I have always said I’m a summer kind of girl. The sunshine, adventure and perfect outdoor-dining weather speak to my soul. This summer was especially fun since it was my first in New York City. I had an unofficial summer bucket list – well, really just a note on my iPhone with all the things I wanted to experience! The tricky thing with New York is that just when you cross something off, another thing gets added to the list. There’s never a shortage of new restaurants to try, new adventures to conquer or new experiences to remember. Looking back on this wrap up, I’d say it was a pretty great summer.
One of the biggest things on my list this year was to visit Rockaway Beach. It’s just a hour and a half train ride from Manhattan and the beach truly felt like an escape to California. The sand was so soft, ocean so warm, and just look at those blue skies! A big group of friends went early in the summer and hung out at the famous Rockaway Taco spot, then just recently I went again and BIKED all the way from Manhattan. It was about 30 miles!! A social group called the Outsiders organized it and it was an absolute blast. My legs were a little sore, to say the least, but biking along the West Side of Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge, through all of Brooklyn and out to Queens was insane! Ending with pizza, beer, surfing lessons and a sunset at the beach was absolutely epic.
Ice Cream for Dinner
I can’t even count the number of times I had ice cream for dinner this summer. My mom used to always say, “Ice cream makes everything better!” To me, this doesn’t just apply to sad days, it also means when it’s a glorious summer day, you should celebrate with a big scoop of ice cream. On my list to try this summer: Van Leeuwen, Big Gay Ice Cream, Mister Softee, Emack & Bolio’s. Ample Hills and Pressed Juicery. I can happily say I conquered them all (ugh! what a chore!) and declare Van Leeuwen my favorite with the Ooey, Gooey Butter Cake from Ample Hills a close second.
Coast to Coast
I love traveling in the summer and this year I really got to visit some great places. Mexico City, Chicago, Minnesota, Alabama and California!
Visiting family in California was so lovely. My fabulous aunt August (one of mom’s best friends!) allowed me to join in on one of her #31firstsofaugust where she tries something new everyday. We went Plein Air painting on the coast of Dana Point and it was so incredible!
It wouldn’t be summer without my annual trip to Minnesota to see the family. Look at how big my little cousins are getting!
If you haven’t seen the pictures from my trip to Mexico City, you should read about it here. It was honestly one of the most-memorable trips of my life!
Nothing says all-American summer like a hot dog, beer and a baseball game. I reunited with my group of friends from Indianapolis in Chicago for a weekend and it was such a great time!
Farmers Market Trips
Every weekend that I could, I would wake up and go to the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturdays. I could roam around for hours checking out the produce, plants, artisanal products and sampling the goods. Tomatoes and peaches rocked my world this summer. I made friends with some of the vendors and they are always so kind to help pick out produce that will be at it’s peak when you need it. I’ve been snacking on these little tomatoes below and they’re so sweet and fresh – practically addicting! Peaches, too, have been so ripe they are all I crave. I’m savoring all these fruits and veggies until we move into the fall produce. Right around the corner!
What an absolute BLAST this summer has been. I was so sad to say goodbye as Labor Day approaches, but looking back, it was pretty dang full of great memories. That’s a wrap, summer 2018! What have you been up to this summer? Comment below with your highlight of summer. I can’t wait to hear!
Love food. Love self. Love life.