blacksburg
  22. Read books in the backyard
  23. Play with the sprinkler in the backyard
  24. Have a backyard breakfast picnic
  25. Paint on the easel outside
  26. Make garden tiles
  27. Catch lightning bugs

Next fall brings a new chapter in our lives with all-day kindergarten, so I’m looking forward to making great summer memories and having photos to cherish, so #bringonsummer!

2015 Summer Bucket List

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Backyard pool time, May 2015 #bringonsummer

With the opening of our neighborhood pool this past weekend and another year of preschool finished up, it’s time to switch gears and think summer activities!  While we were able to cross a lot off our bucket list goals from last summer, we have some of the same goals and some lofty new goals this summer (note, “survive swim team”).  In no particular order, here’s my kiddo-friendly summertime bucket list:

  1. Have a breakfast picnic in pajamas
  2. Visit the library
  3. Visit the Eno River State Park
  4. Camp in the backyard
  5. Try a new ice cream place
  6. Attend an outdoor concert
  7. Explore Downtown Raleigh via Segway
  8. Play with the slip ‘n slide
  9. Let the kiddos enjoy the water fountains at NC Museum of Art after a Stroller Strides class
  10. Go blueberry picking
  11. Discover three new parks (and be current on blog posts)
  12. Catch lightning bugs
  13. Explore the Prairie Ridge Ecostation again
  14. Survive swim team
  15. Go to the movies
  16. Attend a Durham Bulls game
  17. Discover a new (to us) brewery
  18. Make s’mores
  19. Fly a kite
  20. Watch a movie outside
  21. Grill oysters
  22. Go to the Durham farmers’ market
  23. Visit Beaufort, NC
  24. Visit a farm
  25. Enjoy a bushel of crabs

This might seem like a busy list, but I’ve got energetic girls who can hang! I know the next three months will fly by but we’ll have great memories and photos to cherish, so #bringonsummer!

2014 Summer Bucket List Follow-up

bucketlist69The first day of Fall began this week with a few days of colder temperatures, which led me to reminisce about my first full summer home with both girls.  Despite having a tough adjustment period from 3-day-a-week preschool to zero-day-a-week preschool, things smoothed out and we had an awesome summer!  I find myself longing for more pool, beach and picnic days and having more of that carefree, energetic spirit!  We completed a lot of things on our original bucket list, but did so many more unexpected things too – spent time at the Rappahannock river, welcomed my niece Ava, watched Claire take her first steps, watched Ashley head off to her first summer camps, had cookouts with friends, celebrated Ashley’s swimming successes, spent time with family, and visited old college and high school buddies and all their kiddos.  For all these reasons and more, summer makes for endless fun and is our favorite season.  But, Fall is here now and that means preschool fun, Hokies football and pumpkin beer, so #bringonfall2014!

Enjoy the slideshow below with pics from our #bringonsummer2014 adventures!

  1. Visit the library (completed June 6)
  2. Play with water balloons (completed June 1)
  3. Visit the Eno River State Park
  4. Camp in the backyard
  5. Attend an outdoor concert (completed June 19, Pickin’ in the Plaza in downtown Raleigh)
  6. Visit Fearrington
  7. Paddle board at Lake Wheeler (completed Aug 24, Lake Wheeler via Triangle Guides)
  8. Take Ashley fishing (completed Sept 3 in OBX)
  9. Play with the slip n slide (completed July 4 in VA)
  10. Let the kiddos enjoy the water fountains at NC Museum of Art after a Stroller Strides class (completed June 24)
  11. Go blueberry picking (completed July 9, Creekside Farm)
  12. Discover three new parks and be current on blog posts (We were busy – Simms Branch Trail, Neuse River Trail MP 13.25-15, Top of the Hill Trail, Halifax Park, Hobbit House @ NCMA, Caroline County Park in VA, Optimist Pool, Neuse River Trail MP 11.5-13.25)
  13. Catch lightning bugs
  14. Explore the Prairie Ridge Ecostation again (completed Sept 16)
  15. Survive solo trips to the pool with both kids (completed at least 12 times beginning June 5)
  16. Take Ashley to the movies (completed June 14)
  17. Attend a Durham Bulls game (completed Aug 17)
  18. Discover a new (to us) brewery (strangely enough we didn’t make it to any new Raleigh breweries, but we visited two popular RVA breweries Ardent Craft Ales (July 5) & Strangeways Brewing (Aug 9))
  19. Make s’mores (completed July 5 in RVA)
  20. Fly a kite (completed June 3 @ NCMA)
  21. Watch the Sandlot movie (completed June 11)
  22. Visit Waverly Place splash area in Cary (completed July 3)
  23. Walk for ice cream at the new Quail Corners Creamery in our ‘hood (completed numerous times this summer)
  24. Grill homemade pizza (completed June 4)
  25. Visit the farmers’ market (completed Aug 13 at downtown Farmer’s Market and Sept 19 at State Farmer’s Market)
  26. Go to the beach (completed Aug 16 and week of Labor Day in OBX)
  27. Visit the Asheboro zoo
  28. Play putt putt (completed June 28 with Gaga & Papa at Frankie’s Fun Park)
  29. Enjoy a bushel of crabs (completed July 4 in VA)
  30. Take a boat ride (completed June 7 in VA)
  31. Stomp in rain puddles (completed in June)
  32. Watch the clouds overhead

3-year Blogiversary & 2014 Summer Bucket List

20140601-221046.jpgSo apparently it’s common in the blogging world to celebrate the yearly date of your first blog post aka your “blogiversary.” I’m sorry I don’t have any freebies to give away but I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has read, commented and supported me with this blog over the past three years. I had no idea what a resource it would become and am tickled whenever I meet someone new and discover they’ve visited the blog for outing ideas! I’ve loved exploring the Greater Raleigh Parks & beyond over the past three years and am continuously amazed by the facilities and activities we discover.

But now that preschool is over for the school year it’s time to set some goals for new (and old) places to visit and things to do this summer! In no particular order, here’s my kiddo-friendly summertime bucket list:

20140601-222310.jpg

  1. Visit the library
  2. Play with water balloons
  3. Visit the Eno River State Park
  4. Camp in the backyard
  5. Attend an outdoor concert
  6. Visit Fearrington
  7. Paddle board at Lake Wheeler
  8. Take Ashley fishing
  9. Play with the slip n slide
  10. Let the kiddos enjoy the water fountains at NC Museum of Art after a Stroller Strides class
  11. Go blueberry picking
  12. Discover three new parks (and be current on blog posts)
  13. Catch lightning bugs
  14. Explore the Prairie Ridge Ecostation again
  15. Survive solo trips to the pool with both kids
  16. Take Ashley to the movies
  17. Attend a Durham Bulls game
  18. Discover a new (to us) brewery
  19. Make s’mores
  20. Fly a kite
  21. Watch the Sandlot movie
  22. Visit Waverly Place splash area in Cary
  23. Walk for ice cream at the new Quail Corners Creamery in our ‘hood
  24. Grill homemade pizza
  25. Visit the farmers’ market
  26. Go to the beach
  27. Visit the Asheboro zoo
  28. Play putt putt
  29. Enjoy a bushel of crabs
  30. Take a boat ride
  31. Stomp in rain puddles
  32. Watch the clouds overhead

(With trepidation) I’m looking forward to my first full summer home with both girls. This might seem like a busy list, but I’ve got some energetic girls who will keep me on my toes! I know the next three months will fly by but we’ll have great memories and photos to cherish so #bringonsummer!