Oftentimes we don’t recognize good memories until after the fact, when we look back with the whole picture in mind and can weigh things properly; at that point we can see which moments made themselves “memorable”. The ones we talk about with friends and that come to mind when someone mentions a year, a place, or a person’s name. However, every once in a while, it’s possible to pinpoint those moments while they are happening. In those moments of revelation, I get butterflies in my stomach and a smile crosses my face that I can’t wipe off. I think to myself “I’m going to remember this so soak it all up and take in every detail”. These are the moments where, when I look back on it, I can remember exactly what I was feeling and thinking in that moment and can’t help but smile once again.
While it may still be 98 degrees down here in Dallas, the fact of the matter is that Fall has officially arrived and it is time to bid Summer adieu. As a proper farewell, I am rounding up my top 10 memories of Summer 2016 (in no particular order) – the ones that struck me in the moment.
1. BIRTHDAY TRIP TO MIAMI
My preconceptions of Miami as a dirty wild party place were proven to be completely false – I left completely in love and can’t wait to go back! From swimming in the warm, crystal clear ocean water, to walking along Ocean Drive admiring the art deco architecture that felt like we were transported back in time, to walking along the beach fresh coconut in hand trying to cool off from the insane heat, to goofing around at the Wynwood Walls, to sneaking into the private pool area at the Edition and then enjoying the most beautiful sunset on the beach… it was all pretty dreamy.
2. SURPRISING MY SISTERS IN NAPA
Sometimes the best made plans are the ones you don’t make. On this particular weekend, we were actually trying to get to New York but at the last minute the flight was cancelled so we decided to fly to Napa and surprise my sisters instead! We were too busy enjoying “sister time” and forgot to get any photos, but Matt and I loved getting to try out a few new wineries (I updated my Napa Travel Guide for them), visiting the park where we got engaged, and enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal with my family.
3. OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT IN LA
Another case where we were trying to fly somewhere, in this case Charleston, and ended up somewhere else… LA. I tried my best to California-fy my J.Crew Charleston outfit haha and we made the most of it. We started the morning strolling around Silver Lake, Alfred’s Coffee in hand, and finished the day watching the sunset in Malibu and then driving down the PCH to Will Rogers State Park where we caught an outdoor movie in the park. Watching The Princess Bride snuggled up with my love while chowing on a poke bowl on a warm Summer night, honestly one of the best (and most spontaneous) date nights I’ve ever experienced.
4. ROOFTOP DRINKS
There’s something about sitting underneath the sky with no roof overhead as the sun goes down, the sky fades ombre, and the stars come out as the city lights up that is so intoxicating (no pun intended). As we are new to Dallas, Matt and I have loved getting to know the city by visiting different rooftop bars. Our reigning winner is hands-down HG Sply Co – they mix a mean Moscow Mule using ginger kombucha in place of ginger beer, an amazing view of downtown, and a killer atmosphere.
If any of you have any favorite Dallas spots to catch a drink, please let me know in the comments below!
5. SNORKELING ON THE NORTH SHORE IN HAWAII
This was something neither of us had ever done before and it was nothing short of magical. At one point we swam over a massive rock formation and landed directly in the middle of a school of no joke, probably 500-1000 fish. It took my breath away! Which then lead to a panic attack because I forgot how to resume breathing through the snorkel tube… I wish I was kidding haha. It is really hard to put into words how sublime the experience was so forgive me but I won’t even try.
6. MEETING MY VERY FIRST NIECE
At the very beginning of the Summer, the Pecha family welcomed it’s newest addition: my very first niece. My sister-in-law immediately started a family Photo Stream so that we can all view pictures of her and she thankfully adds new photos all the time for us to drool over. However, the highlight was certainly when we all got to fly out for her baptism and meet her. Little miss is truly perfect in every way!
7. FINISHING THE ACCENT WALL IN OUR BEDROOM
As a true homebody (and frankly a lazy ass), the bedroom is easily the most important room in a house in my opinion. With that said, I knew moving into our new apartment that I wanted to make an effort to get our bedroom perfect. One thing I’ve always wanted to do is an accent wall and I am so glad I made it happen this time around. It was most certainly a labor of love since it took about two weeks to complete even with the stencil, but the final effect was 100% worth it – I love it!
8. ONE LAST WEEKEND TRIP TO CHICAGO BEFORE OUR MOVE
To celebrate Matt’s graduation, we headed into his favorite city for a weekend with his family one last time. It had been freezing cold in South Bend (read: high of 40 degrees on his graduation day) but we were greeted on the other side of the lake with glorious sunshine and 70 degrees. We played tour guide and showed his parents a few of our favorite spots (Chicago travel guide coming next week!), rode bikes along Lakeshore Trail, and soaked up the last bit of Chi-town before the big move.
9. DIERKS BENTLEY CONCERT
When we lived in Kansas City, I could always count on summertime being sprinkled with multiple country concerts, most being outdoors. I came to associate Summer with those nights under the stars singing along to some of my favorite artists and felt like I missed a crucial piece of Summer when we didn’t have the same ability last year up North. So when Matt bought us last minute lawn tickets for the Dierks Bentley concert, you can imagine how overjoyed I was, particularly since I had been dying to see him since I was in high school. He did not disappoint.
10. NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL GAME IN AUSTIN
While we haven’t lived in Texas long, I’ve picked up on the fact that while the weather won’t cool down for a few more months, Texans use another measure to determine when Fall has arrived: the return of football season. To kick off the season, Matt and I headed south to Austin to watch Notre Dame play UT. While we weren’t able to pull off a win, it was such a fun game since it was neck-and-neck the entire time, plus it was so fun putting on our blue and green again and running into people we haven’t seen in months. It was the perfect final hurrah of Summer and with that, we ushered in Fall Texas-style.
So excited to see what these next few months have in store for us!