As a 7th and 8th grade teacher, I am just as excited as my students to see the school year wrap up. Though I am going to miss my 8th graders who graduate (I cry like a baby at our last school mass, awards ceremony, and graduation), I am ready for sleeping in past five o'clock and a break from packing lunches. It has been a really great year but the kids and I are ready! Every summer, we try to come up with a few things we want to do. Ice cream places to try, the beach for a week, and a few crafts are all we really have room for with summer swim team filling in the rest of the time.
This year, I have a few things I want to do.
I want to learn how to make stellar chicken salad. CRAZY good chicken salad.
Usually in the summer, once a week or so I ask Matt to stop at either the Village Deli or Pharaoh's to pick up a pound (or two) of chicken salad. We eat it for dinner and pack it and take it to the pool. To me, it tastes like summer! I am not really sure what their secret is. From what I can tell, its chicken, mayo, and something crunchy like celery or pickles. This is chicken salad not calculus...how hard can it be?!
I've made chicken salad and it's fair to decent, but it isn't up there with Village Deli or Pharaoh's.
This summer, I am going to get there!
I am going to take my children to our new Cathedral. I worked and worshiped for many years at our diocese's old cathedral and it was bittersweet to me when it was announced that a new cathedral was to be built. This new one should be large enough to house our diocese and has a cafe, beautiful stained glass, and a glorious dome to be seen from far away. It is already special and I cannot to take the kids there for our first mass.
Macarons. Do I need to say more? I plan on not only eating a fair share of these this summer but like the chicken salad, I want to learn how to make them this summer as well. They are made with almond flour, so that makes them perfect for a gluten free desert. They are also beautiful and my girls LOVE them. Every summer I love setting up my grandmother's china and letting the kids have a fancy snack of lemonade and cookies. It is always a fun surprise for them and they think it is pretty special. I have a two-tier stand and this year, I plan on making finger sandwiches (chicken salad?) and macarons. Who wouldn't love that?!
Do you know I've lived in North Carolina for over twenty years and have never been to the zoo here? I am not lying! Supposedly, its a pretty fantastic one. The problem is usually that when the kids and I are off for school in the summer, it is HOT here. I think we just need to bite the bullet and go this year!
Unlike the zoo, I have been to many of the aquariums in the state and the one in Pine Knoll Shores is amazing. I am from this part of the state originally and get the chance to go about once a year, usually in the summer. It is easy to navigate, has wonderful animals including penguins and otters, and is air conditioned! I'll throw this out there...it also has a snack bar and mini-dairy queen...just sayin'.
The North Carolina Art Museum is another favorite place of mine and yet, I've never taken the kids. The grounds are gorgeous and there are many sculptures and installations to look at without ever even going in. The inside of the museum is equally brilliant and I hope my kids are at an age where they can appreciate a little bit of time spent there...we are going to give it a try. There is an adorable cafe to have lunch and make a day of it (its a great place to have a pretty cheap date).
It goes without saying that I hope to get some quilting done, some fabric buying, time on the sand and in the sun, and reading. In the summer, I average a book a day. I start one while I have my morning coffee, carry on reading while the kids have morning swim practice, read a bit more during lunch, and so on until the book is done, sometimes into the wee hours.
Here are some books that are on my summer reading list:
Also, anything by Elin Hilderbrand or Liane Moriarty makes my list, though I went through their titles last summer. I occasionally toss in a "real" piece of literature or an autobiography, but usually I just need an entertaining story.
Read anything really good lately? What is on your summer bucket list?