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 (Memorial Day weekend)
  2. Survive having two kids on summer swim team
  3. See some waterfalls (Tom’s Creek & Roaring Fork in western NC)
  4. Swim at a lake (Jordan Lake recreation area)
  5. Discover new & easy campfire recipes
  6. Go blueberry picking
  7. Discover new hiking trails on our travels
  8. Catch fireflies (Jordan Lake campsite and backyard)
  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