Introducing “Summer Notes”

Today is the first day of “summer” in our family. The kids are officially out of school and all the craziness of the season begins. The next three months of summer is going to whirl by at breakneck speed. It is jam-packed with travel, adventure, family and fun. Although I’m very excited about summer as it is my favorite time of year, in order to remain sane I’ve decided that something has to give. I will not be able to devote as much time as I like to my blog.

During a Sunday morning bike ride I came up with the wonderful idea of trying something new on the blog. I thought to myself, “What about adding in some blog posts about what summer and life are like here in Minnesota?”ย It will be a way for me to explore an entirely new topic that is like the back of my hand: Where I live. It will also force me to try some new things on the blog and in my life to make it a bit more interesting when I’m home. So without further ado, I would like to introduce a new series called “Summer Notes”. In these posts, I will mix in a little taste of summer in Minnesota for those who are curious about this northern land with over 10,000 lakes (and plenty more mosquitos!).

I will continue to add in my other usual posts on travel and social good but there may be a backlog in getting them done until fall. I have an exceedingly busy two months ahead starting with a weekend trip to Northern Minnesota on Friday, a one-week family vacation to the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, family in town, and then in exactly one month from today I am off to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Even reading this list makes me tired!

Meanwhile, I must fit as much hiking, walking, running, biking and swimming in as possible (to train for my climb) while also making sure I have a blast with the kids doing all the fun summer things. I will try to fit inย summer reading, picnicking, barbecuing with friends, and going to the beach for a swim in the lake at sunset. Meanwhile the kids are both doing summer soccer Monday through Thursday every week. Breathe!ย 

So here’s to the new series “Summer Notes” and let’s see where it takes me.

Lake Harriet, Minneapolis MN

On my way around one of many urban lakes in Minneapolis.

Stay tuned….



  1. Looking forward to Summer Notes- and must say- was that a ‘surfboard’? in one of the photos- not an image for Minnesota I would have expected- learn something new everyday!!! Enjoy your summer- we have two weeks left of school in CT- so tell the kids they are soooooo lucky to be done already!!

    • Thanks! That photo is actually a paddle board! It has become quite popular here in MN. I have yet to try it! But want to soon. Our summers are short here so we are always out the first week of June. It is really nice. We start before labor day though which I don’t like.

  2. Yes Nicole, breathe! Do make sure you take some time for yourself to unwind a little now and then. If the blog gets a bit behind it won’t matter. We all still love you <3 And being behind with blog posts, and getting stressed about it is something I know all about! ๐Ÿ™‚ In the end it doesn't seem to make all that much difference.
    Your kids are beautiful. I wish you a fun and joyous summer. And time to breathe.
    Much love

    • Thanks Alison! It is always hard for me to go from school year to summer. Just like that my life gets crazy! I finally have a rainy day and my daughter is still sleeping and son at camp. I can breathe! I needed this day. Thanks so much for the comment! how long are you in Vancouver? What a lovely place to spend some time in!

      • Vancouver is still both officially and emotionally our hometown and it always feels good to come back, even if ‘home’ is housesitting for friends. We have a couple of months here, then Sweden in July, and then back to Vancouver again for August. And yes, it’s a very lovely place to spend time in ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Wow wonderful Alison! I’ve aways wanted to go to Sweden as that is where my grandfather’s side is from. My maiden name is “Anderson” like many fellow Minnesotans who came from Sweden and Norway on the boat!

      • Oh I do hope you get to Sweden one day. It’s a lovely country. We’ve been many times since Don’s son married a Swedish-Canadian girl and they chose to make their home their with their ever-growing family.

      • I hope to as well! I have been to Norway and loved it. It reminded me of Minnesota. The only thing is it is so incredibly expensive. But I do hope to go someday. ๐Ÿ™‚ Will look forward to seeing your photos!!

    • You have a wonderful backyard Sue! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think sometimes when you have lived in a place for a long time, you take it for granted and have to take a step back to realize how truly beautiful it is.

  3. For what it’s worth, we’re located in Chicago so we’d love to hear recommendations about how to spend a few days in Minnesota. We’ve really only explored Michigan since moving here ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I used to live in Chicago! My husband and I got married there before moving here. Minnesota is gorgeous. Over 10,000 lakes and it is cabin culture in the summer. We don’t have a cabin but have friends who have one. It is a very livable city too with tons of bike paths and a park in the city every six blocks. It is a great place for kids! If you head this way let me know and I can give you tips on what to do!

  4. We drove from Chicago to Montana and back last summer, and spent some great time in the Badlands and the Black Hills. Both were fantastic. Did you by any chance get a cabin at the national park in the Badlands – they were wonderful! There are some great hiking paths there, and the cabins have all been redone. Also, try Kathmandu Bistro in downtown Rapid City! (Memories of Nepal!)

    • That sounds wonderful! We did not get a cabin in the badlands as we opted for a cookie cutter hotel with a pool. We thought the kids would enjoy that more (however I would have loved the cabin!). We are going to do some hiking in Custer Park. Any particular ones you recommend?

  5. I like this kind of series, I’ve started on e on my blog as well (travelstories) Summer notes sounds like your heart will take you places and your mind will put them to words………

  6. Wow impressive that you will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, would love to do it some day as well. Looks like your summer will be super fun though! I just started my blog about my travel experiences and would love to get some feedback as I’m very new to this, have a look ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks! If you are new I would highly recommend doing the Weekly Photo Challenge! It is a great way to “meet” fellow bloggers and get a good following. I love doing it. Will stop by and take a look! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Excellent idea! I love seeing your own back yard, Nicole ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, those sunsets over water, and those priceless shots of the youngsters.!

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