July started off wonderfully. You see, Todd’s eight year-old cousin Sarah came to stay with us for 5 days. I love that kid so much and getting her to ourselves for 5 days was truly wonderful. Even though the weather was a bit shoddy while she stayed with us, we were still able to take her strawberry picking, to the movies to see Monsters University, and spent a fabulous day doing a Where’s Waldo search throughout the town of Madison, CT. The highlight of the trip to Madison? When I bought Sarah to R.J Julia and watched her eyes light up while picking out books (is there anything better?)
Following Sarah’s visit, Todd and I took a trip down to Long Island for a fourth of July BBQ at my college roommate Ashley’s house. Fun in the sun, hanging in the pool, and a plethora of rum buckets led to one of the most relaxing days I’ve had in a while.
Trips to NJ filled up the next two weeks for Todd and I. The first trip was to help my parents with little projects around their house (mulching, cleaning out gutters.) While we were there we were able to connect with all our NJ/NY friends. It just so happened to be my best friend Ozzie’s birthday that weekend, so being there to celebrate with him was definitely a plus. Getting together with Todd and my college roommates Marc and Kate was fantastic too. Unfortunately we don’t get together as often as we’d like, but when we do watch out.
Throw in some more family visits, graduation parties, and a funeral and you have the jist of the NJ/NY visits. The rest of the month was spent keeping busy with various outings, including a trip with staffers Sam and Jess to R.J Julia to hear author Mary Simses speak about her debut novel The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe.
The definite high point of the month though? My trip to Nashville!!! My cousin Meghan is getting married in September, so for her bachelorette party she chose to go to Nashville, TN. I’m not a fan of country music at all, so the idea of spending a weekend in the home of country music wasn’t that appealing. However, time spent with family always wins out. I have to tell all of you….if you get the chance to go to Nashville – take it. What a fun city. There is live music EVERYWHERE. ALL THE TIME. Even if you don’t like country music, the city is an awesome time. Besides the amazing music, the food is exquisite. I had chicken & waffles for the first time ever, and let me tell you….I want to eat it every day. I highly recommend checking out The Southern and Boundr’y while there. My sister and I also checked out The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Elvis’s solid gold piano was there. And his tricked out Cadillac with solid gold accessories (yeah, I guess he had a thing for gold.) Anyway, if you couldn’t already tell, I highly recommend hitting up Nashville. And hell, I’ll go with you while rocking my new cowboy boots!
On the reading front July wasn’t a stellar success. I only read 11 books, bringing my total reads for the year up to 129. So yes, I completed my initial reading challenge, but boo for only reading 11 books. My new reading goal for the year is 200 books (GAH!) My top read of the month was The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers. You can read my review here and then check out a guest post by Rivers here. Seriously do yourself a favor – go spend the $.99 on the novella and be prepared to be WOWED.
Alright readers, what’d you do in July? Share it in the comments below!