It seems to be a tradition now for me to take off the summer from blogging and almost all things social media related. I spent my whole summer traveling, visiting family and friends, enjoying nature, and unplugging. It was good for the soul.
I began my summer flying with my two daughters from Guam to Hong Kong to NYC. We spent a few days in the city visiting my brother, and I went to Coney Island for the first time, where my older daughter played a carnival game and won a giant teddy bear almost as big as herself. From there, we booked a last minute cruise from Manhattan to Bermuda and back. It was a wonderful Mom/daughter trip. We took in a couple of shows on board the cruise ship, spent time relaxing, explored a bit of Bermuda, and ate way too much food.
After the cruise, we rented a car and drove up to Boston, where we visited family and friends. Unfortunately, while in Boston, my youngest daughter took a hard fall while roller skating with a friend. She sprained her wrist and broke her tailbone. (Just like I myself did while roller skating with my older daughter when she was younger!) Although she was in considerable pain, she didn’t let it slow her down and very rarely complained.
On June 22, I moved my oldest daughter into the dorms at Harvard University, where she spent the summer taking biology courses. She found the courses to be extremely academically rigorous, but very interesting with a lot of hands-on labs (dissections, testing her own genes, and using all the high-tech Harvard lab equipment). She made some good friends, and she fell in love with Harvard, Boston, and college life. She says she definitely pictures herself on the East Coast for college.
After getting my oldest settled into summer school, my youngest daughter and I took a road trip up to New Hampshire, back to Boston, and then down to Connecticut. From there, we meandered through Pennsylvania. A friend met us in Philadelphia and stayed with us until we got to Columbus, OH. We avoided freeways for the most part and did a scenic drive through little Amish towns, toured Hershey Chocolate World (sadly, not a real factory tour, so much as a ride through a giant gift shop), and toured the Frank Lloyd Wright Fallingwater house. We made impromptu stops at covered bridges, rivers, farm-to-table cafes, and farmers markets. We enjoyed listening to a Spotify playlist my daughter made specifically for our road trip, as well as some Podcasts and an audio book by Victoria Schwab.
After dropping my friend off in Columbus, my daughter and I continued through Ohio, Indiana, and eventually stopping in Illinois, where we enjoyed time with family and friends. In celebration of my youngest daughter’s birthday (She officially became a teenager!), I took her to her first concert. We attended a day of the Summerfest music festival in Milwaukee, WI and enjoyed a Billie Eilish concert as the headliner that evening. Thrilled to see her favorite singer perform live, my daughter claimed it was “the best day of her life.”
When we left the Midwest, we continued our road trip to our family cabin on a lake up in the mountains outside of Albany, NY. My husband was able to take time off work to join us there, and we also enjoyed visits with his relatives, my brother and parents, as well as friends who flew out to visit. My husband and youngest daughter flew home to Guam at the end of the summer, while I went back to Boston and waited for our oldest daughter to finish up summer school at Harvard. We flew home on her 16th birthday, just in time for her to start school back in Guam.