So, I give you, in brief, our Summer 2011 wrap-up:
June started out with high hopes of adventure, which we put on hold while this guy dealt with a bladder stone operation:
He recovered before our whirlwind trip to the East Coast. In two weeks, I bounced between DC, Delaware (of all places, where I learned how to manage people, at least in theory), NYC, Rhode Island and Boston! We spent lots and lots of time with friends and family, and I suffered the loss/theft of my laptop.
Back in SoCal, we celebrated our 5th year wedding anniversary with an epic hike to "The Bridge To Nowhere". Soon, however, we were on the road again and in Colorado where we spent time in Allens Park, Boulder and Breckenridge, visiting with more friends and family. We also played a lot!
We collapsed upon our return to CA, before steeling ourselves for more family and friends - visiting US this time around! And I capped off the summer with my last feat of physical endurance for a while - the Santa Barbara Triathlon.
In addition to the rather intense activity of coming and going and going and coming, I read a few good books (like this and this series). It was, obviously, not the most intellectually engaged summer that I've had, but I feel okay about that.
I also spent way more time in the saddle than I ever had before, so I'll chalk that up to success. My bike and I are almost friends now, although I still don't understand him/her/it! Along the same vein, I attended many morning spinning classes, most with Rod, who is a total spinning guru. This morning, I attended my final class given by Rod, at least for a few months, and I wanted to die. Or to kill him. Seriously. How is it possible that I've worked hard all summer and I'm still a lame-ass in the saddle?! Okay, moving on...
Michael and I also discovered a few new loves. First of all, there is Umami Burger. It is, quite simply, amazing. I think that I could eat there every single week. That did not happen, and we actually haven't been there since (GASP) July. Must go back.
this granola that is pretty kick-ass:
We particularly like the sweet cranberry pecan flavor.
Thanks to our bus 'booze cruise', we discovered Avery Beer, and I am now obsessed and buy it whenever I see it in California. "The Reverend" is one of my favorites, and it has nothing to do with the fact that I feel like a naughty school girl when I drink it!
Finally, there were a few other highlights that added to our summer fun. I'm a fan of summer sports events, but usually the non-traditionally American sort. This summer was a bit of downer, considering that a few of my favorites lost (Rafa, the US Women's soccer team), but I *did* enjoy following the Tour, and Cadel Evans is my new boyfriend.
On the food front, we indulged far too much in pizza and other less-than-healthy choices, but we did add to our own repertoire when we purchased a Weber charcoal grill. It has revolutionized our cooking/grilling experience, and most of our cooking this summer seemed to involve throwing fish, chicken or an elk/bison burger on the grill. Great fun, especially because we can look at the sky turn crazy colors as we wait for the food to cook. Lots of oohs and aahs!
This wasn't a summer in which we explored totally new and exciting places, but familiar stomping grounds were good to visit. Also, spending time with family and friends and bonding over beer or a Colorado 14-er (like Mt. Lincoln) enriches our lives and serves to remind me of the importance of those relationships. Finally, Michael and I enjoyed having time together. This is certainly a gift that we've tried to take advantage of the past few summers, knowing that his schedule may not always be so open.
So, tonight, while there will be some panic on my part as I freak out about documents and classes and students, we will definitely celebrate summer's last evening!