Here the weather has significantly warmed, the pool is set up and our summer plans are being finalized. I just wrapped up my first full year of teaching and though I have some articles to write and private lessons to teach my schedule is 100% up to me, decided by me and, thus, freed by me. For the first time since I was 16 and started working full time I have a classic school-days summer!
I never expected to suddenly have a summer open up to me again like a blank composition book and it brings me back to the last days of school from middle school when I’d write brightly colored lists of the great things about summer. (Read: The GReAt Things About SSSSUMMERRR! Sun! Swim! Boyz!)
What, you didn’t do that?
Just like New Year’s Resolutions can motivate you for a new start or planning a trip is half the fun of the travel, we know that living the travel life can come from many sources of inspiration. My summer lists, though juvenile, weren’t such a bad idea.
Now that I’ve finally booked my flight back to Columbus, Ohio it seems like a good as time as any to put down a classic summer list, to fully take advantage of the season!
While Columbus definitely isn’t the top of most travelers lists, the vibrant Midwest city has a lot to offer, and these are just some of the must-sees/dos that I want to check out.
Gina’s 2014 Summer in Ohio “To-Do” List
Go to the Columbus Zoo
Always a great option, this year the Columbus Zoo opened a new exhibit, the Heart of Africa, with 43 acres and more than 150 new animals – and they finally have giraffes again!
Swim with my nieces and nephews
As a swim instructor, teaching Reilly to swim was my favorite after-work past time. Now that he’s “all grown up” (7) he’s even more excited and ready to go swimming. I can’t wait to play with him and Ava (2) at the pool, the lake, the pond – wherever!
Lay outside with girlfriends
Besides seeing my family, coming home is about reconnecting with friends. I don’t care if it’s a public pool, a backyard pool or a strange apartment complex pool, I just want time to lounge around with friends – it is summer after all.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Open City by Teju Cole, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, What is the What by Dave Eggers…
Eat good sweet corn
Yeah how Midwest is this? But after a recent cookout here in Italy when everyone was exclaiming how good the soggy, plastic-wrapped corn on the cob was (it cost almost 4 euro for two mini-cobs) I realized how much I missed the ripe, sweet corn that lines all the Ohio highways. You only take things for granted until you don’t have them anymore!
Go to the cottage
As long as I can remember I’ve spent Fourth of July and other summer weekends lounging with more cousins and aunts than you can imagine at my grandma’s cottage. A drink elevator – aka, a beer koozie (cozy? coozie?) on a rope – cheese balls, a lake and a hammock. What more could you ask for?
The Count of Monte Cristo, Data Journalism Handbook, Traveler Magazine, maybe even some Ken Follett just to check it out…
Try all of Columbus’ new (and not so new) eateries
Melt, even more North Market, and all the gyros Columbus has to offer! Check out my friend Ryan’s amazing post on Buzzfeed about all of Columbus’ amazing eateries here)
Run (see above)
Whetstone Park/Park of Roses, Sharon Woods, Hoover Dam stairs (no, it’s not the Hoover Dam, just a Hoover Dam.)
Trip to Nashville with girlfriends
A trip we had planned for senior year of college, I’m thrilled that we finally get to go. Living outside of the United States makes it much more difficult to explore my own country, and I’m happy to take advantage of my time home for some side trips as well. The Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, music and great southern food! (And any suggestions on Nashville are more than welcomed!)
Summertime is fun precisely because it takes you back to your childhood, so why not take a cue from your inner-child? My multi-colored summer lists might seem silly to do now, but I’ll for sure have fun!
What about you? What does your summer list look like?