Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Embracing Summer: A Guest Post

My hope with the Daily Vacation blog is to inspire its readers to make the most out of everyday and take time for themselves to enjoy life as if they were on vacation.  To my great delight, I often find myself inspired by my own readers and the people around me.  Recently, I have been asking those people to guest post on my blog in order to share their experiences with the Daily Vacation readers.
  This is the first of what I hope will be many guest postings:

The days are long, the air is hot, and things have become more laid back. Is it just me, or do you find that everyone chills out a little bit more in the summer time?
Work is busy, like always, but everyone seems to be in a little less of a hurry. Fewer people are in the office, we have been shutting down early on Fridays, and the restaurants are always full when I drive by.
I have always loved summer. I don’t care if it's 105 every day for 3 months straight -  there is something magical about those long, slow, hot nights. I still get a thrill out of seeing lightning bugs in the yard. I still get giddy when the sun starts to rise at 5:45AM and does not set until almost 9:00. Growing up, I always felt like summer was my gift; a present of hot long days that are meant to be cherished. I was always terrified of the dark, and so the long days when the sun stayed up made me feel comforted and safe. The blanket of heat meant never having to go outside in anything more than shorts and a t-shirt.

Some of the best times of my life happened in the summer of years past. I met P in the summer. We took vacations in the summer. No school in the summer. Lots of swimming in the summer. Summer time is magic, it's special, and it's to be embraced.
A few weeks ago, I told P, “I really want to embrace this summer. I don’t want to hole up inside watching t.v. I want to get out, explore, and have fun.” His response “Yea, lets do it.”
We have one very short trip planned this summer. I am just piggy backing on a business trip with him for a weekend, and other than that we are stuck in the big D. We have our share of parks and trails though, so P and I have decided to hit them all up. The last few weeks, we have managed to hit up 3 local parks. We either ride bikes on the trails or run. Its been fun to get out of the house, explore some new hidden areas, and get really sweaty.
This past weekend, P and I were going to have date night. It was hot. And sweaty. And we covered about 11 miles on our bikes. On Sunday, we ended up hitting the trails again, and covered nearly 20 miles. I feel as if we have discovered a hidden gem in Dallas. This huge city is actually connected by a major trail system. Our goal for the summer is to cover every square inch of the trail system on our bikes or on our feet. The great thing about this is, it's all free. We don’t have to spend any money to go anywhere.
I want to find the gift of summer again. I want to get dirty and explore. I want to have skinned knees, and horrific tan lines, and let go of responsibility, even if its just for an hour, and rediscover the wide eyed young girl I used to be. The girl who was outside so much her hair was dyed by the sun. The girl who only came inside when the street lights turned on. The little girl who was the eternal optimist. Full of hope, laugher, and innocence.
How are you going to embrace summer this year?

Allison lives in Dallas, TX with her husband P and her two dogs. She is a runner, world traveler wanna be, and at times, an aggressive eater of any and all things chocolate.  For more posts from Allison visit her blog: Live Simply-Live Well .

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