One of the things about going back to school is that all of a sudden, after seven years of spending time in offices, only having time for beach trips on weekends, summer break becomes a thing again. I've always been pretty big on summer, but this year, there is something about the sudden freedom from classes that prepared me to really seize the adventure in a way that I hadn't in a long time. This year, I'm making lists and buying passes to Walden Pond and Crane Beach because even if I'm working almost full time, I have flexible hours and dammit, I want to spend all my time outdoors and maybe go to the beach on a Wednesday because I can.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I had to work on Sunday*, but that meant Saturday and Monday were free. James and his fiance, Aaron, and I all piled into their little red car and took to the mountains for a hike. I made sandwiches with rotisserie chicken, cheddar cheese, avocado, and mayo even though it freaks me out a little, and at the last minute I bought a pound of cherries. Less than a mile into the hike, we got to a fork in the trail and decided to take the less-direct path, which turned out to be exactly the right choice: beautiful views almost all the way up, plus far fewer companions on the trail, which meant we could stop for instagrams or water breaks whenever we wanted, without worrying that we were getting in someone's way.
We got to the top, where we tried really hard not to get blown over by the wind as we admired the view. We snapchatted a selfie to the friends who stayed home (learning to unplug is a work in progress), then scooted back down a little ways for our picnic. The mayo was a good choice. The cherries were an even better one. We took the popular route down, where we saw many college students who think it's cool to wear Greek letters on your sweatshirt or your butt. I felt a little bit old when I remembered that ten years ago, I used to think that, too. On the drive home, we stopped for ice cream cones as big as our heads.
There's something about adventures, I find, that beget more adventures. Having spend Saturday on the mountain, when I found myself with a free Wednesday afternoon, I hopped in my car (I got a car! and it's been a surprisingly transformative experience) and booked it to the Crane Estate to explore. This weekend, I'm going to the Jersey Shore, of all places.
Here's to a summer break positively filled with adventures.
*you're not supposed to write about your job on the internet, but just to clarify, I love what I do- I get to drive all over Massachusetts and talk to moms about their lives and their kids for research purposes, and it's the sort of thing that I'd happily do on a Sunday even if they weren't paying me.