Vail Daily column: Reviewing the summer checklist
September 5, 2013
In July, I set forth several "enjoy the summer while it lasts" items that I wanted to do before Labor Day. That day has come and gone, and I must report that I had varying degrees of success. Let's review.
1. Go hiking. Um, no. Not really off to a good start on my list. Does running/walking the Homestead loop count? I aim to do several fall foliage hikes though. Seriously.
2. Make ice cream. Check! I made mint chocolate chip with fresh mint from my coworker's garden (so good!) and raspberry cheesecake ice cream that I used in an ice cream cake for a friend's birthday celebration. I still need to make chocolate, at the boys' request, right after I get home from a serious workout to burn off the cream and whole milk from the previous creations. Good lord.
3. Enjoy live outdoor music. Check! I enjoyed Bravo! Vail performances in every imaginable weather — from gorgeous, sunny, warm temps while watching the Dallas Symphony Jazz concert to a torrential downpour accompanied by thunder and lightning during Verdi's Requiem performed my The Philadelphia Orchestra complete with full choir. The weather seemed fitting to this amazing concert, adding to the drama and mood.
4. Go to a farmer's market every weekend. Check!
5. Find a hammock in the shade on a glorious warm afternoon and fall asleep in it while reading. Does anyone have a hammock I can nap in?
6. Keep my potted flowers alive. Check! I'm so happy to report that they are still 75 percent alive! The pansies, petunias and some other tall, spiky purple flowers are still fairly healthy. Sure, I had to yank a few dried shriveled ones, but for the most part, still green and blooming. This is a serious achievement worthy of celebration.
7. Ride my bike to work. Yeah, I haven't done this. Don't judge.
8. Enjoy the sunset from my deck every evening it isn't raining. Check! Even with our frequent afternoon storms, this has been a spectacular sunset summer. My iPhone camera has been unable to capture the amazing layers of color in each one, but fortunately I have them locked in my memory to enjoy whenever I need a moment of beauty.
9. Find the recipe for the cocktail of the summer. Check! And the cocktail of the summer is … The Stratosphere! It is light, bubbly, refreshing and delicious. I had this lovely drink at The Rose in Edwards and decided I had to recreate it for a bridal shower I hosted in August. Pop into The Rose and have Mark make you one. It's divine! If you want to make your own at home, get a bottle of bubbly (I used Prosecco), a lemon and Creme Yvette. Creme Yvette is a fabulous concoction of berries and violet that adds that magic something to the drink. Pour ¾ of an ounce of Creme Yvette in a champagne flute, top with bubbly and add a squeeze of lemon. Sit back and enjoy. It's a lovely pinky-purpley color, which was perfect for an afternoon party. Nick at Avon Liquor had to special order the Creme Yvette for me but it was totally worth the wait!
10 Go stand up paddle boarding. I haven't done this yet, and now I'm missing the July heat necessary to make this bearable, as I will be wet within the first 10 seconds if the one and only time I've attempted this is the precedent. It was with the boys on the Deschutes River in Oregon. There's a calm, mellow stretch we float each summer when we are in Sunriver visiting my parents.
This particular year we rented a two-person kayak and a SUP. The boys took turns on the board, cruising along, making it look so easy and, well, dry. I decided to give it a try. The boys were on the riverbank with my phone shooting a video of my attempt. And I do mean attempt. In the time it took for them to hit "record" I had fallen off and the video starts with merely a splash, followed by my No. 1 son yelling, "Mom, are you OK?" (nice boy) as I emerged soaked and shockingly cold. The other sounds you hear are the boys laughing, really hard, and Small Boyne saying, "We have to send this to Dad!" (mean, mean child). Not sure I'm ready to go this fall unless we have an unseasonably warm fall day.
11 Attend as many performances of the Vail International Dance Festival as possible. Check! I saw traditional ballet, contemporary ballet, modern dance, ballroom, Memphis jookin', hip-hop and my favorite TV dance stars. It was glorious!
12 Find the best iced coffee in town. Still working on this, one sip at a time.
Ah, summer. How I miss thee already.
Linda Stamper Boyne, of Edwards, can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org.
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