I’m sitting in the railway station, got a ticket to my destination. on a tour of one-night stands, my suitcase and guitar in hand.
I’m very thankful for airplanes and cars all the time, but especially so this year. I proclaimed this year as my “year of travel” – finally having the freedom to pack up my laptop and work from anywhere, I certainly made the most of that this year. From Grand Rapids to Cincinnati to Boston to Gatlinburg to Siesta Key to Raleigh to Denver to Charlottesville to Montebello to to to… it doesn’t escape me that I’ve been very lucky. Today, I’m thankful for the places I’ve been, the people I’ve gone with, and the modes of transportation that have taken me there (spoken like a true Michigander!)
Not including commuting to and from work, I have traveled an estimated 15,935 miles this year. That’s so crazy to me!
Where do these summers go?! For the second year in a row, the summer was jam packed in the best way, but it absolutely flew by. If I wasn’t spending afternoons by the pool, I was jetsetting somewhere every week, it seemed – it’s pretty amazing to finally be living the kind of life I really want. Here’s a quick recap of the summer:
I started the summer off with two trips to the water – first to see Dani in Boston, then down to the Florida beach with my family. There is nothing I love more than being on the beach and cooking in the sun with the people I love most, so this was a really great way to kick the year off (and a good indicator of exactly how busy I would end up being)!
Even though I made it a point not to travel out of state in July, I still managed to pack the month full. Hands down, Outlaw Roadshow was one of the best days of music I’ve ever been lucky to see, and the surprise Counting Crows set to close out the night didn’t hurt matters any. I went hiking to some waterfalls with some of my best friends to celebrate my Nashversary, and spent many afternoons nappingby various poolsthroughout the city.
In early August, I finally moved to Nashville proper after a year of commuting from the burbs, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier with the new place (no matter how stressful and time consuming moving ended up being.) Before I set off on another big trip, I finally got to see one of my bucket list bands when I saw Gin Blossoms play two shows in one night. No one will ever be able to tell me any differently – they are one of my favorite bands of all time, and I really had a great night. CF and Sixx came with me, and it was pretty nice to not be there alone!
The next morning, I flew to Montreal for my company retreat. Even though I have “known” my co-workers for almost a year, it was nice to meet in person for real, do some heavy bonding, and exchange treats with friends!
September has been a really great way to end the summer. Over Labor Day, some friends from Charlottesville came to visit, and I had friends from college staying with me as well. It was a busy weekend for sure, but super fun to get out and sing some karaoke again (and have a band full of boys to buy me drinks all weekend :))
After that, I made a last-minute trip back home to the mitten. My best friend had her baby, and I was just homesick for water. Turns out the 10 hour drive isn’t so bad, especially when the trip back is broken up with visits to wineries and dinners with Sixx!
Last week saw what I consider the most wonderful time of the year – Americanafest in Nashville! A full week of my favorite kinds of music, plus panels and meetings with some of the smartest and most talented folks in the industry. A co-worker came into town for the event, and we exhibited during the conference and at night, I ran from venue to venue checking out showcases and discovering new loves. (I managed to make it to seven Nashville venues in one evening, which felt like a world record.)
In the middle of all that craziness, because I wasn’t getting enough music or activity – I flew to Denver to see Counting Crows for the third time this summer at Red Rocks. It was really otherwordly – Red Rocks is like nothing else, and I can’t recommend going there enough.
Pairing Americanafest with Red Rocks and a comedy show at Zanies in Nashville on Friday night, I ended up seeing shows at ten different venues in 2 states within 48 hours. That is definitely some kind of record.
I have one more trip to Raleigh next week, then off to Cincinnati in mid-October, but other than that and Thanksgiving, my travel looks to be done for the year. So, yeah! It’s been a really great summer. I am so lucky to be able to get to do these amazing things and hang out with such great people. If only this summer heat could last forever, I’d be all set…
June was such a whirlwind! It was great to do so much travel, but it made it hard to get stay organized and on-goals while I was at home. There’s always more time to catch up on that kind of stuff, though – this year I’ve really been trying to focus on experiences and balancing out fun with work, and this was the perfect month.
I headed home to Cincinnati for a quick trip to visit the family before departing back to Nashville to hang out with a friend from college who I haven’t seen in a very long time. I had a great weekend with her, and our mini college reunion was a great way to finally make this city feel like home.
After her trip here, I headed up to Boston to visit Dani! I am already itching to get back there since I think we managed to leave some of the waffle fries uneaten.
After that, I was back home for a few days before taking off to Siesta Key, Florida, for some more family time. NP and family go every year, and I was finally lucky enough to get to join them this year. I understand why they’ve been going back for twenty years, and why it’s been voted the best beach in the USA. It was a great place to unwind, refresh, and regroup.
Wow. What a beautiful week I had down in Siesta Key, Florida. The family vacations down there every year and has been going for twenty years or so, and my aunt’s ashes were scattered there after her passing. It’s their home away from home, and this year, I was finally lucky enough to be able to visit along with them. To say it was incredible would be an understatement. The clear water, the sugar sand, the dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles I got to see every morning as I walked along the beach – it honestly felt like a dream, or like something that I’d never see in my life.
Siesta Key Beach is south of Sarasota, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, an island just over a narrow passage of water between it and the mainland. Lots of great shops and activities – we even did a fun run with the kids on the beach sponsored by the local Parks & Rec department, which they do every Tuesday and Wednesday night throughout the summer. I missed out on morning yoga (by the ocean, Wednesdays and Saturdays,) but I did have a great time out on the sailboat with my brothers.
Our condo was on the beach, and my room was just steps from the ocean. In the morning, I’d sit on the patio to work (and melt in the sweltering 91 degree heat, which I love.) Afternoons were spent on the beach, cooking in the sun, enjoying some beverages and building sandcastles. It’s no surprise that it’s been consistently voted the #1 beach in the country for years and years. I can’t wait for next year, as I can’t imagine not returning with them.