Thursday, June 30, 2022

This is the last day of June! Ay! I love June! It’s not usually too hot for us and summer is still so new and fresh. July is good, too, but it starts heating up and I get a little sad because it means summer is at the halfway point. No!

The first time I heard about the cocktail called the “Transfusion” it was on Bravo’s Below Deck. An annoying charter guest asked for it and explained what was in it and I took notes! It’s a horrible name for a cocktail – especially after Covid, no? And, no, you don’t prepare this in an IV bag or anything. Then, I repeatedly heard reality show people ask for this. I had all of the ingredients so I made it happen this week! Maybe I was a little tired of being Tom’s Covid nurse and I needed a transfusion! It’s a little bit like my Purple Rain cocktail, by the way!

I used a shot of vodka, a shot of grape juice, a half of a stick of Crystal Light grape (so I didn’t need as much of the caloric grape juice), and a splash of water. I mixed that up really well. Then, I added ice and filled to the top with Diet ginger ale.

It was super easy and really yummy! You do have to enjoy grape flavors to like this cocktail because it is pretty grape-y! I loved the nice purple color, too! After doing a little bit of reading on this cocktail, I plan to add some lime juice next time as the recipes I have seen include this!

Now onto Monthly Musings – Summer Travel…

I am linking up with Holly and Patty!

Favorite Summer Destination:

Europe! But, it is so busy in the summer in certain places. I would love to go to Europe in the fall or I would love to see Christmas in Germany maybe? But, for many of the last several years, we would head north in the summer while everyone else heads south. Lake Michigan is just divine in July and August. There is no salt in the water (I once got salt in my contact lenses in Hilton Head and it was painful), no fear of sharks, and we can be there in less than 5 hours. What more could you want?

I prefer warm weather destinations usually!

This summer, sadly, we did not make any plans. I am so glad we traveled so much before our kids entered high school because travel became trickier. But, we still did make a few trips work after that. Now, one of them works an internship until I go back to school with really no opportunity to take off. We talked about going on just a couples trip, but we are probably just going to save our money for our college tuitions and home renovations. I keep reminding myself there are seasons in life.

We mainly drove on all of our family vacations because it was just more affordable and we needed lots of stuff and a car to get around.

I love oceans and lakes the most!

I love packing! I know that is weird, but it’s true. I start packing about a week before and I start with making sure everything is clean and not wearing anything I might want to take on the trip. I was lucky to have a guest room where I could lay out all of my stuff and my kids’ stuff. I would add and subtract during the week leading up. Tom was on his own and we seriously always waited on him to be done packing!

Another tip is to keep a list of possible places you want to travel to in your phone memo.

We are not the kind of people who wait until 7:00 to go eat and then wait two hours. No way! We like to be kinda different than everyone else – eating dinner really early or going out to lunch.

I was really good about researching free or discount days for activities in the area I was going to be traveling to. We packed breakfast foods and some condo/house necessities so we wouldn’t have to buy certain things when we got there.

I am probably an overpacker, but I do try to pick a color scheme and be as smart as I can. Shoes are always my downfall! I also am like a girl scout in that I want to be prepared for anything!

We would usually plan spring break in January and then start working on summer after Spring Break, so we didn’t plan too far in advance.

We went to Lake Michigan with my side of the family many times. Here we are in this photo with extended family:

We camped several times with Tom’s side of the family. Tom’s parents had an RV and we pitched a tent beside them. We camped with Tom’s German family when they visited, too.

Lake Michigan! Looks like the ocean, right?

So, our first dog Archie didn’t get to go many places, but he had some incredible dogsitters. Ernie is well traveled, though. He is a great car traveler. Here is Ernie in Lake Michigan and he has been there 3 times.

There are actually lots of dog-friendly rental houses on VRBO. I haven’t looked at other sites much. Ernie has also been to Dauphin Island, Alabama. We rented a great house there. He could go down the steps and be in the water in minutes. He is a big water boy. We love walking with him in the mornings and the evenings and he naps when we go do things.

We also love taking the train into Chicago when we go to Lake Michigan. I am obsessed with train travel and wish we had more available in this country. We went to the Shedd Aqaurium and the Chicago Art Institute and we, of course, ate Chicago style pizza. The train dropped us off right where we wanted to go and we didn’t have to pay for parking which is crazy in Chicago and all big cities, I think!

Last summer we did a short trip to Nashville. Let’s just say our kids are not into the Nashville vibe.

Our kids were great car travelers just like Ernie. I love Jack’s reading position here.

Mason on a tablet:

Our family’s favorite road trip was an epic one that happened over Spring Break. We drove to Universal Studios without telling them where we were going. They were big into Harry Potter and mainly focused on Harry Potter world. Then, we drove through central Florida and did a swamp boat ride. Finally, we drove to the keys, stopping along the way to see and do different things. We ended in Key West and stayed there for a few days. We hopped on a boat to go to the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson where we toured the fort and snorkeled.

The sunset celebration nightly in Key West is so pretty:

Our kids’ first plane ride was at age 13, almost 14 – to Germany for two weeks! We wanted to get them there before they started high school.

We did the high speed train to travel throughout Germany and Tom is smiling!

We just renewed the kids’ passports – we got them back in about 7 weeks, so we are hopeful to do something exciting sooner rather than later? Jack has an opportunity to go to Italy with his college choir and Mason might do study abroad soon, so we had to get the passports prepared just in case.

I still was/am? worried about the flight delays and cancellations this summer and the amount of people cashing in on all of those cancelled Covid trips!

On my list:

Spain, Mexico, England, Ireland, Scotland, Maine, Boston, Nantucket, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Niagra Falls and Canada, and so much more!

What about you? Let me know if you try the Transfusion and what are your travel plans?


18 thoughts on “Monthly Musings and a Cocktail Recipe – the“Transfusion”

  1. Oh your first paragraph! You are me! I could have written that! Such a silly way of thinking; mourning that things are going to end when you are in the middle of it… Unfortunately I am the same with negative things; I can worry about mandatory late evenings in school weeks in advance… Silly!
    No travels for us either this summer… We were thinking about the French riviera or Greece, but the flight industry is crazy in Europe right now. Total chaos at the airports because of staff shortage and a lot of strikes… And to be honest: the only place I really want to go to is Florida; my happy place!
    I also love to pack! But my hub is a bit stressed out before travels, so I and the girls hide our suitcases in their rooms… 😀 Just the sight of them triggers him! Ha ha!


    1. I know – I wish I wasn’t like that and I could be more in the moment, but I am improving! You kind of travel with your cabin? It’s kinda like that? I agree on the flights in Europe! Oh my! That is a lot of stress for me right now on top of the normal travel stress. I am always a “what if?” person and I hate that about myself. I wish I could be more Type B. Oh well! Enjoy your day!


  2. I pack early too and Encourage my boys to as well so we are all usually waiting on my husband as well who likes to wait until the night before to pack up everything. Luckily I also take over food packing if we’re traveling by car or I think we’d all starve or eat only gas station food/snacks along the way! LOL.


  3. That drink looks delish! Ahh! You’ve gone to so many wonderful places. I love that you surprised the boys. I’ve never been to Lake Michigan. It’s on my list too! You have so many great tips and tricks.


    1. Thank you! I didn’t realize it had lime, so I am excited to try it that way, too. I really think you would like Lake Michigan and I can give you some advice on where to go. You can do Chicago on the train and your kids would love that! Thank you! I’m the one that has to do all the work in my family and that is probably why we haven’t gone many places lately. I don’t have the energy it requires!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Travis is definitely our travel planner. I’ve always told him I plan our day to day life and he can plan our fun. Haha
        We wanted to get to Chicago this summer as a quick trip but don’t think we will have time


  4. We decided to wait until next year to travel to Europe, thinking about Italy and Switzerland. We usually plan it in December, January and go for 2 weeks and rent a car, following a route that we’ve planned out that is pretty loose. So this year we’ve rented a vrbo in Carlsbad CA for 2 weeks in August to get out of the Arizona heat and will take our terrier who is a good traveler. I already have a box started with little things to take! In the fall we’re going to Nashville for an Army reunion for my husband, any recommendations? He’s the one who packs ahead of time and I put everything in the suitcase last minute, but it’s mostly all laid out or hanging ready to go.


    1. I think a lot of people are the same, so next year will probably be busy there, too! Ca sounds awesome to get out of the heat. Nashville is not really my scene. I have heard Franklin is super cute. I guess you might want to do the strip one night to see what it’s all about. There are tons of 21st bdays, bachelorettes, lots of drunk people, and just lots of people and noise. You have to try hot chicken, though!


  5. Oh I cannot wait to get to Chicago- I want to do the boat tour that talks about all of the architecture and history- looks amazing! I cannot believe how much Lake Michigan looks like the ocean- that is crazy! Thanks for sharing 🙂


    1. It’s good! You could add your grape Ultima! Lol! You really only drink those things? I like it all – or most! Lots of travel for you. The Real Housewives of BH just went to Punta Mita.


  6. Your cocktail looks delicious!! You have taking so many fun trips with your family! I really want to take my kids abroad in the next few years. We’ve never been to the Great Lakes but they are on my travel list!


    1. Thank you! I liked it! We have. It’s sad now that we aren’t making these memories but I’ve been told it will happen again by folks with 20
      Somethings. You should definitely do one of the Great Lakes! And as for Europe it’s daunting so I would just pick one area. Happy long weekend!


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