Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer Bucket List

"I pray that the life of this spring and summer may ever lie fair in my memory." Thoreau

I'm afraid I have some bad news. Summer is fading fast. Pool toys and picnic basket displays have been replaced with back-to-school supplies and Halloween decorations, nights are getting shorter, and temperatures are getting cooler (at least this week). But wait! I still have so many things to check off my "Summer Bucket List" before we start school! This is the time of year when I long to have a PAUSE or REWIND button for life. Wouldn't that be handy?

At the beginning of the summer, I decided to make a Summer Bucket List. The list was full of things I wanted to do last summer and never got around to doing. And while 11 items on my list sit patiently waiting, at least 5 of the activities sport nice, fat check marks! Of course, summer isn't OFFICIALLY over until September 22, so there's plenty of time to chip away at the list, right? Yeah, we’ll see about that!
Here are the five Summer Bucket List items we completed:

#1 Trip to the Ocean

Ahhhh, Cocoa Beach! Nothing quite compares to the beauty of God’s creation and the expanse of the clear blue ocean blending into an endless azure sky. One of my favorite sights in the universe!

#2 Sea World

After two days at this amazing theme park, our family decided it was part zoo, part dolphin/whale/aquatic animal show, part acrobatic spectacle, part amusement park, and part musical concert. We love Sea World! We were dazzled and amazed by the dolphins, whales, manta rays, polar bears, penguins, sea turtles, manatees, sharks, sea lions, walruses, otters, and more. Plus, we learned so much about the animals that live in the park. Educational AND fun equals a gold star in this homeschool mom’s book!  

#3 Ivanhoes

Ahhh, Ivanhoes! I've been wanting to visit this ice-cream-shop-turned-legend for some time now, and finally did so in early August. What an amazing place! The menu boasts 100 different sundaes and 100 different shakes in mini, regular and super sizes. (A mini was the perfect size for me, and was FAR from "mini," in my opinion).

I had the #80, Rocky Road, which the menu describes as "hand-dipped chocolate ice cream, mini marshmallows, pecans, hot fudge, whipped topping and a maraschino cherry." My one-word description: "heavenly"! One daughter opted for #93, Toffee Coffee, which consisted of crushed Heath bar and hot fudge over hand dipped coffee ice cream. My son tried the Reese's Cup, #79, which as you'll probably guess, featured soft vanilla ice cream with chopped Reese's cup and peanut butter topping. Yum! Daughter #2 tried a Superman ice cream cone while my husband ordered a basic Chocolate Malt. All of us gave Ivanhoes a big thumbs up and hope to visit again very, very soon!

#4 Picnic at Mounds State Park

We visit this park frequently to hike the trails, but something was missing each time. A picnic! The girls made a yummy chicken salad, and we invited our good friend, Steph (who just happens to be an expert on the trails there). Good times!
#5 Dor-Tees Drive In

This hidden gem is locally famous for its Toasty Cheeseburgers, Chili Cheese Fries, and Blue Moon ice cream. Unfortunately, the night we went, the Blue Moon ice cream was not on the menu. But we DID indulge in their equally delicious Cake Batter and Lemon twist cones. Yum!

#6 The Levi Coffin House

Wait! If you thought I said we only marked off FIVE bucket list items – you were right! But don't good intentions count? My dear friend Christa and I (along with our children) made a valiant attempt to visit this legendary stop on the Underground Railroad. The day was sweltering hot, nearly 100 degrees, and this is what we saw posted on the door of this historic landmark after our 1 1/2 hour drive:

LOL! The kids took it in stride, and we were able to spend more time at a great antique mall in the next town. But this historic house is definitely on our Fall Bucket List!
So how about you? Did you have a Summer Bucket List? What fun things did you do with your family this summer?


  1. Okay, so when I read the first part about bad news, I was starting to get worried!

    I happen to love fall so not worried about summer fading. Fall clothes are much more comfortable. ;)

  2. Aww, Steph! Thanks for being worried about me. :) I'm with you on the fall clothes! Can't wait to get those out again!