Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Summer Fri-dates

katie jer cliff walk

My husband and I didn’t do a lot of traveling this summer. Aside from a lovely anniversary weekend in Maine and a quick August getaway to Rhode Island, we stayed pretty close to home.

But our schedules were both flexible enough this year to allow for a new summer ritual: what we dubbed “Fri-dates.” Whenever possible, we planned fun day (or half-day) trips to local spots on Fridays, and soaked up both the summer sunshine and some extra time together.

On July 3, we started the holiday weekend with a trip to our beach (a mile from our house) and a little light reading.

between you and me beach

The following week, J came up to Harvard Square and we spent some time at the Harvard Art Museums – a favorite spot of mine. (The courtyard currently features this cool triangle sculpture.) Afterward, we ate dinner at Daedalus.

triangle sculpture harvard art museums

Our next adventure was quite close to home: Steel & Rye, a hip new restaurant in Milton, the next town over.

steel and rye lights sunset

The patio lights created a lovely ambiance, and the food – including this raspberry dessert confection we shared – was delicious. So fun to discover a new favorite spot in our neighborhood.

raspberry dessert steel & rye

A couple of weeks later, we drove up to Ogunquit, Maine, for an afternoon of exploring. We met some friends for an early dinner and made it to the beach (with ice cream) in time for this luminous sunset.

ogunquit beach sunset

Our next destination was Scituate, MA, a little south of where we live.

sailboats scituate ma

We explored the quaint downtown area, spent a couple of hours reading on the beach, and then ate a delicious Italian dinner al fresco (with live music!).

snicker of magic book beach summer

Next we headed to Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA.

crane beach ipswich ma

More reading on the beach, and a yummy dinner at a hip little place called Salt.

mary oliver winter hours beach

We wrapped up our string of beach dates with another afternoon close to home.

recipes for love and murder cover beach

And a few weeks later, we had an early fall Fri-date: a fascinating evening spent exploring the Science Behind Pixar exhibit at the Museum of Science.

mike sully monsters inc

I love a good road trip or weekend getaway. But it’s been nice to remember that there are adventures waiting in my backyard – and to savor them with my favorite person.


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astrid veronika lemonade stripes

What is it that makes us know when the summer turns? The smallest shift in the light? The slightest hint of chill in the morning air? A certain rustling of the leaves of the birches? That is how it is – suddenly, in the midst of the summer heat, you are overcome by a tightening of your heart. The realisation that it will all come to an end. And that brings a new intensity to everything: the colours, the smells, the feeling of sunshine on your arm. […]

Summer had turned. Although the weather remained sunny and warm, with each morning the air grew a touch crisper, the light a shade sharper, the evenings a notch darker.

Astrid & Veronika, Linda Olsson

I read Astrid & Veronika in late July, sitting in Harvard Yard with a cup of blueberry lemonade in hand. It’s a spare, lovely story about two women who become neighbors and help one another deal with deep grief. It is also about noticing the details, including the subtle shift in the seasons, the turning of summer toward fall.

The passage above leaped out at me when I read it, even though we were in the thick of summer, its full glorious green heat (and humidity). Now the calendar has flipped to September, and I’m noticing that seasonal shift – even though the weather is still summer-like.

Everyone I know – or their kids – seems to be heading back to school. (I work in higher ed and my circles of friends, both in Boston and Texas, include a lot of university students, professors and staff.) The blue of the sky is a little deeper, heading for that autumn blue I love so much. The sunsets are coming a little earlier, the sunrises a few minutes later. The light is sharpening a bit, the haze of summer gradually disappearing.

It has been a lovely summer and also a difficult one, in some ways. I am hoping for good things this fall, starting with a visit from my parents this week. And as I walk through these autumn days, I will do my best to pay attention, to notice the shifting light, the new coolness in the air, all the harbingers of my favorite season.

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scituate ma water sky

Back in June, which seems forever ago now, I posted a summer list of all the fun things I wanted to do. As we head into fall, I thought I’d post an update (since it’s nearly time to make a new list). Here’s how I did:

  • Eat all the summer fruits (rhubarb, peaches, tomatoes and every kind of berry I can find). Pretty sure I’ve eaten my weight in peaches, berries and cherries.

cherries toast breakfast

  • Related: go to the farmers’ market at Harvard and maybe the one over at Copley Square. I’ve been to the Harvard market nearly every week, where I’ve bought lots of berries (see above), tomatoes, zucchini, and a few strawberry basil popsicles. (Also: lots of tamales.)

strawberry popsicle

  • Wear skirts and shorts as often as possible. I’ve basically been living in them for months.

snicker of magic book beach summer

  • Get a pedicure (or two). Yes.

bare feet green yoga mat

  • Snuggle my friends’ baby, Evie. I’ve been hanging out with Evie and her mama, Abi, about once a week. So much fun.

baby evie

  • Go visit my family in Texas. I had a great time.

betsy harrison

  • Laugh and laugh with J at episodes of Modern Family. We’re in the middle of season 4 and still laughing our heads off.
  • Go kayaking on the Charles River. One of my favorite new activities this summer.

katie adam kayak

  • Drink lemonade and sangria. Yes and yes.

astrid veronika lemonade stripes

  • Eat lots of ice cream (and fro-yo). Again, yes and yes. The hubs is a frequent co-conspirator.

jer lulus ice cream

  • Take lots of long walks (to counterbalance the ice cream). Definitely.

sandals rocks beach

  • Soak up every bit of summer sunshine – summer in New England is lovely but fleeting. I’ve done my best, and it has been glorious.

pell bridge sunset

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kayak river light water

I spent the last evening of August kayaking on the Charles River with a friend. The waves were high and choppy, and we got soaked, but the light was truly stunning.

An apt metaphor for this summer, and a wonderful way to end this month.

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jer newport cliff walk

A week ago, the hubs and I hopped in the car and drove about an hour southward to Rhode Island. We’ve taken some glorious day trips this summer, but we needed a proper getaway – a brief chance to detach from work and everyday stresses, and clear our heads.

After much searching, J found us an Airbnb room in Jamestown, just across the bridge from Newport, and we spent a highly enjoyable 48 hours just being together.

We arrived at lunchtime, so headed to Mission for delicious burgers and fries. The order numbers are written on toy dinosaurs. (The hubs approves.)

jer pterodactyl

We spent Friday afternoon strolling around Newport, popping in and out of shops – which, of course, included Island Books. A small, cozy shop with a great selection. I ended up with a novel and a fun notepad.

island books newport ri

Before dinner that night, we walked down to Jamestown Harbor. I couldn’t get enough of the boats and the light.

jamestown harbor rhode island

We ate a delicious dinner at Simpatico, which has a spacious patio hung with twinkle lights and Japanese lanterns.

jer simpatico menu twinkle lights

The next morning, we walked down to the beach after breakfast.

sandals rocks beach

Where there are rocks, we both love to climb on them.

jer beach rocks jamestown

We ate lunch in Newport and then walked about half of the cliff walk, which stretches three and a half miles along the ocean, past some of Newport’s famous mansions. (This photo was taken at the top of the Forty Steps, which lead down to a few rocky outcroppings. We saw a couple of brave swimmers nearby.)

katie jer cliff walk

More shopping, more wandering, a break for some much-needed iced chai, and an early dinner at Lucia – then we drove back to Jamestown across the Pell Bridge. (There’s a $4 toll, but I love this view.)

pell bridge sunset

On Sunday morning, we said good-bye to our hostess, Allie (and her friendly beagle, Skippy), and hit the road, stopping in Providence for brunch at The Grange. (Absolutely scrumptious.)

grange providence ri

All in all, a delightful getaway. Just what we needed.

Have you been to Newport? Any favorite places we should hit next time?

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sunset clouds tree view

The view from my front patio: moody skies, sunset afterglow, neighborhood lights.

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jer newport cliff walk

Taken on the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI. A long, meandering afternoon with my love.

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