Summer Aspirations

We’ve got the broad outlines of our summer schedule settled. Basically, J is overbooked for July and early August (gymnastics practice, a Young Women’s Engineering Institute, Volleyball Camp, and Circus Camp), then she’ll spend most of August just focused on gymnastics practice, which is plenty. M, meanwhile, is already gearing up for the school soccer season with a schedule that’s mellow for now but will shift into two-a-days by mid-August, and it looks like she’ll be serving up snacks at the town pool.

Every summer I start out with all sorts of aspirations to do things, and I don’t get around to actually doing many of them. When the kids were younger I used to try to put together a list of high-priority items, but the truth is, they usually don’t come up with many ideas. If left to their own devices, I think they’d go into full-on sloth mode.

Over the years, the only consistent summer must-do that the kids request is a camping trip. Last year I failed this one, so when I realized in March that our summer calendar was filling up, I grabbed literally the only weekend that still had nothing scheduled and reserved a campsite at Acadia National Park. What’s so awesome about this trip is it ticks off a bunch of different boxes at once. It will be our first time visiting Maine, it’s another National Park that we’ve never visited, it’s a camping trip, and it’s a visit to the beach. And yes, okay, it’s a very long drive, if you’re the type of person who thinks that summer is not complete without a road trip. So that’s happening in August.

Meanwhile, I have still more things I aspire to do close to home. Many of my ideas come from that big list of free summer stuff that I put together for

I like concerts at Freedom Park, and I really just don’t go to enough of them. I’m a little bummed, though, because in theory I’d like to go to a couple of the ones labeled Party Rock and dance my pants off (not literally), but of course these fall on Wednesday nights, when Cute W plays soccer. Anyone want to go and dance around with me?

Same deal with the Music Haven Concerts . . . I have only been to a few of these over the years, which is ridiculous because Central Park is easy-biking-distance close. I might have to just plan on doing Sunday picnic dinners this summer. Especially because this concert series makes every concert its own cultural excursion with African and Cuban and Middle Eastern music.

This year’s Park Playhouse productions are Ragtime and The Music Man, and I love going to see these plays in Washington Park. The trouble, of course, is it seems like whenever I come up with a night to go see one, that’s the night that there are thunderstorms and it’s cancelled. But I’ve got a soft spot for Park Playhouse plays especially because going to see one of these was our very first successful evening outing as parents back when M was a teensy baby. Plus, the girls have been agitating lately to go eat at Van’s Vietnamese or Empanada LLama, so that would make a delightful combo evening o’ fun.

And how is it possible that we’ve never gone to see Shakespeare in the park in Saratoga? This season includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which sounds like a good time to give it a try.

In the not-free-but-tempting zone, a friend’s daughter is putting on a dance performance at Proctors next Friday. Cute W and the girls won’t be around, so maybe I need to go by myself or recruit a friend?

Speaking of dance, the New York City Ballet at SPAC is always on my summer “to do” list, although I think I’ve only actually made it there a couple of times. Usually I remember how I wanted to go in early August, when they’ve just packed up and left.

We’ve been to see Circus Smirkus once, and it was really fun. J’s going to their 2-week camp this year, and she’s feeling a little nervous about it. I’m not sure if going to see the show would make her excited or more nervous. But I absolutely recommend it to everyone else!

The Schenectady JCC is hosting a Women’s Self-Defense Class, and I think I might see if the girls are up for doing it with me. We’ll see.

Ever since the Hamilton obsession hit, I’ve been meaning to visit the Schuyler Mansion. Have I made it yet? Umm, no. That’s definitely happening this summer.

We’ve also got to go kayaking at least once or twice.

Now we’ve got strawberries in our backyard, but I like to fit in some blueberry picking and raspberry picking. Oh, my gosh, I just love freshly-picked raspberries.

Plus I’d like to make it to a state park beach, like Moreau or Grafton, at least once or twice.

And speaking of lakes, would you believe that we’ve never really been to Lake George, aside from the Great Escape?

And come to think of it, J’s got a season pass to the Great Escape, and have I brought her yet at all this season? The answer is no.

Okay, is anyone else starting to feel overwhelmed? Is that just me? I need to have a meeting with the girls and Cute W to prioritize. We only have so much summer to work with!

Anything on your list that I’m missing?




  1. JoMarie

    Acadia was my most fave vacation. We went two years ago. I may have wept a bit when we left.

    I recommend calling ahead and getting your name on the list for Schuyler Mansion tour. We went a few weeks ago and it was super crowded, we had to wait over an hour for the next tour and they were turning people away. While I loved the hour at the small museum space, certain boys were a little perturbed. Hooray for Hamilton making it a popular destination. They do designate certain of the tours for Hamilton fans.

  2. Mary Ellen Whiteley

    Everything sounds fabulous and summery! The Schuyler Mansion sounds just perfect for Tess!

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