My Summer Bucket List

May 26, 2014


Whelp, you guys, summer is here. Truly and officially.

And to start the season off right, I’ve come up with a whole list of fun stuff I want to do this summer.

Because how can you possibly make fun stuff even funner?

By putting all the fun stuff on a list so that you can cross off the fun stuff once you’ve done it! Because crossing stuff off lists is the FUNNEST, you guys!

My Summer Bucket List

1. Go to at least five summer festivals.

Michigan has a crazy amount of summer festivals. While I can’t hit them all, I feel I should be able to manage at least five of them. Preferably the ones named after vegetables. (I’m looking at you, National Asparagus Festival.)

The National Asparagus Festival Royal Court. Because that exists.

The National Asparagus Festival Royal Court. Because that exists.

2. Learn how to can some stuff.

I live in the Midwest now. I feel like I should know how to put vegetables in glass jars already.

3. Go camping. Like in a tent and stuff.

I haven’t camped in a tent since I was in college and I was dating a Canadian, and that’s just one of those things you end up doing when you’re dating a Canadian, you know?

Well, it turns out Michiganders are a lot like Canadians in that they really, REALLY like to camp. I feel like I need to sleep in a tent at least once this summer so I won’t be kicked out of the state.

4. Go on a wine and bike tour.

I’ve always wanted to go on one of those wine tours where you bike from winery to winery.

I mean, you get all sloshed on wine and then ride around on a bike.


The last time I was at a winery, this happened. Because I'm classy like that.

The last time I was at a winery, this happened. Because I’m classy like that.

5. Go on a brewery tour.

I’ve visited lots of breweries since moving to Michigan, but I have yet to go on a brewery tour.

I think I want to go on this one as it’s also a walking tour.

I mean, drinking beer and walking around town?


6. Do an overnight bike trip. Well, I wouldn’t bike overnight. Because that sounds dangerous. But I’d bike to somewhere and stay overnight and then bike back. Or get a ride back because my legs will want to kill me. Either way.

I just bought a bike the other week, you guys, and I’m SO TOTALLY GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO BIKES EVERYWHERE FOREVER AND EVER. Or at least until it snows.

I’ve already tested out a few bike paths in the area, but what I really want to do is take a really long bike ride this summer.

I’m thinking this one. It’s starts near my house and ends in South Haven. It’s just a little over thirty miles, which sounds like it’s just long enough that I will need to stay overnight before heading back because my legs will be all like, “Oh, HELL TO THE NO, we are not getting back on that bike again today. Or possibly ever. But definitely not today.”

7. Have a beach day.

I’ve never been much of a beach person. I burn easily, I don’t particularly enjoy sand, and I’m freaked out by open water.



But now that I live about an hour away from some really beautiful beaches, I feel the need to start being a beach person.

Or at least the need to be a beach person for one day.

But first I need to get myself a floppy hat and a bag full of trashy novels and one of those all-body swimsuits so I won’t get burned.

8. Go to the drive-in.

I’ve never ever been to a drive-in movie in my life.

I’m pretty sure this makes me the most deprived human being on the planet.

I need to fix this situation.

9. Make a pie.

Again, I live in the Midwest now. Shouldn’t I know how to make pies? I mean, I know how to EAT pies, but that’s different.

Bring on the pie!

Bring on the pie!

10. Go to a car race.

I’ve also never been to a car race in my life. I suspect this is because I don’t really care for cars all that much. Plus, I’m a wuss and will probably cry if someone gets in a crash.

But there’s a raceway in Kalamazoo, and I’ve been kind of curious to check it out. If only because I read on the website that the raceway has both a Beer Barn and an Ice Cream Shack. I just love it when establishments have the words “barn” or “shack” in their titles. What can I say? I’m classy like that.

11. Go to a Medieval festival or one of those old timey reenactment villages.

Possibly both.

Because I’m nerdy like that.

12. Go to a county fair.

And eat all the fried food.

Get in my face, fried thing.

Get in my face, fried thing.

13. Pick my own blueberries or strawberries or whatever.

You know, how people go to farms and pick their own produce for fun? Well, I never really understood that. This is not my idea of a good time. This is not even my idea of good sense. I mean, why would I pay cash-money so I could work as a farmhand? How is that in any way logical?

But I think it’s about time that I try it. I mean, there has to be a reason why it’s popular, right? And not just because people are crazy and don’t know what fun is.

14. Go to a baseball game.

Not because I particularly like baseball. But because I want to eat this hamburger, which is being served at the local minor league games. It’s topped with pulled pork, coleslaw and macaroni and cheese and served between two bear claws.


15. Give myself a mani and pedi every week.

I’m usually pretty lazy when it comes to doing my nails. Plus, I’m really impatient, so the whole idea of waiting FIVE WHOLE MINUTES while my nails dry is kind of, pretty much impossible for me.

Usually I’ll slap some polish on my toes if I know I’m wearing sandals, but I hardly ever do anything at all with my fingernails.

But for the past two weeks I’ve made of point of doing my nails. I’ve really been enjoying having pretty, girly fingernails for once. And not my usual ragged lumberjack nails.

16. Pretend to be a fashion blogger for a post or two.

You know how sometimes I pretend to be a food blogger?

I also want to do a post or two where I pretend to be a fashion blogger. You know, I’ll get all dolled up in some outfit that I’d probably never wear in real life. Something with lots of accessories and clashing patterns. I may even wear a belt, which I’m pretty sure I haven’t done since the seventh grade.

And then I’ll take lots of pictures of myself. Preferably while I’m standing in an abandoned field or in front of a wall covered in graffiti.



Errm, well maybe this.

17.Β  Go to some Meetup events.

You guys, making new friends as an adult person is HARD. Especially if you have a tendency to spend your Friday nights binge-watching Netflix and Instragramming pictures of your cat.

But yesterday I signed up for a couple different Meetup groups in my area and even RSVPed for my first event. I’m a little bit nervous, but I figure it has to be better than the last Meetup event I went to in Buffalo, where no one would talk to me or sit down at the same table as me.

It felt kind of like my first day of high school.

But worse.

And I didn’t even know that was possible.

18. Learn how to make a fancy schmancy cocktail.

I’m not too fancy when it comes to booze. I usually just drink beer or cider.

Sometimes, I’ll drink wine when I’m feeling classy. And, up until a few weeks ago, I was drinking that wine out of plastic cups because I was too lazy and broke to buy wine glasses.

I think it’s time to switch things up a bit. I mean, it’s summer! Shouldn’t my drinks be filled with berries and mint leaves and the kind of alcohol you can’t buy at Walgreens? I’m thinking maybe something like this or this.

And there should be no fewer than 3 garnishes per drink.

And there should be no fewer than 3 garnishes per drink.

19. Have a cocktail party in my apartment. With other people. And not just my cat.

Of course, once I learn how to make my fancy schmancy cocktail, I’ll need to have a cocktail party.

Because cocktails are meant to be shared, right?

As opposed to beer and wine which can totally be hoarded.

20. Go for a dune hike.

I actually went for a dune hike last year in Indiana State Dunes Park and it was hot and buggy and really hard, and I don’t remember particularly enjoying myself.


Dune hiking. Note: the vine which clearly wants to kill me.

And I read an article the other week about how dunes have started swallowing people. Which sounds like a total natural phenomenon. That is we lived on Mars or one of those made-up planets from Star Trek.

Despite all this, I’ve really been wanting to check out some of the dunes parks in Michigan. I especially want to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes, which I’ve heard is gorgeous and as far as I know hasn’t swallowed any humans.

But just in case, I’ll be sure to bring along someone who looks a lot tastier than me or at least a lot more swallow-able.


(Please don’t answer that.)

Β Do you have a summer bucket list? What on yours?

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On May 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm Pamm said:

    The beer tour sounds perfect for you as it is every Saturday for three months.

    I wish you great good luck on that one.

  2. On May 26, 2014 at 3:38 pm Janice said:

    Meetups are so much fun! Though it took me awhile to find the right Meetup group to hang with. Now it feels like we’re all friends. High-five!
    Janice recently posted..Brain Fail

    • On May 27, 2014 at 6:19 pm Sally said:

      I’m glad to hear that. The event I’m going to this week is all about international dining and we’re meeting at a Korean restaurant. I figure if no one talks to me, I can just shove my face full of kimchi.

  3. On May 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm Hata Trbonja said:

    One of my earliest childhood memories is going cherry picking in Michigan.
    I loved doing that.
    I think this is going to be a great summer!
    Hata Trbonja recently posted..Suits of Armor

  4. On May 26, 2014 at 9:37 pm Alana - Paper Planes said:

    This sounds like a great summer list – perfect balance between outdoors and…alcohol πŸ˜‰
    Alana – Paper Planes recently posted..Announcing the New Shop on Paper Planes

  5. On May 26, 2014 at 10:36 pm Priya said:

    Ohh this is brilliant! I like the idea of making “budget lists” by seasons or a short time frame… it pressures you to actually do it. I’m stealing this idea.
    Priya recently posted..That Time I Was Forced To Walk Into A Topless Bar

    • On May 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm Sally said:

      I’m assuming you mean “bucket list” not “budget list.” Although I should probably make one of those, too, given the way I’ve been breezing through my paychecks.

  6. On May 26, 2014 at 10:37 pm Tracey - Life Changing Year said:

    Never been to a drive- in movie? Really Sally, you just shattered all my illusions of you as a worldy-wise woman! It may take me all summer to recover! And I’m in Malaysia so that’s a LONG summer!
    Tracey – Life Changing Year recently posted..Favourite Fotos: Oh It’s Just A Bit Of Rubbish!

  7. On May 27, 2014 at 2:57 am Amanda @ Farsickness said:

    This sounds like perfect Michigan summer! Also, thanks for the link to those beer tours. I’m driving around Michigan for a week this summer and plan on hitting up as many microbreweries as possible (because if there’s one thing that goes better together than walking and drinking beers it’s definitely a road trip and drinking beer…bad planning…) and that seems to be a great resource.

    • On May 27, 2014 at 6:15 pm Sally said:

      If you’re in Kalamazoo, let me know! I’d be happy to join you on the walking tour. They run every Saturday starting in June, I think. Or, if you’re not feeling like walking, we can do the non-walking tour (namely drinking beer). πŸ™‚

  8. On May 27, 2014 at 1:51 pm Pauline said:

    Uhhh… I think number 15 is hard to do, but I’d also love to go to a drive-in though! SO SUMMERY!
    Pauline recently posted..The Road to Whistler

    • On May 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm Sally said:

      Well, I’ve only been doing the pedi every 2 weeks, but I’ve been attempting the mani every week. I don’t do anything fancy — just polish. Even that is hard enough for my to accomplish without totally wrecking it up.

  9. On May 27, 2014 at 3:06 pm Carmel said:

    Your list is making me tired. Or maybe that’s the wine that’s making me tired.

    Anyway, I’ve never been to a drive-in either! We only had one drive-in theater near Portland and it’s like 45 minutes away. Shawn and I always said we were going to go and would keep an eye on the listings, but it’s a double feature and it took forever for something to come up that would make us both happy. Finally when something did, we decided it was too far to drive…

    If you’re going to make pie, I’m going to send you the *easiest* pie crust recipe ever. And it involves vodka. So if somehow the crust goes horribly wrong, well, you have leftover vodka. It’s a win-win.
    Carmel recently posted..THE GREAT SOUTHERN

    • On May 27, 2014 at 6:13 pm Sally said:

      I’m kicking myself for not going to the drive-in when I was in Buffalo. There’s a really good drive-in about half an hour from there. Whereas the closest drive-in here is over an hour away. That’s a long way to go for a movie. But I guess I have to do it now that it’s on my list!
      And thanks for the pie recipe. Vodka and pie? WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG.

  10. On May 27, 2014 at 5:43 pm Nat said:

    I’ve met some really nice friends through meetup, so I’m wishing you luck! Also, I can help you make pies.

    • On May 27, 2014 at 6:05 pm Sally said:

      I hope so too. There seem to be some fun groups in my area, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m sure I’ll be giving a full write-up in my blog.
      And, YES, I need pie-help! Have any good tips???

  11. On May 28, 2014 at 12:11 am Ruth who used to live in China said:

    Crap, that’s an epic-ly long list of Things to Do. I think it sounds more like a lifetime list rather than just a summer. Good luck! And don’t forge travelling to Victoria BC Canada, too. I’ll put you up and you can put up with us for. FREE. :0)

  12. On May 28, 2014 at 2:18 am Ceri said:

    Have a cocktail party in the apartment. Oooh, there’s an idea. Last weekend I had a ‘Bring lots of alcohol and we’ll drink it until 5am’ party but cocktails sound good. πŸ˜€

    Also, drive-ins still exist? I only thought those were American things from the 1950s.
    Ceri recently posted..Live and Let Cryyy

    • On May 28, 2014 at 7:18 pm Sally said:

      Drive-ins are pretty few and far between. The closest one from me is over an hour away. I’ll probably have to stay overnight because I can’t imagine having to drive home afterwards.

  13. On May 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm becky hutner said:

    i love this list! it’s so very summery. am stealing the following:

    mani/pedi every week (bc manky fingernails in one’s mid 30s is not cute)

    drive-in (like you i’ve never been & it’s high time!)

    beach day (you’d think i wouldn’t have to put this one on a list since i live 8 blocks from the beach but guess how many times i hit the ocean last summer! 2. summer before? 0).

    & my personal one would be get better at hula hooping. i want to be queen of the hoop!
    becky hutner recently posted..Fashion β€˜Round the World: What people wore in Jan ’14

  14. On May 28, 2014 at 3:05 pm Daina said:

    That is an impressive list! I’ll be very impressed if you manage all of those! Definitely go out and pick those berries, though! They taste better when you’re the one who has done the work.

    The last few summers I’ve had a summer resolution, which involves doing something new/going someplace new every week between Memorial and Labor Day weekends. Not sure about this summer, though. Having just returned from a 2-week long European vacation, I’m a bit tired…!
    Daina recently posted..Back to Real Life After a Two-Week Vacation

    • On May 28, 2014 at 7:16 pm Sally said:

      I’ll be impressed to. I have a tendency to make really long lists of all the things I’m totally going to do and then I don’t actually do them. But after this winter, I’m feeling the need to be out and about! Good luck with your own summer resolutions — I like the idea of visiting or doing something new every week. I may have to steal that!

      • On May 29, 2014 at 9:22 am Daina said:

        You are more than welcome to use my idea! πŸ™‚ I can completely understand about the need to get out and about after a long winter; my family and friends in the Midwest were quite miserable (understandably so), and the winter here in the DC area was also no picnic. That is precisely why I like the summer resolution idea – even if you are stuck in the city working a 40hr week, you get to have a mini-adventure each and every week. I tend to hibernate quite a bit in the winter, so come spring I am antsy to be a lot more active.
        Daina recently posted..Kicking off my Euro-month: EU Open House & Eurovision Party

        • On June 1, 2014 at 2:08 pm Sally said:

          Well, I don’t think I’d be able to leave town every weekend as I’m trying to conserve my cash. But some kind of adventure or new thing every weekend would be fun!

          • On June 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm Daina said:

            Oh dear goodness, definitely not suggesting going out of town every weekend! Seriously – my new thing last week was trying out the new Peet’s cafe (formerly Caribou Coffee) not far from work. Next week it will be a restaurant I’ve never been do for dinner with a friend. This week I still need to figure out. πŸ™‚ Anyway, it’s human nature to stick to the tried-and-true, so this is a nice way to get out of that rut, and seek out new spots.
            Daina recently posted..Unexpected Riga Mall Outing & a Night in Kandava, Latvia

  15. On May 28, 2014 at 3:10 pm Amy said:

    I was actually petrified the first time I went to a Meet-Up event, but I’ve been to several since then and although not all are stupendous (because people are involved and many people are certifiable), I actually now enjoy going and have even managed to make a friend or two (I have found making friends isn’t as easy it was when I was five, and much more difficult at least where I live if a. you don’t have children and b.don’t go to church.). P.S. Love George, such a sweet little face.

    • On May 28, 2014 at 7:15 pm Sally said:

      I find it’s difficult to meet people when you live in a town or city where a lot of people have lived there for all or most of their lives. When I was in DC and overseas, I didn’t really have trouble at all meeting people because almost everyone I met was a transplant or expats (in the case of overseas). But in Buffalo (where I’m originally from, but didn’t spend much of my adult life there) and in Kalamazoo (where I’ve been less than a year), it’s really hard to meet people because almost everyone here is from here or went to school here or whatever and they already have their social circles established. But, here’s hoping the Meet-ups change that!

  16. On May 28, 2014 at 6:38 pm Amanda said:

    Sounds like a great list! I’ll be doing a few of those myself, especially the beach. My kids are beach bums.
    Amanda recently posted..RVing with Kids

  17. On May 28, 2014 at 10:43 pm Leslie in Oregon said:

    If I had a summer list, the first item on it would be to do as much in and on the water as possible…like every night after work and on the weekends. That would involve camping at mountain lakes, camping at the (ocean) beach, and taking our ancient motorboat and new kayak out on our local rivers. Item two on the list would be picking (and eating) as many raspberries and blueberries as possible at local farms. U-pick berries (particularly raspberries) taste so much better, and cost so much less, than their relatives in the stores. And I too would like to re-learn how to make preserves this summer. The pie I leave to my husband, because I would eat it all before it cooled if I made it. Capping the summer would be spending Labor Day week in a rustic (no Internet access or TV) cabin at the edge of a gorgeous lake at the base of the only Alpine mountains in Oregon. Whether and to what extent I actually get to do any of this will depend on how soon I will be able to use my hands after the hand surgery that will start my summer. Have fun…your list is great!

    • On June 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm Sally said:

      Sounds like a great list! Hopefully, you’ll be able to accomplish most of it… I’m still kind of doubtful how much of mine I’ll manage to accomplish. πŸ™‚

  18. On June 17, 2014 at 11:17 am Kelly said:

    This is hilarious!I’m looking forward to seeing what gets checked off your bucket list. Looks like you made it to the Asparagus Festival. (Sounds really weird, by the way, though we have a Garlic Festival. They even have garlic beer!)
    Kelly recently posted..Pink Houses by John Cougar Mellencamp

    • On June 22, 2014 at 10:33 am Sally said:

      I’m looking forward to seeing what gets checked off too seeing as it’s almost July and I have only done 1 thing so far (the Asparagus Festival… and technically that was 1/5th of a thing).

  19. On July 16, 2014 at 2:37 pm Kristen Sarra said:

    Great summer list, very inspiring! Hahaha I made a ‘summer of yes’ rule where I have to say yes to everything someone asks me to do (within reason of course – no harming ppl or things), It has opened my eyes to so many cool and different experiences πŸ™‚
    Kristen Sarra recently posted..Bastille Day: A Taste of France in New York City

    • On July 16, 2014 at 8:29 pm Sally said:

      I like the Summer of Yes idea. I’d probably rock at the saying yes part but then flake out afterwards… which is what I usually do. Hope you’re doing a better job at it than I would!


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