Remember those grade school summer vacation papers we had to write on the first day of school? Well, I thought now that my summer is officially over, I might as well remember it fondly in pictures. Sigh, I miss it already.
We got a new car! My sweet Mazda was ready for a new owner: my little brother, Jonathon. He adopted her and we added this shiny new Altima to our family. Beau wasted no time getting her all messy and full of dog hair.
We started off our summer right by packing up the dog and heading south to Jacksonville, FL to visit old friends for Memorial Day weekend.
What Memorial Day celebration would be complete without an America Party. Or A 'Murica Party, for those of us who are feeling patriotic. Naturally, we came dressed for the occasion. Thanks to none other than Walmart for outfitting these sailors and their girls. R's shirt says 'Home of the free because of the Brave'. Fitting. (PS, our America shirts were Hecho en Mexico.)
A few weeks later, R took his pre-deployment leave, which gave us a few relaxing days at home and a few days for our favorite kind of trip: road trip! We headed north this time and made a few stops along the way. First stop was Washington DC. I saw the changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknowns for the first time and I was very impressed. We also checked out an art gallery and the International Spy Museum, which of course we couldn't take any pictures in. After learning all about espionage, I'm considering a career change. Or maybe I've already made one...
Then we stopped at the Naval Academy. What a beautiful campus! We have lots of friends who graduated from the Academy so it was cool to learn about all the traditions and history that go way back.
We stopped for crab cakes and rum drinks at Pusser's in downtown Anapolis. I would got the Academy just for those two things. Did you know that in the British Navy used to be issued a daily pint of Pusser's Rum every day, and before battle they got a double. The daily ration was only abolished in 1970! So, we went ahead and drank for the British sailors and their girls.
We stopped in Baltimore for a night before heading up to Philadelphia, but there is no photographic evidence of this. (See, I'm already a good spy!) We briefly skimmed through all the founding father's stuff in Philly, because all I wanted was a cheesesteak and I couldn't be bothered with my nation's history. What can you expect from a girl who wears an America shirt that was hecho en Mexico?
We did get that cheesesteak and went ahead and had another at the Philly's game that night. If anyone can tell me Philly's weird green mascot is, I would be forever grateful.
On our way back home, we made sure to stop at a place everyone in Delaware should see. Delaware's highest point! R makes it his mission to try and get to every state's highest point. So far, I've been lucky to be with him for some easy ones. Not sure how I'm going to feel about this hobby if I ever find myself in Colorado or Alaska with him.
We were really in Delaware to go to Dogfish Head brewery, aka Beer Mecca. Dogfish is one of the coolest craft breweries and we made sure to eat at their brew pub and sample lots of beer. R was a happy man.
After our Liberty and Beer Road Trip, we spent R's remaining days just enjoying the summer and enjoying not being a world apart. We had a few relaxing beach days...
...and some intense Battleship nights. Here's a little secret about us: give us some cocktails and a board game, and we're pretty content. Add in a beautiful summer night and a cigar, and maybe a wager where the loser had to make breakfast the next morning, and you've got a pretty perfect night. And the next morning, R was treated to some pretty perfect crepes compliments of the world's worst Battleship Commander.
I surprised R with a mini-Christmas since he won't be here in December. I put on the Bing Crosby Christmas classics, lit some piney smelling candles, and even hung stockings on the fireplace with care. Not quite as good as the real thing, so I guess we'll just have to double it up next year when he's home.
After R left, I drove to Wisconsin to deliver a certain little Mazda to her new owner. I actually did a lot of fun things in Milwaukee, but somehow I managed to only take a few pictures. I'm not sure why I took a picture of the cheese aisle, I think it was to emphasize that when you're in Wisconsin, there are whole aisles dedicated to blocks of cheese. Home sweet home.
In addition to cheese, I got a picture of Beau and his cousin Lola after a trip to the dog park. Presh. Beau was so impressed with Lola's packer collar and tags, that he got a Packer tag to match. Now he's ready for some football.
I got a visit from my big brother and my handsome nephews. This is Cain, who just turned 1 this summer. Can you even resist that goofy smile?
After all my traveling was done and all my house guests had left, I looked out my back window to see that my lawn had grown into a prairie. When I realized that I could not leave it until R got home, I pouted for another few days, then finally mowed it. Since it was the second time I've ever mowed a lawn in my entire life and the grass was literally knee high by the 4th of July and I sweated off about 8 1/2 lbs and the blades kept getting stuck and stopping every 5 feet and I used some pretty harsh language that I'm sure my neighbors could hear, this event made it on my summer vacation list. I might even put it on my resume it was such an accomplishment for me.
It was a good summer. R and I made the most of our time together before he left and our friends and family helped distract me once he was gone. And now I'm in school! I am taking classes to get a Graduate certificate in Biblical Studies at Regent University. Right now I'm taking Biblical Hermeneutics and Old Testament I. So the scene above is my life for the next few months. Reading, writing, reading some more. It really is a new thing for me to be back in school after so long. Wish me luck!
Sweet summer, I miss you already. I hope your summer vacay was wonderful, too. Here's to a new season!