At one time in my life, I decided that Summer Erin was the best Erin. I suppose this was when I was in college, when Summer Erin had ALL OF THE FUN. Working at a seafood restaurant, playing (drinking) games until bedtime, sleeping over, and going to the beach with her best friends for 90 days in a row. These days, Summer Erin isn’t totally different from Spring and Fall Erin, though she is definitely way better than Winter Erin. Anyway. I had a summer. It was fun, but not Summer 2005 fun, which is probably a good thing, because I am an adult now.
What I Wrote
Sadly, I wrote just ONE thing for this blog, this post about all the mistakes I made in Croatia. But when your full-time job is writing and creating content about travel, it’s tough to sit down and write more when you get home after your long-ish commute, especially when your apartment is 98 degrees and rising and you are hungry. One of my goals for the fall is to really start this blog up again. I think a reasonable goal is to fit in two posts a month so I’ma do that. Hold me to it!
What I Did
I tried to make the most of my first full summer in the city in two years, but it went by much too quickly. Summer weekends fill up fast and I actually wasn’t in Brooklyn all that often. When I was in town, I filled my life with pizza or chicken fingers on rooftops, oysters on a boat, games and sangria in a friend’s courtyard on the 4th (and an attempt to watch the fireworks from my roof from which you can see the entire skyline aside from the few blocks where they do the fireworks), happy hours that turned into late nights, a night at my favorite bar in the world, dog-sitting an angel pup, and catching up with my travel peeps.
Where I Traveled
2018 Erin may not be as tan as 2005 Erin, but she obviously still spent a lot of time at the beach, even though sometimes she gets sunburn on her eyeballs which is strange and incredibly painful and somewhat concerning. I traveled home to the Jersey Shore quite a bit, usually with a Hamilton singalong or some missing-person podcasts along the way.
Most weekends home, I sat on the beach with my family and my neighborhood family, played with my favorite dachshund/beagle mix and my favorite St. Bernard, and watched Anne with an E season 2 on Netflix. I also was so so proud to see my parents’ artwork in a show in Cape May County. The final beach weekend of the summer, Katie and Spencer joined in. It was unfortunately the rainiest weekend in months so we explored a local brewery and the boardwalk and then played 13 Dead End Drive (yes, from 1993), which I won, for the record.
Rain was a theme for some of the more fun times I had planned this summer, as it POURED before and during the opening acts of the Taylor Swift concert we attended in July. It stayed away for most of the time when TSwizzle was straight-up killing it on stage until the final song when it started up again. Despite being soaked, we had such a fun time and I’m so glad I finally got to one of her shows, having been a fan since the “Tim McGraw” days.
We had an epic (do the kids still say “epic”?) family wedding for the first time in years and celebrated Emily and Jordan in north Jersey on yet another pouring (and flooding!) day. My sister and I went hiking briefly the next day but I needed to give up early on account of being utterly exhausted from the dance floor and the tequila I had consumed. I was told the viewpoint was the same if we’d continued so I stopped feeling bad about myself.
I was able to travel a little for work and built in some side adventures to a few places I hadn’t been before and an area I got to explore just last summer. I took the train up to swim in the pool with one of my favorite toddlers and afterward ate more Italian food than I could handle.
And then just before summer officially ended, I took a trip with my parents and my sister to Utah to visit Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, a la our “going out west” trip in 2016 to Sedona, Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce. It was so so so so so fun to hike, relax, and breathe in the fresh air while taking in the incredible views. Now that I’ve promised to write 2x a month this fall, I will absolutely expand on our trip in a future post AND create another video for y’all to see the beauty of the area.
What I Read
I recently determined that the reason I’m reading so much this year is as a replacement for traveling. Instead of counting countries and planning trips, I’m counting books and planning what to read next. As of the end of summer, my total was up to 63 for 2018. Here’s the summer list:
- The Mothers by Britt Bennett
- The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (one of my faves this summer)
- The Girls by Emma Cline
- My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman (not good)
- Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller (my other fave this summer)
- Nutshell by Ian McEwan
- The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs
- Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer
- Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall
- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
- Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley
- In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (top 3)
- Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
- Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler (woof)
- Educated by Tara Westover (very overrated)
- The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil
Fall brings more weekend trips, more family outings, and, what I’m most excited about–because this is the longest I haven’t been out of the country since 2013–TEN DAYS IN EUROPE! I’m solo-exploring THREE new countries in a new region and traveling back to one of my favorite cities I visited in March of 2017, where my sister will also be at that time. Any guesses?