ABCs of Summer

I read a Hello Giggles post recently that featured The Single Girl’s Totally Do-able Summer Bucket List. The last item on the list intrigues me: “Go somewhere for each letter of the alphabet.”

I like this idea a lot. In fact, this will be my new spring/summer project. Perhaps “have an experience” for each letter of the alphabet is a more attainable goal; it could include anything from going to a Concert to eating a Popsicle to building a Sandcastle.

Now, the fun part. Creating my list. I’ve come up with an idea for every letter, but this will be a completely fluid list. If I decide halfway through summer that Popsicle should be Picnic, so be it. It’s not about checking things off a list. All that matters is having a fun summer with at least 26 memorable moments to savour.

Summer

The List

Art. I will embrace all opportunities to experience art, but more specifically, I will visit at least one new art gallery. Perhaps Dart Gallery?

Beach. I will be spending most of my 10-day summer vacation on Port Hood Beach, as long as the sun gods permit. But I hope to get out for a few more beach days in/near the city this summer too.

Cocktails. I want to go out specifically for cocktails at least once this summer. It’s so easy to stick with my usual wine, cider or patio beer when I go out, but I do love a good cocktail.

Day trip. I try to venture out for at least one day trip within Nova Scotia each spring/summer. I’m not sure where I’ll go this time, but I’d like to head somewhere new.

Explore. Take a different path than usual on one of my Shubie Park walks. Explore a local neighbourhood I never visit. Get out of the car on a day trip and go for a walk, not just through the main street of a community, but beyond.

Festivals. I attend a few festivals every summer, so this won’t be difficult. I’ll try to hit up as many as I can, including Chestico Days (Port Hood), Greek Fest, Multicultural Festival, and Halifax Jazz Festival.

Ghost Walk. I’ve never done it.

Hot Fudge Sundae. An opportunity to be completely indulgent.

Indian food. Okay, admission time. I’ve never really had authentic Indian cuisine. I mean, I’ve had a taste here and there, like Samosas. But that obviously doesn’t cut it. I’m not sure what’s holding me back because I enjoy most other ethnic cuisines. I think maybe I’m overwhelmed and not sure where to begin. I definitely need to do this with folks who know their Indian food so they can hold my hand through this. Who’s in?

Jazz. I have tickets to one Jazz Festival concert so far, and hope to attend at least one or two more.

Kites. My friend Kirk and I have a tradition of flying kites on Citadel Hill every couple of years. Maybe this year we’ll try somewhere new, like a beach.

Lobster. It could be freshly caught along the shores of Port Hood and served with my mom’s potato salad. It could be a Lobster Benny from Saege. It could be any number of lobster dishes from local restaurants. It could be ALL OF THESE THINGS.

Movie. As in the outdoor variety. Whether it’s alFresco Film Festo (yes, I know they changed the name but I like this one better so suck it), Open Aire, a drive-in or someone’s backyard, I want to enjoy at least one fresh air film.

Niche. I know absolutely nothing about soccer, but I hope to participate in a soccer pool with friends this year. And I hear Niche is the best place to watch soccer in the city. So I will watch a soccer match at Niche.

Oxford. I love going to movies at the Oxford and don’t do it often enough. I will see at least one movie here this spring/summer.

Popsicle. Simple. Summer on a stick.

Quizzes. I will unabashedly take all the Buzzfeed quizzes I want this summer. But I won’t share my results. Unless they’re awesome.

Rocky’s. Rocky’s Filipino BBQ inspired the Summer of Streetmeat, and I will need my summer fix.

Sandcastle. I haven’t built one since I was a kid.

Tree. Find a tree. Sit under the tree. Read a book under the tree.

Ukulele. Okay, this is a bit of a stretch. I got stumped by the U. It would be hilarious and awesome to own a ukulele, but unless one of you wants to unload one for free or very little coin, this probably won’t happen. I may come up with a different U idea later on. Any ideas? Put ’em in the comments.

Volunteer. The last time I volunteered was the Word on the Street Festival a couple years back. I shouldn’t let that much time go by without giving back to the community.

Water Fight. An epic water battle broke out last summer at an annual summer getaway with friends and their families, and I was not prepared. Won’t happen again. I need to invest in a Super Soaker or similar. Maybe a large tub of water balloons too.

X Marks the Spot. I thought it would be a struggle to come up with an X. But it came to me right away. Oak Island and its famous treasure hunt! I’ve never been. So technically I could take care of D and X in one fell swoop, but I’m sure I can manage more than one day trip this summer.

Yogurt. As in the frozen variety. My friend Lindsay and I have pledged a series of themed summer adventures over the last couple of years. Remember Summer of Street Meat? Well, this summer, we’ve pledged to try every single Froyo joint in Halifax. It will be a tasty adventure indeed.

Zoo. I mean, there’s only so much you can do with a Z.

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Homeward Bound

My Canada Day long weekend will be spent back home in Port Hood, a small but mighty fishing village along the coast of the scenic Ceilidh Trail in Cape Breton. For the first time I’m aware of, Port Hood will be hosting some Canada Day festivities. I’m told there will be a pig roast, fireworks, and of course – music. We like our music. Not only that, tomorrow the new ice cream bar opens up in the centre of town. This excites me greatly. You guys, it’s a good weekend to be in the ‘Hood.

I will also be bringing some Buttons ‘N Baubles pieces to the Chestico Museum gift shop for the summer. In addition to some cute bobby pins, button earrings, rings, and button hair elastics, I made a few necklaces using maps and satellite images of the area. I hope tourists and locals alike will enjoy these.

Port Hood Necklaces - Buttons 'N Baubles

Anybody else venturing out of town this weekend?

Play It Over and Over

I’ve had a few irons in the fire lately. One of these irons has kept much of my focus over the last six months, and today it flipped out of my hands and burned me in the process. I may have a permanent scar. Perhaps I’m slightly bitter melodramatic.

It’s the remaining irons I’m grateful for. Now that I have one less thing to obsess about, I can throw myself into some really exciting projects. I just completed the first major edit of my children’s book. It still needs a lot of work, and it’s really more a personal project than a commercial one. But, you guys? This is crazy exciting for me.

I’m happy to report some brand new Buttons ‘N Baubles pieces will be ready for the shop very soon – maybe later this week. Expect to see some Dartmouth love incorporated. Chestico Museum in Port Hood has agreed to carry some of my new items in the gift shop this summer. Tourists will be putty in my hands. I think. Maybe. We’ll see.

Most importantly, Summer of Street Meat has officially launched with stops at two food stands in Hubbards – we had a hit and a miss. More to come on this subject once we’ve had a few more visits (and lbs) under our belts.

So as it turns out, keeping busy is a family trait. Some of my talented cousins (Brennan, Gordie, Kelly Jean, and Mitch MacDonald) have started a band called Company Road. Their first song has been rolling around in my head all day, helping to soothe the burn.

Things I’m Working On

I have a little something up my sleeve and will be re-opening my Etsy shop soon. Some Dartmouth love will make its way to the shop, involving this:

Dartmouth Map

Dartmouth Mystery Map

I can’t divulge the details just yet. My first creation is a gift to a friend, and I would very much like it to remain a surprise. I’m just waiting on a few supplies to arrive before I get going. Last summer, Chestico Museum featured some of my jewelry and accessories in its gift shop. If they want more items again this year, some Port Hood love will be featured too!

Time to get crafty y’all.

Let’s Get This Party Started

My plan for this space is to highlight things I heart, things I observe, things I could live without, things I… well, you see where this is going.

I grew up in a rural Cape Breton village, for which I have great fondness. Port Hood will always be home to me. I first came to Halifax 19 years ago to attend university, and I’ve been here ever since. Over the years I’ve called many neighbourhoods home, from South End to Clayton Park to Spryfield. Dartmouth didn’t occur to me as an option until a good friend moved to a lovely flat just up the street from the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal. I found myself spending more and more time in the City of Lakes until it became clear I was meant to be a Dartmouthian. From the moment I moved across the harbour, Dartmouth captured my heart. The love affair has been going strong for close to 8 years.

While this blog won’t be all Dartmouth all the time, it will often serve as a love letter to my scrappy little city.