Since flip-flops are officially on clearance, NFL training camps are in full swing (hurrah!) and No. 2 pencils, five-subject notebooks and the like are flooding the retail aisles, it's probably safe to say that summer is officially winding down.
Although, for the record, it sure doesn't feel like it in DFW. We've still got triple-digit temperatures and humidity for days. Ick. As we speak, I'm sporting what may be the world's largest ponytail, and yes, it's quite the fashion statement.
But as I glance at my Audrey Hepburn wall calendar, and it says that it's August 7, there's part of me that can't quite believe it. Where, oh where, did the summer go?
Just to make sure June, July and August really happened, a quick look through my dayplanner reveals that I was, in fact, alive and very busy. In what's practically become an annual tradition, summer officially started when I flew up to Minneapolis/St. Paul to hang with my pal Krista in early June.
After their seemingly neverending winter, I remember it being warm in a pleasant way. Then after I got reacquainted with the luscious pasta and tiramisu at Cossetta's and shopping at my old Mall of America stomping grounds, we hopped into her huge plum Toyota pick-up and road-tripped back to DFW.
As always, the long journey down 1-35 began with strong coffee and a dozen of those petite vanilla scones from Starbucks. What's also a must for this trip is hours and hours and hours of bad music courtesy of XM Radio. In addition to hearing Selena Gomez's new single more times than I would've liked, we also enjoyed a steady diet of Duran Duran, soul-crushing, sappy country songs and the occasional Backstreet Boys' hit single. Talk about a blast from the past.
When I needed a break from guilty pleasures, we'd stay sane with an acoustic rendition of something from John Mayer, Sarah McLachlan, U2 or Jack Johnson, who I'm pretty sure has only ever written one song in his life and simply switches up the lyrics a little.
The Krista/Christa road-trip also marks about the only time of year I contribute anything to Instagram, and lemme tell ya, there's nothing more awe-inspiring than a slew of Iowa cornfields, long, long stretches of highway and truck stops, which I must say have the most interesting products for sale.
For anyone who's ever wanted a truly unique gift for that someone special, may I suggest checking out your nearest Flying J? The cashiers probably thought I was a little nuts for laughing so hard, but I just couldn't help myself. The store was jam-packed with unexpected comedic delights.
After getting back to Texas, Krista and I ended up having to squeeze a whole lot of fun into a week because her dad ended up having some pretty serious surgery. But between our pilgrimage to Central Market for gelato and enough of her favorite fruit-flavored sparkling water to hydrate an entire village, going to my regularly scheduled movie screenings and watching gems like You've Got Mail and "The Bachelorette" in the comfort of air-conditioning, we made the most of the time we had.
As for the rest of the summer? Well, let's save that for another post, shall we?