Tag Archives: summer



It finally feels like summer to me!

In my world, summer starts Memorial Day weekend and ends on Labor Day. However, I have plenty of friends who work in the school system who would make their summer bookends the last day and first day of school!

We took our annual trip to Michigan over the week of Memorial Day, a little over a month earlier than usual. So my summer definitely feels like it is in full swing. However, I didn’t take any photos this trip… Instead you get a bullet recap of our trip:

  • Lots of Euchre and Hearts.
  • A trip for that fantastic salad at Mr. M’s.
  • Several games of Chase the Bobber for Sham.
  • Ice cream from the Corner House.
  • Annual fill of Kogels – celebrating 100 years!
  • Nachos and flautas from the BT. {I did try to get some better photos of the menu than the ones posted! Haven’t compared them yet…}
  • Friday night auction! We purchased some scotch decanters, some books on birds, some Hobo Pie Makers and… I am forgetting something.
  • Heading back to The Camp.
  • Realizing we really don’t like The Riverwalk {and the really unprofessional manager!}
  • A quick visit to St. Helen, about 40 minutes north of Rob’s parents’ place to visit some friends at their new cabin in the woods.
  • Annual Cherry Wheat!
  • Finishing another Quebecois book – one of my faves!
  • A new-found love for Grapefruit Shandy.
  • A few new to us Michigan brews.
  • Visiting a new Michigan brewery – stay tuned!
  • But most importantly – time spent with family. 

We had the most beautiful weather on the lake… Since Rob’s parents no longer own a pontoon, we were lucky that their neighbors offered us a ride on their boat on our last day. I felt absolutely spoiled and relaxed…

What signifies the beginning of summer for you?

Happy Summer!



The summer is flying by!

Here are some excerpts…


Loungin’ on the deck in the sun…


Beggin’ on the deck for some beef sticks…


Savoring Rainier Cherries…


Road Trip!

Fun Family Wedding…

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Polka, polka & more polka!

Arrival at the lake…


Where are the chippers?!

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A little imbibing…


Some swimming and bobber chasin’


After that trip to Wisconsin and Michigan, I’m still playing catch-up! Still hopin’ to have the energy to write more soon… But until then, I’ll soak up every minute of summer.


Summer – Soaking Up Every Last Minute!


I’d love to say that I’m taking my own advice this summer.

But I had a bit of a standstill – the summertime blues, if you will. I’m not sure what that even means. I just know that I was a little down and knew I shouldn’t be. I became angry with myself because I knew I was wasting away the summer! It was a vicious cycle.

So, now, as my friends in education talk about going back to school, I realize that summer will end before I know it. It’s time to soak up every last minute.

I had been collecting links to share with you at the beginning of summer. I was attempting to create the…


Well, better late than never!

But first, you have to read Why Summers are The Best in Minnesota.

Now here are a few more things to do in MSP before the snow falls…

  • Minneapolis Patios – I love sitting outdoors and having a cocktail, a meal or conversation with friends. Get a list of the best ones here.
  • Twin Cities Food Truck Guide – Food Truck fare doesn’t have to be greasy. Look around for some unique, gourmet fare without the gourmet prices.
  • Outdoor Movies – Many cities play outdoor movies throughout the summer. Here is a list of those in Minneapolis, put together by Thrillist. Try to catch one of the last few!
  • Taproom Tours by Bike – I had envisioned taking a Nice Ride bike around Minneapolis exploring this summer; but I don’t think time will permit at this point. At least I have this list for next year!
  • Irish Fair – This is a free event that happens in St. Paul every year – this weekend! I am looking forward to watching a little hurling and seeing one of our favorite bands, Gaelic Storm.
  • The Great Minnesota Get Together – And lastly, we have the big event that signals the end of summer for nearly all Minnesotans: The Minnesota State Fair. Here’s a look at the new foods you can expect “on a stick” this year.

Do you have an end of the summer ritual?

How do you plan to soak up the remaining bits of summer?


What They Did on Their Summer Vacation


Sophie & Shamrock Saturday

We took our annual summer vacation to Michigan. Sophie and Sham enjoyed a little paddle boating…

…a little swimming…

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…and a little playing of Chase the Bobber. Don’t worry, Rob removes the fish hook for this game! It used to be one of Benny‘s favorites. It was our first year at the lake without him. But his favorite game, love of the lake and memory lives on.

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Happy Summer!


Summer Lovin’


I’ve been neglecting this poor little blog lately. But, for me, it’s okay. I’m trying to soak up every last drop of summer, despite the fact that it’s only begun. You’ll find the evidence in some of my #100HappyDays photos:

Oh how green it is when I go for a quick run!

photo 3

Monday night Couples’ Golf League {aka croquet golf}.

photo 2

Taking advantage of some hammock time after work:

photo 1

Then looking over and seeing our beautiful green yard with our handsome Bugaboo…

And enjoying a Central Waters Satin Solitude Imperial Stout on the back deck…

photo 4

Those of us who live in Minnesota love to spend as many daylight hours in the summer outside, as noted in this article. #1 explains it all! I am making an effort more than ever this year. Here’s why.

It’s the first year that I ever really realized that…


Isn’t that silly!? And if you live in the Twin Cities and can’t figure out what to do with your time, you’ll find some excellent ideas here. Or just spend some time sitting out on these patios.

What’s one of the most simplistic, yet satisfying ways that you enjoy summer?


Dear Summer Self…


This post was completely stolen from inspired by Racheal. It couldn’t have come at a better time with the blizzard and eight+ inches of snow last night. While we are amidst winter, it’s time to remind our summer selves, just how much we need to appreciate it!


Dear Summer Carrie,

Remember this past winter when temps dropped not only below zero, but up to forty below with the wind whipping every where? It was so cold, it hurt to breathe. Remember the multiple snowstorms that shut down schools so many times that your parent friends were ready to scream?

What we woke up to this morning....

What we woke up to this morning….

Remember the winter before when you participated in the April Challenge Obesity 5k with snow and ice lining the ground and wind whipping everywhere? Or when it snowed in MAY?!

Here’s my advice for you, Summer Carrie:


Get outside now. Stay outside for as long as you can. The only thing that should bring you in are hoards of mosquitoes.

Take the dogs for walks. Lots of them. They don’t have to be long ones. Even 10 minutes. They LOVE THIS. Remember, they have been cooped up all winter, too. They want to get out! To explore!

Run some races because you should be healthy by now, so you CAN!

Even when it’s raining, get outside. You won’t melt. Wear the appropriate gear and use an umbrella. Remember how much Mom loved walking in the rain in Paris? You can do that at home, too.

Run in the rain – It’s your favorite!

Go to the Farmers Market.  Walk there. Run there. Don’t drive. Stop for a coffee on your way.

Eat fresh produce like you won’t have it for a long. Because you really won’t have this fresh, local goodness come winter again!

Always get more tomatoes than you think you need. And then don’t let one single tomato go bad.  {Racheal, I’ll eat yours! 😉 }

Use the grill.  Grow some fresh herbs again.

Go swimming!

Go to an outdoor play or concert.

Go to restaurants with patios and eat outside whenever you have the opportunity.

Walk around the lakes. Run around the lakes. Go on walking dates with your girlfriends.

Go on walking dates with Rob. It’s been one of your favorite things to do together like here, here, here and here.

And take Racheal’s advice, too:

Work outside.  Blog outside.  Drink your coffee outside.  Just stay outside.  

Most importantly, when you walk outside and feel the heat from the sun kiss your face and squint your eyes, don’t you dare for one second take it for granted, because in 6 months you will be longing for that feeling. 

I agree whole-heartedly.

With love,

Winter Carrie

What do you love about summer?

What would you say to your summer self?

Cheers to Summer~
Winter Carrie

The End of Summer?


Although I don’t have kids of my own, this time of year kind of feels like the end of summer for me. I have teacher friends going back to work. I see kids at bus stops and school buses on my way to work. And with Facebook these days, I see the first-day-of-school pics of all of my friends’ kids.

As a child, I loved this time of year! The excitement for what the year had in store, the smell of new erasers, the opportunity to wear new clothes. I’ll readily confess that I’d sometimes wear my new fall clothes just because there were new… Even if that last week of August was too hot for a long-sleeved shirt. 😉

However, as an adult today, I’m enjoying every bit of summer and trying to make it last as long as possible. This past extra loooooong winter we had this year really did me in. But it made me really appreciate summer this year. I do love fall, too. But I think, for the first time in my life, I’m trying to eat up and savor every slice of summer that I can.

With that, I’d like to round-up the last of my summer Michigan adventures. Maybe feeling like a kid again this trip made me more grateful for summer than ever. It brought out the simple happiness inside me. If only I could freeze time to capture that feeling forever…


Speaking of frozen in time…

Sometimes, when we go to Gladwin, I feel like we are frozen in time… perhaps the 80s.

For example, $1.50 beers…

We stopped at that bowling alley not to bowl, but for a pre-dinner beer. We didn’t know it, but it was Happy Hour. The bill came to $3. Seriously. I even ordered a Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. My choices were not limited Budweiser and Miller Light! When’s the last time you got a deal like that?

Candy Cigarettes

80'sI didn’t even know they made these any more!

Technology {or lack thereof}…

Here, we rarely see people playing around on their smartphones in public. The employees at the local Country Corner Bulk Foods couldn’t be on the phone while running a credit card because the machine shared the same phone line. And I noticed that they use a spiral notebook to keep their inventory. Many restaurants don’t have an online presence or post their menus online.

Which reminds me, it’s time to post the menus of this little coffee shop:

NE3I seriously just noticed that this place is called Northern Expresso. All this time, I thought it was Northern Espresso. That’s even how I posted about it last year

Anyway, I don’t know why I always have trouble deciding what to order here. And as I type this right now, I’m wondering why I don’t get my usual Americano. Did I order that once several years ago and find that I didn’t like the way they made it? I keep trying new, fun espresso drinks and they are usually too sweet for me. That’s even when I add an extra shot of espresso.

The trouble is in the decision-making. Before I know it, I’m at the front of the line and they are waiting for my order. On our last visit, I found a stack of these to-go paper menus on the counter:

NE Menu 1I’m keeping it in my car. Next time, I can peruse all of these options and decide in advance:

NE Menu 2My guess is that I should have a few ideas in mind, just in case they are out of something.

I mean, look at all of the flavors!

Northern Espresso menu

And of course, here is the menu listed in the Gladwin Buyers Guide:

(Click once to enlarge and then click once again to zoom in.)


Still, there’s something refreshing about leaving all of that technology behind – simpler times. That’s sometimes why Rob and I take an unplugged day on a weekend. We come out of it happier and refreshed. I know we will continue to do that whether it’s summer or not. Yes, some dreary days are meant for watching movies under the covers. But a good book will do nicely, too.

Still, one thing’s for sure. I’m stretching summer as long as I can. I am going to make a point of going outside and doing something every nice day that we have left this year. As fall arrives, I surely will miss walking every Saturday to the Farmers Market. It’s something I like to do on vacation, too:


Gladwin, Michigan Farmers Market

But once fall has set in, I’ll open the windows, get under the down comforter, and breathe in that cool, brisk autumn air. I will dig out the things that I find most comfy {that one’s for you, Rob!} to enjoy sweatshirt weather. I’ll get geared up for Football Season. Then, I’ll put out all of my favorite colorful scarves to try to find something position to settle in as the colder weather approaches. But for now, let me bask in the sun or run in the rain. I’m taking it all in…

What marks the end of summer for you?

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