Today is the summer solstice, which means it’s officially summer, or will be, anyway, depending on when you read this. The exact start of summer is 11:54am, and we are so, so ready. School is out for everyone, finally, (Congrats, ACPS parents, you made it!), schedules are a bit lighter, and the countdown to vacation is on. Here’s where you can find us…
I have never been much of a hot weather person unless I am by the water. That changes everything. This summer I am trying to spend as much time on the Northern Neck as possible. We have what my husband calls his “fishing cabin” close to Kilmarnock, Virginia. It is small — it just has a small kitchen and then a family room — but you can see the water no matter where you are. I can sit on my laptop, place orders, write Stylebook posts, and listen to crickets. It is pretty perfect.
This year my son is going on a two-week Boy Scout high adventure trip. I worry about bears and heat strokes, but my husband assures me they will come back alive. While they hike the Rockies, my daughter and I will head back to Oklahoma for a visit with my brother and his family, and then try to get outdoors for some of our own high adventure — sans bears.
The summer is one of the few times that it actually slows down around the shop, so I try to pack my days full of all things relaxation in Alexandria. I love a good massage at Sugar House, a pool day at Mount Vernon Country Club, or a dinner outside at Virtue. We always squeeze in a family vacation to Bethany Beach each year for a little time on the sand and golf — it’s amazing what a week away can do.
Summers for me generally mean trading the humidity of Virginia for about three weeks for the cooler, arid climate of Colorado, spending time with my family there. This includes big family dinners, kayaking, hiking, biking, evenings at the Aspen Musical Festival and, of course, great people and fashion watching! I can often find a new line for the shop from this trip.
This summer I am spending time on 52 acres of land in the Shenandoah Valley, two hours away from Alexandria, abutting George Washington National Park. I just purchased this land to create a retreat center for wellness, called Loveseed: A Center for Wisdom & Wellbeing. This is a dream come true for me! We’ll be hosting Mind the Mat yoga & Pilates seasonal retreats there. Stay tuned!
My father’s favorite holiday isn’t Christmas or Thanksgiving. It’s the Fourth of July. My dad and my brother always combine checkbooks and outdo themselves with fireworks, so it’s become a yearly tradition to fly out to Vancouver, Washington to experience the joy of putting on your own amazing fireworks display. My dad’s neighbors also pitch in and, with everyone joining forces, the neighborhood puts on a fireworks show that rivals Alexandria’s. Seriously, pretty much everything is legal there.
I realized something great when I looked at our calendar the other day: I have just about every weekend this summer booked with something fun, and a lot of these weekends will be spent relaxing in some cool woods or way up north. We’re kicking things off of the Fourth of July at our usual haunt in Sperryville, and we will round out the summer at the end of August far up on the Canadian border at a friend’s river cabin. I hope your summers are as wooded and relaxing as ours should be.