The Sights of Summer

Summer has finally arrived in Manchester and I’m into it, starting with homemade strawberry sauce. If you have to recipe test gingerbread in June, all it takes is a little strawberry sauce to take things from Santa to summer. Cut up fresh berries, add a little sugar, let things sit and chill for a few hours. Voila.

gingerbread with strawberry sauce

Gingerbread with homemade strawberry sauce. After I took this picture I also added whipped cream.

I’ve been trying to make the most of the warm weather on our covered (but open) porch, which I dressed up this year with some flowers, herbs, and a few container vegetables. We moved in halfway through the summer last year and making the porch pretty didn’t happen before it got cold, so this time I made a good effort. John and I even hung up lights, which I suspect is a testament to watching all five seasons of Parenthood over the winter.

porch lights

Getting the porch lights set up!

I also just learned how to manually fertilize a zucchini plant, so that’s something weird and new.

fertlizing zucchini

Hold still, lady zucchini flower.

On the love front, one of my best friends and favorite people in the whole world, Kayte (I’ve written about her and my fellow bridesmaid/BFF Melissa here, here, here, and here), got married a few weeks ago in a sunny, flowery, joyful ceremony on Martha’s Vineyard. It was the first wedding I’ve been in where the bride wasn’t my sister, but the overwhelming surge of joy and love I felt watching her beam at her groom (the dashing Sam) was identical. Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Morris! So much love to you both!

The Ellsworth-Morris wedding party!

The Ellsworth-Morris wedding party!

On the fitness front, I think I am officially a semi-runner now (insert record scratch sound here). When my clothes started to feel tight over the winter, I decided it was time to be a grown up and actually start going to the gym. I’d pack a bag in the morning and go after work, and I made an effort to eat healthier…not less. At the end of April I ran my first 5K, and I just did another one last week with my little sister and brother-in-law (while 7-month Celia looked on). I know that 5K’s are small potatoes in the grand scheme of athletic achievements, but for me (the most un-athletic of girls) reaching that finish line feels fantastic.

Hanging with Celia Jayne before the race.

Hanging with Celia Jayne before the race.

On the travel front, I’m planning a trip to Eastern Europe in September. I’m told it’s all the beauty of Western Europe, but with lower prices and goulash. I’ll be spending a few days solo in Prague, then joining a tour that goes from the Czech Republic to Poland (with a few nights in Krakow), then down through Slovakia before finishing up with a few days in Budapest, Hungary. The idea occurred to me to take this trip on a Friday and by Monday the airfare and other crucial deposits were made. Solo travel for ladies has its limitations, but I’m looking forward to the chance to clear my head while simultaneously filling it with new and interesting sights and sounds. I’ve bought and borrowed a few guidebooks (long live print, my friends) and I’m making a list of street food for each country…most of it fried, most of it cheesy, and I’m pretty sure that means “all of it good.” If you’ve been to any of these places and want to pass on any recommendations, please do!

eastern europe travel books

Trip planning is underway.

On the cat front, here’s Bones! I really love my sweetheart of a cat. She’s so patient with my constant pestering. Hey, girl.

Beautiful Bones.

Beautiful Bones on a bed.

bones on a rug

Beautiful Bones on a rug, demanding scratches.

The rest of my non-work life is filled with Netflix binges, videos of my nephew and/or niece, and my usual slew of summer gin and tonics. Life keeps racing along, doesn’t it? Heavens.

Happy Fourth of July, guys!

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2 Comments on “The Sights of Summer”

  1. Courtney
    July 3, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    Prague oh Prague, Easily my favorite place in the world! The fried cheese with a tarter like sauce is heaven, as are all of the fire roasted street pastries (perhaps only available in winter). Oh and the potato chips sold on the street which were really fresh fried potato sticks! I want to go with you…amazing, beautiful, so incredibly historic of a city!! Don’t forget the pivo! Poor Greg will now be harassed for the next week about when we are going back!

    • July 5, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      Courtney, I think I’ve had Prague on my mind ever since I saw the photos you and Greg took from your honeymoon! Such a beautiful old city, and that fried cheese is absolutely on the list! Hopefully we’ll get a chance to hang out this summer and you can tell me all your favorite things (and get Greg can get another reminder of why you should plan a return visit!) – I can’t wait to go!

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