Today marks the final day and end of summer. Although most of my friends think summer ends with the beginning of the school, the autumnal equinox marks the actual beginning of Fall and in turn the end of the much coveted summertime. The time for snow cones, beaches, and sand castles ends.
|My bestie and her three girls make|
Summer Bucket List each year.
We enjoyed our summer immensely. Two cruises, a family beach trip, and many camps later, my heart is full of happy memories that we made in our first summer as a married couple. Working summer camps, as a dance teacher, is both strenuous and amazingly enjoyable. I look forward to the summer musical at Zilker Hillside Theatre annually. This year they produced one of the most classic original dance intensive musicals, Oklahoma. I enjoyed the twang of the actor's dialect and the dance performance.
One of my summer bucket list items was 'experience something new'. And did we ever! I went snorkeling whilst hubby went scuba diving. The water shone clear as day. The turquoise color was reminiscent of that of our front door (painted that way as a reminder to smile and to encourage happiness). Earlier in the summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to be Ariel at Princess Camp, and on this trip I got to go "Under the Sea". I was like a kid in a candy shop! I full on expected Flounder to swim up and greet me. But seriously, what an experience for the senses! (Pardon my overuse of the exclamation point, but folks I was excited.) The smell of the salt water in the air. The clear blue ocean was the perfect temperature. We dove in, head first and kicked those flippers to our hearts' content. Happily, Wilbirth, our scuba guide caught some snapshots of the underwater experience so that we could document this glimpse into the other world beneath the waves.
Another fun summer bucket list item checked off for me: 'SPLASH MOB'! I got to be a part of Hawaiian Falls splash mob event on the fourth of July. Any excuse to dance is a good one in my book, and man, did we ever! We took to the wave pool and danced our hearts out. Afterward I had the pleasure of trying out the water slides at the park and watching the fireworks beneath the shelter of a lovely bungaloo whilst surrounded by families I adore, giggling children, eating dots (the ice cream phenomenon of malls across America during the 90's), and breathing in the fresh summer breeze that only comes in Texas summer heat right after a storm passes.
Let's take a moment and rewind a tad... a must on my summer bucket list is always: Princess Camp. I live for this camp. I love watching magic affect children. I love the way in which a woman dressed in a princess ball gown MUST be the actual princess and a tea party with Prince Charming will make every little girl giggle to her heart's content. My husband is so gracious that he takes on the role of Prince Charming. He spins them and reads stories as they stare in awe. It is incredibly charming to see him interact with these precious little girls. My friends and I get to be princesses if only for a short while a couple days out of the summer. It is miraculous how you feel transformed once that dress is on. I get to take on the role of Ariel. I get questions about Sabastian and Flounder and why my shell top is gold rather than purple. We make snow globes with sea creatures and glitter (no surprise). My niece has come the past two summers; her hugs show her mass enjoyment of the activities. It is nothing short of extraordinary to experience this camp with childlike excitement.
My bucket list also included things like my first trip to Schlitterbahn which became a reality when my bestie came to visit. I tested my far from daring nature as we took to the water slides. We floated the Comal River in keeping with summer tradition in this part of Texas. We went to a summer concert or two with friends. We had dinner parties. I painted faces. My bucket list while maybe not completely finished was one for the record books. My garden exploded this summer too. I grew cantaloups, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, zucchini, Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Lavender, and some gorgeous flowers. With the help of my green thumbed neighbor and his natural fertilizer and my stepdad's technical genius for building a garden shade, everything blossomed. We even planted asparagus; though we later learned it takes three full years to fruit. Summer of 2014 was fantastical.
I think of the final scene of Dirty Dancing while saying this...Summer, I bid you farewell. You will come again just when we need you and stay for longer than I like. However, you are entertaining, and I am thankful for the time we spent together.
Now onto the next one. Fall and my birthday come tomorrow. I could not be more elated and hopeful for what will accompany them.