Summer is rolling out. I’m hoping this Indian summer will stick around just a few days more before the leaves fully turn and fall from their branches and the rain falls more often.
This summer Louis and I didn’t get vacation. I know, surprising being in France, the country with 5 weeks paid vacation which is often unheard of to most hardworking Americans. As I had just started my new permanent contract (paid vacation days have to be earned throughout the first year for the following year… vivement next year!) and Louis just started a new project, we had to swing through summer working full time on our mix and match schedules. We have nothing to complain about though; we are loving what we do, and this summer we took in slow, enjoyed Paris, but also hopped on the highway just a short ride to the countryside for a breath of fresh air with the in-laws whenever we could. An excuse to get out of Paris on the weekends certainly made summer feel more real.
A la campagne it feels like summer year round. Not because of the weather, but because it’s relaxing and just so beautiful. We dine even with the chills outside, with light gardlands lit and candles topping the table as soon as the sun goes down, it is as charming as ever. With the foggy mornings and flowers for every season in bloom throughout the year, it’s safe to say that the countryside is pure magic. My father-in-law’s garden was at its peak later than expected this year, so our fruit and veggie explorations were the cherry on top of a good weekend away during the Indian summer.
I suppose with age and wonderful experiences I’m realizing that summer doesn’t only consist in getting away for vacation to a beach somewhere. A weekend away in good company, delicious and quality grub in a beautifully cozy home can certainly suffice. What makes your summer feel like summer?
It’s always a mystery where the time goes. But for some reasons thinking about previous summers always feels like it was just last week. Summer in the city is rough. I’m slightly sarcastic when I say that. Paris gets hot, and one a handful of places have A/C, August is a no man’s land… the list could go on. But I love it in the summer, parking in some grass and just enjoying the sun and people watching somewhere lovely like Montmartre.
One thing I love about summer is people coming to town. It’s considered “normal” to travel in the summertime, right? Last summer my dear friend Rachel added Paris to her list of European destinations, as you’ve probably seen here on the blog as I’ve posted a few more of our adventures. For Paris, summer is almost like a homecoming season. Having gone to University in Paris, it is more common than not that people who left the city swing back by to get their fill of Paris before heading back to their busy lives elsewhere. I find it to be so lovely, little apéros filled with familiar faces, catching up over some rosé…
Now let’s talk about time real quick, summer this year has already been thrown into full swing out of NOWHERE. I am strill trying to catch up. We went from gray skies and light jackets to the hot hot heat and BOOM the Parisians are gone and it’s that season where the city seems pleasantly asleep. I kind of wish time would slow down a bit. I remember when the end of the week felt like it would never come, now I’m hoping to take advantage of time with dear friends and people I care about, admire and enjoy spending time with. Sooner than we know it it will be winter again and this year will be history.
I feel like growing up, and even up until recently there’s that one thing that “marks” your summer, for example my family would drive out to some random roller coaster because my brother was a huge roller coaster fan. Flashback to just last year I had a brilliant trip to the Rockies (proof + proof), a pit stop in Hawaii for some adventures, Rachel visiting… this year as I’m in full swing with the new job, I’m not sure I’ll have a big travel marker of my summer. Perhaps a calm summer en ville will do my soul equally as good. Staycation. At least mom came to visit, which was pure magic. I couldn’t be happier. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more at home as I do now, this summer.
I’ve been slacking with writing on here lately, and for that I am terribly sorry. It’s been busy, and mom was visiting Paris for a few weeks so everything besides work was sort of put on hold.
On the Fourth of July, a colleague asked me what kind of things we did, and it made me thinking about all of the memories I have of family barbecues, neighborhood parades and nights in the mountains under the stars with fireworks across the sky. My American spirit has slid away a little bit being in France, but I’ve decided that next year that’s going to have to change.
More on summer adventures to come soon, promise.
When Louis and I were visiting my Uncle in Hawaii, we knew we’d have to climb a crater. It’s just one of those things, right? Right outside of Honolulu is Hawaii Kai, the home of the Koko Crater. We set ourselves to embark up the Koko Crater, which was our view when we woke up in the mornings. The West side has an abandoned set of railway tracks that were apparently used during World War II to transport supplies and personnel to the top of the crater, a lookout point.
You’ve got to be on your game as climbing those tracks is no easy task. It seems so simple when looking from afar and even still when you start, but once you start you realize how steep it gets, and how thirsty you get, you realize you were wrong. Not to mention there are active runners and joggers in fancy running gear hopping between the wood beams like it’s easy breezy. This was no slice of pie!
Once at the top of Pu’u Mai, the crater’s highest peak, you forget that the hike was tiring as fuck un the heat and that you shouldn’t have brought a big bag (I was that person). The view beyond Sandy Beach and Hanauma bay, the whole Eastern shoreline of Oahu all the way to Honolulu with the blue blue ocean as far as you can see you simply makes you realize how beautiful the world is and just how small we humans are. We wandered around the top for a little while, checking out the abandoned dollies, manmade cells and huge cement platforms that are left from World War II. The are wild flowers and dirt trails, obviously a lot of tourists, but a panoramic view that made my heart skip a few beats. We just sat and gazed off into the distance.
On a sidenote, going down was actually quite stressful with the railway beams just far enough apart to make it difficult and all those marathon-like runners literally running down next to us. That was our only work out while visiting Hawaii. There’s even a Yelp for this hike, ha!