Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Summer Experiences Checklist


Kayaking and Summer Fun | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Last year, I had the opportunity to kayak
in North Carolina's Intracoastal Waterway.
After that adventure, kayaking had to be
on our Summer Experiences Checklist!
Summer is just about to begin and, before it's already gone as typically happens before we ever do anything cool, Hubby and I decided to create a list. On it, we've included all the seasonal, fun things we want to do together over the next three months.

The idea stemmed from missing Valentine's Day. I was sick. But it was our 15th Valentine's Day, so I really wanted to mark it as a milestone occasion. Armed with a box of tissues and lots of chicken soup, I made out a plan for the next weekend, when I was sure to be healed of the ferocious virus that plagued my body. The plan included a checklist of 15 things Hubby and I could do together for our belated celebration. We spent the next Saturday checking off all the activities — which included a hike, a breakfast picnic, a museum visit, a sushi lunch, go carts and so much more — until we were pleasantly exhausted at the end of one of the best days we've had as a couple. We recorded the day's adventures with pictures that were posted in an album on my Facebook page.

While traveling back from a visit to the Northeast a few weeks ago, I pulled out my smartphone to make another list. This time, our adventure list was going to include all the fun things we hope to do over the summer. I believe lists are magical. They have the inexplicable power to hold us accountable to our intentions. After creating the list, I feel confident we'll actually make the time to do all of the activities we included. It certainly worked for us during our belated Valentine's Day celebration. 

Here is our list, which focuses on our home state of North Carolina and the many adventures and experiences it has to offer:

  • See the red pandas at the Greensboro Science Center 
  • Feed butterflies at All-a-Flutter butterfly farm in High Point 
  • Go on Zoofari at the North Carolina Zoo 
  • Master the new ropes course at the North Carolina Zoo 
  • Zip line in the North Carolina Mountains 
  • Eat at Burger Warfare and watch a movie in the luxury seats at Red Cinemas in Greensboro 
  • Pack a picnic and take a one-day beach trip to the North Carolina Coast 
  • Kayak on a North Carolina lake 
  • Hike at Hanging Rock State Park 
  • Go on a one-day shopping and lunch outing to Blowing Rock, North Carolina 
  • Visit one North Carolina vineyard we've never visited and taste wine we have never tried 
  • Visit one North Carolina brewery we've never visited and taste craft beer we have never tried 
By keeping our adventures in-state, we can support local tourism while getting to know our state better. Also, it makes every one of our planned adventures attainable. We don't want to break the bank, but we do want to have fun.

Our list includes a total of 12 things to do, which means we have to tackle at least four each month from now until the arrival of fall. If we can get a jump on the list over Father's Day weekend, we will, even though summer doesn't officially begin until Monday.

In addition to a personal Facebook photo album, I want to write about and post pictures of these adventures on this blog. I also challenge you to make your own list relevant to where you live. Copy as many ideas as you like. If your kids are not all grown up, make it a family adventure. Then, make a habit of going out and discovering all the great things to do near you — and take lots of pictures.

Our boys are older, but we will invite them to tag along with us when they're not working or otherwise engaged.

May you and yours have a happy, adventurous summer!

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
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Copyright 2016 Michele Bare

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