It’s September, my friends, and that means the end of summer is very close at hand. My late July and August were exceptional this year. Here are 10 photos to sum everything up. Spoiler alert — the last one is the best!
1. In late July, I headed to Rye on the New Hampshire seacoast for a sunny, sandy week with the paternal branch of my family. This sunrise was especially gorgeous, and I know I’ll be looking back on it in February when New England is curled up and shivering like a lost lamb. Oh God, I’m not ready.
2. Lobster. Mussels. Rum Boogies (that fruity slushy thing you see back there that my sister Melanie makes). This is the stuff that New England summer stomachs were made for, and we ate (and drank) all of them.
3. The house has been in (stay with me, now) my stepmother’s sister-in-law’s family for (I believe) more than fifty years, and while it might not be the fanciest house on the beach, what it lacks in wi-fi and multiple bathrooms it makes up for in other areas. The fireplace, for example, was built by my aunt’s father using stones he gathered from the beach that sits just outside the back door. I always love this view from the corner of the sofa. The pop of green in the loveseat. The wood paneling. The ship wheel in the fireplace. That bell.
4. The week included a family day trip to Star Island, one of the Isles of Shoals, and home to the Oceanic Hotel. Time slows down on the island. I’d love to do a personal retreat there one of these days and seriously unplug for a little while. Look at that porch!
5. In early August, I traveled to the Cape to celebrate Melissa’s 30th birthday with Kayte and Liz. I am so grateful for these ladies! One part of the celebration was a surprise seal cruise — do you see the little shark snacks bobbing their heads up behind us?
6. After the cruise, Melissa’s Uncle Danny met us on the dock (surprise!) and escorted us to an amazing lunch at the Chatham Bars Inn. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a gourmet lobster roll. Look at this monster! What a special treat. The entire weekend was great, but then again, so is Melissa!
7. For my birthday in mid-August, John and I had dinner at my favorite restaurant in Manchester, then joined Courtney and Jon (and Quinn) a few days later for a night of grilled pizza and cocktails. Not pictured: the umbrella being held over Courtney’s head. My sister takes her pizza grilling seriously.
8. And speaking of Courtney, she also accompanied me on a trip to Canobie Lake Park back in July, our favorite childhood amusement park. We had such a wonderful day, eating junk and riding the roller coaster we loved as kids. We also hit the Skee Ball pretty hard. A lot of the things at the park have (naturally) been updated over the years, but the Skee Ball machines in this particular arcade kiosk were still fastastically retro. The score still flipped like an old alarm clock, and you had to pull the crank after dropping in your quarter.
9. Bones is also having a great summer, thanks for asking (you didn’t).
10. And finally, on August 23rd, John and I got engaged in Portsmouth, NH! I honestly can’t imagine my life without this wonderful man. He makes me laugh every day and is blissfully level-headed. He keeps my car running and likes to do the dishes. He’s never once asked me to turn off The Golden Girls, even at 2:00 AM. Basically, he’s the best. I’m so excited to get married and have a party with everyone we love and start a new phase of life together. This photo was taken (with my phone) the next day in the study at The Hotel Portsmouth. Engaged! Yay!
Looks like it’s going to be an exciting year!