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…
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?