As summer comes to a close and we prepare for a new season with new plans and activities, I have been thinking back on this summer, filled with it’s own fun memories. I shared some of my summer travel with you (Napa 1 & 2, Denver, Chicago), but there have been many wonderful in-between moments that I only captured with my phone and never shared. While the travels and adventures warranted their own posts, it is the small moments at home and with friends and family that make the week-to-week great and create memories that are just as lasting season after season. Before we jump into fall, I want to share some of my summer memories, in hopes that it reminds us to soak in the everyday joys and the exciting opportunities that come with each season.
Summer started with friends visiting for Memorial Day Weekend. I don’t have a lot of photos from the weekend other than this quick snap from Brewery Bhavana, but the memories are what count. We had so much fun bouncing around the Triangle and exploring Raleigh (Raleigh Beer Garden flights and fried pretzels, Brewery Bhavana, NC Art Museum), Durham (Duke, Duke Gardens, Parker & Otis), and Chapel Hill (Bartaco, brunch and ice cream on the back patio (separately, of course), and cheese boards and long conversations about life in our living room), and felt refreshed and loved after the long weekend ended.
Next, we were off to Napa with my family! This photo was taken as we were flying over the Rockies.
I shared a bit about Brenda’s Soul Food in this Napa food post, but didn’t include a photo from our meal. With some expert city driving by my dad (who knew there were U-turn-only lanes?), we stopped here to quelch our ravenous hanger after our 6-hour plane ride across the country. Tea and coffee for all made us more pleasant people until the Ghirardelli-filled beignets arrived. Everything we had at Brenda’s was ah-mazing. If you are heading to San Francisco, it’s worth a stop! The restaurant is small, but the wait for weekday breakfast/brunch wasn’t bad. I mean, look at that molten chocolate filling.
Rows on rows of grape vines lined the roads in Napa Valley.
I was a traveling maniac for a few weeks and left for Denver with my college roommates only four days after returning from California. I shared some photos of the Denver Union Station on Instagram stories, but never shared one here. It was renovated a few years ago and the inside is even more beautiful.
Pit stop in Red Rocks as we made our way around the beautiful towns outside of Denver.
Another photo I shared on Insta stories but not here was the cute little town of Golden, CO. I think I just expected mountain towns, but Colorado felt much more western than I thought it would.
Peony season arrived! Peonies are my favorite flower and always remind me of my wedding day and bridesmaids bouquets :)
Will and I don’t go out to eat very often, and when we do, it is almost always with other people. Instead of going to a restaurant for our anniversary this year, we decided to make a special meal at home together. Our meal of choice? A cheese board, fresh crabs, and grilled corn. We picked up the live crabs from a local hole-in-the-wall seafood place that brings in fresh seafood from the NC coast every Thursday and is only open Thursday through Sunday. The little shop is nearby and along our daily bike route to work, so we just popped in on Friday afternoon and rode home with a bag of live crabs in the basket of our bikes! It was so fun to take our time and pick each crab, but I forgot how much effort they take for just a little meat.
As Will’s schedule allowed, we took a few coffeeneuring dates and brought our computers to work on residency applications (Will) and blog posts (me). It was a fun way to break up otherwise mundane tasks and still have time for a date during busy schedules.
One of the items on my summer bucket list was to eat dinner outside, and we did! Here is proof from one night on the back patio, complete with multiple forms of mosquito repellent ;)
I did a little bedroom update and finally framed and hung two paintings we got in Paris earlier this year. The frames are just plain, thin gold frames from Target, and because our pieces of art are so small (2.5″ x 3.5″), I ordered custom mats from matboardsandmore.com to give them a custom framed look. It was way cheaper than actually getting them custom framed and I love how they turned out!
In July, I helped with a fun photoshoot for Cultivate What Matters. It was so much fun to be behind the scenes and to learn how a product photoshoot works and everything (and everyone) that goes into the planning of it and the actual shoot. These are the scraps of paper that were used for backgrounds. I’m excited to see the photos and products when they launch on October 24!
Some of the summer sunsets were beautiful. This iPhone photo doesn’t do it justice, but I love remembering the beauty of nature and how different it is in every season.
Even though I had a post about our whirlwind weekend trip to Chicago, it didn’t include these iPhone gems. As I mentioned, this was one of our favorite trips of the summer and these photos bring back the joy-filled memories I have of our time in the Windy City with Will’s sister, Anna.
Gotta get those touristy pics with the Bean, even if it is covered in nasty fingerprints.
Last, but not least, another coffee and croissant pic from the same coffee shop, this time from a sibling date with my brother and sister. It has been so wonderful having them nearby this summer, and while I will be happy for them if/when they move (or if we move first), it will also be a little sad because it means the coffee shop dates and post-work runs that I love so much won’t be as easy to coordinate. For now, I’m taking advantage of our close proximity and soaking up the sibling time :)
Happy summer and almost fall! This has been a good season, but I’m just as excited about what is to come. Fall, I’m ready for you.