Hannah Drake

Summer 2019 Highlights

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F I N A L L Y! It’s nearly September, and in my book, that means autumn. But before I move on to my absolute favourite season (sorry, not sorry, but the gloominess just speaks to my soul), I wanted to do a quick little recap of the summer, starting with my 2019 Summer Bucket List.

To be honest, my summer wasn’t exactly what I expected it would be a few months ago. We didn’t get out to explore as much as I would have hoped, but we still had a lovely summer, even if it was a bit on the hectic side, especially toward the end.

HOST A GARDEN PARTY

This one was a gimme because my friend Taylor and I had already been planning it for months before I posted my list. We hosted some ladies at Taylor’s house the second Saturday in June, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate with our dreams of it being an actual garden party. In the end, it was more like a sit down afternoon tea, but it was a lovely and beautiful affair if I do say so myself. We’re hoping to make it an annual event and hopefully the weather is more cooperative next time.

VISIT ENGLISH HERITAGE SITES

We did see Balsover Castle and Ashby de la Zouch Castle, both ruins that were conveniently on the way (or just out of the way) between us and Luke’s parents’ house. But other than that, I’m sad to say we didn’t cross much else off our list (AKA the booklet we got of all the sites when we signed up.)

TAKE A ROAD TRIP

I suppose it counts that we drove about four hours to Newcastle, but you just don’t get the same kind of American road trips here. There’s less of the “open road” because there’s more traffic. And, personally, I’ve never heard of a novelty like the world’s largest rocking chair being just off an exit on the motorway here in the UK.

GO WALKING

I pictured the summer weekends full of walking in the countryside somewhere. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Maybe this fall while the weather is still decent. Or there’s always next summer!

MAKE AN AMERICAN FLAG CAKE

FAIL. Absolute fail. I did attempt it this year, but it completely fell apart. A cake pro might have been able to salvage it, since the layers were just falling apart, but it was really hot and I was really frustrated, so I just threw in the towel. In the end, I just threw all the crumbled layers into a big container and Luke and I just picked at it over the next week. (Here’s a throwback to 2016, which was also a fail but apparently salvageable enough that I still took it to the BBQ.)

HOST A BBQ

Ummmm…I’m trying to think. I don’t think Luke and I did host anyone over for a BBQ this summer, but we did host a BBQ for two for ourselves one day when the weather inspired it. Taylor and I also jointly hosted a low-key Fourth of July gathering at her house. In typical British fashion, it was BYO meat, but we made some classic American sides (corn on the cob, potato salad, etc.) and luckily Taylor planned to make an apple pie so we weren’t completely without dessert when my cake bombed.

SPEND SATURDAY MORNINGS AT THE FARMERS’ MARKET

Sadly, this one was a bit of a fail as well. We attempted to shop the farmers’ markets a couple of times, but they either weren’t that good, we had the wrong weekend, or they were cancelled. I was really looking forward to this one, but we just found ourselves a lot busier on Saturday mornings this summer that we usually are—or at least the Saturday mornings that mattered.

HAVE A PICNIC

We didn’t bust out the picnic basket this summer, something Luke is probably quite happy about, but we did have an impromptu picnic lunch with our usual spread when we visited Ashby de la Zouch Castle.

S'mores

MAKE S’MORES IN THE BACK GARDEN

CHECK! We did have s'mores in the back garden once or twice, but we also head stove top s’mores A LOT. It was a good little summer treat for us that wasn’t too much and wasn’t too sweet. By the way, I’m fully #TeamReeses and I don’t even have s’mores with plain ole chocolate anymore.

ADOPT A PUPPY & A KITTEN

Honestly I didn’t know if this one was going to be possible at the beginning of the summer (or the end of May, as it were). But lo and behold, we’ve added two furry little ones to the Drake family this month! You can read more about our kitten, Eggs, in Monday’s blog post. Look out for a post next Monday about our puppy. You can also follow them on Instagram.


OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

I’m just going to start with May because we did quite a bit of summering in May. We went to Ghetto Golf in town with my work, which was so much fun that we almost considered it for our G date. We hosted two parties, a Cinco de Cuatro fiesta and a Game of Thrones finale party. We went to London to see Come From Away with Luke’s family. (Highly recommend!) My mom came to visit. While she was here, she and I spent the day in London and then went to Hampton Court Palace. On the bank holiday over her visit, we went to Balsover Castle. And at the end of the month, before my mom left, we picked up our latest foster cat family.

June was a lot more low key. We saw quite a few movies at the cinema. My friend Gennean came to stay with us for a long weekend. We went to Lincoln to see comedian Reginald D. Hunter with Luke’s family. We decided last minute to have lunch at a BBQ festival one day and it was the best decision we made all month! And of course we had lots of kitten cuddles at home.

In July, we of course celebrated the fourth with lots of British friends. I went to Winterbourne Gardens with Taylor. We joined a gym! I started re-reading Harry Potter for the umpteeth time. And we made a lot of arrangements for all the big life events that would be coming up over the next few months.

August began with my birthday celebrations. We went out to Lane7 in town for beer pong and bowling. (We went there on our B date earlier this year.) It was so much fun! On my actual birthday, I took the day off to basically stay in bed, read Harry Potter, and cuddle with our kittens while it poured outside. That evening, Luke and I went out for sushi in town. We had an incredible opportunity to go to our second Arsenal game together (and second this year, the first for our F date), this time getting box seats! It was an unbelievable experience and one we’ll both treasure forever because it’s highly unlikely we’ll have a three course meal inside a cozy box at a sporting event ever again. The rest of August was mostly taken up with our house and the new additions to the family, which was fun but definitely made left a bit more chaotic and busy. We officially wrapped up summer on Monday’s bank holiday with a BBQ at our friends’ house, which was also Benedict’s first party! (She did great and she was obviously the star.)

I didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked to have done this summer. And like I said, I didn’t explore as much as I would have liked to have done this summer. But it was still a pretty great summer all the same.

Now…BRING ON AUTUMN!