Travel

What Are You Looking Forward to This Summer?

beach scene

What are your plans for summer? I’ve been dreaming of June since the dead of winter, and now that it’s finally here, all I can think about is swimming in the ocean. I went to the beach a few weeks ago, and the cold water stung my toes. Now that the weather is warming up, I’m venturing back out this weekend and hope to be able to run into the waves without immediately retreating.

During quarantine last year, more than any other time, summer was the loneliest for me. There were no date nights in cozy restaurants or an impromptu catch up with friends over a cheeseboard after work. The other night, I went to grab a drink with friends and thought, “Man, it feels good to be back at a tiki bar!” I’m so looking forward to more of those ‘Man, it’s good to be back’ moments in the coming weeks.

What are your plans? Anything you’re excited about?

P.S. 9 delicious summer recipes and how to plan your best vacation.

(Photo taken at Chicken Bone Beach.)

  1. margaret says...

    So many big(ish) wonderful things like finally seeing and hugging my family after a year, going to the beach, hugging friends, oysters and white wine in the sunshine.

    But also summer reading! I got Anne Bogel’s summer reading guide (highly recommend), made a list, and told my husband I am going to spend as much money on books this year as I want – no guilt, no matter how many hard-covers I want. I told myself I would read less once I was fully vaccinated, but I think I’m addicted. I’m definitely reading more.

  2. Stacy S says...

    Camping trips! Our son is at an age where it is going to be so much fun to watch him explore and enjoy all the new things camping brings. We took him with every trip last summer, but he was only 18 months old so he didn’t explore and play like he does now.

  3. Emily says...

    FINALLY HAVING MY WEDDING! It’s been postponed for over a year and I feel so grateful and fortunate that we are finally able to have the wedding of our dreams.

    • Hannah says...

      Yayy!! We got legally married in a zoom wedding during the pandemic (April 2020), but are also excited to have an actual wedding reception with people this summer!

  4. rachel simmons says...

    water water water water!! my soul,body, mind is CRAVING water, the sounds, the feeling of floating weightless, the getting lost in the coast line… ALL. OF. IT.

  5. Caitlin says...

    I want to match the enthusiasm my 1.5 and 3 yr olds this summer. Pizza in a neighbor’s backyard? “Mama! I never been to a party before!” Pool? “Mama! We get to go IN the water?!” Takeout tacos on a picnic table? “We eating at a real restaurant!” It is pure magic and also heartbreaking: they just don’t remember how fun the world used to be. Can’t wait to re-introduce them to summer!

    • Cassie says...

      wow, this is powerful!!

  6. Laura says...

    I’m due with my second baby in mid-July so I’m anticipating a nice slow summer getting to know our little girl. But with thankfully many more options for my 3-year-old to get out of the house, and with regular visits from grandparents now that we’re all fully vaccinated.

  7. Maire says...

    I will spend all summer anxiously anticipating November, when it will be dark and cold again :) But the bright spots of summer are outdoor yoga after work, a lake trip planned with extended family I’ve not seen in over a year, and BBQs with friends + cooler cold beers.

  8. Ruxandra says...

    This summer I want to feel free again. My husband and I are fully vaccinated so, together with out young daughter, we’re going to the seaside in Greece. In the winter we’re dreaming about Greece with beautiful beaches, lifestyle and food and I can’t belive that in less than 2 weeks we’ll be there. The rest of the summer I want to go to the mountains and go outside in nature every day.

  9. Rosa says...

    I work in the education system so I’m coming up on some time off this summer and I live on a little peninsula on the east coast of Canada. I’m looking forward to using my camper more often, reading loads of books on my front deck with a cold beverage, going to the beach with my family, staying up super late binge watching Netflix, watching my garden and flowers grow, eating fresh seafood, trying new recipes, taking my boat to one of the awesome local beaches that are only accessible by boat and going for ice cream on Sunday’s. This summer is also my daughter’s 16th birthday, my live-in nephew’s 18th birthday, my 45th birthday and my 17th wedding anniversary so I have some planning ahead of me as well.

  10. hilda says...

    picnics with friends & backyard come on over bbqs. but mostly hugging my sisters. our mother died in 2020 and it’s been such a strange time to grieve. i just want the three of us to get together and talk about it all and laugh and cry and drink wine and hug each other.

  11. Sasha L says...

    Reading the comments from our friends around the world outside of the US I’m sad that many of you are still waiting for vaccination and feeling like life is still on hold. I wish we could fast forward for you. I wish we could send you all the vaccinations from the US that many here are still refusing. Truly, we are SO lucky. I’m so incredibly grateful for all those in health care who have been working hard to get vaccinations out, to the drug companies and researchers for getting us safe vaccines so quickly, and for President Biden for being competent and caring about all of us so much and making this happen (I personally got my vaccine in March when Biden opened up all vaccinations to teachers, and I’m so grateful for this action). Thank you to everyone who has gotten vaccinated, and I hope anyone still waiting will do so soon. It feels incredible to have less fear and really be able to enjoy others and all of the summer fun again. Hang in there international friends, thinking of you.

    • Lisa says...

      Thank you for this thoughtful comment, Sasha! I too feel SO grateful and also feel so cringe-y and embarrassed when I hear about how we have to give incentives to get people to vaccination clinics or offer for people to be in a lottery for money in order to entice them to get vaccinated. I can’t imagine what spoiled brats we must sound like to people in other countries. The days still seem tough and uncertain but I really feel for people who would love the vaccine but can’t get it yet. One thing I try to stop and enjoy often now and plan to this summer….is the total lack of Trump’s tweets!! Oh, the blissful silence of it all!!! YAY!!!!! Love to everyone and please do get this shot scientists worked so hard for us to have!!!

  12. MMC says...

    I’m looking forward to a weekend trip with my siblings + their spouses! We’re all vaccinated and although we talk very regularly, we haven’t been in the same place together in 2 years.

    Also, my husband and I are traveling to Seattle, Portland, and LA this summer! It feels so nice to have something fun to look forward to – we haven’t traveled just the two of us since our honeymoon!

  13. Caitlin says...

    This summer, my goal is to work on my New Year’s resolution to do all of the things that scare me, both big (e.g. starting therapy – had my second session yesterday!) and small (e.g. go to the movies by myself – saw Cruella on opening day!, say “yes” to my new neighbor’s offer to join her friends on a night out to a new restaurant (being the odd one out normally terrifies me), etc.). And thanks to Kim’s post from a while back, I signed up for a pottery class starting in September (turns out adult learning classes are just like summer camp for kids – you need to sign up months in advance). There will also be weekly trips to the beach (I’m lucky to live only 20 minutes away) for picnic lunches, frilly dresses and short shorts, lazy days on my balcony reading books, and lots of ice cream for dinner. Oh, and I’m going to take advantage of every historical walking tour my small New England tourist town offers. At 31, I’m finally more comfortable doing things on my own, and don’t want to waste anymore time *not* doing things. This past year has also taught me that I really don’t really care what anyone else thinks anymore – it’s gloriously freeing :)

    • AE says...

      I love this so much – your life is about to get so much bigger! thanks for the inspiration, I’m absolutely going to do the same :)

    • Laura says...

      Amazing, Caitlin! What a wonderful new year’s resolution. Therapy has changed my life—congratulations on two sessions!

  14. Darby says...

    I’m a teacher so my summers are wide open! I’m looking forward to an easier rhythm to my day and the freedom to eat, sleep, and even go to the bathroom whenever I want! Sleeping in past 6 AM, 9 Am workouts (such a civilized time of day), day trips to the beach and the mountains with my kids. I am really looking forward to going to the lake with my sister and her family. We weren’t able to go last year because of restrictions and we missed it so much. Our kids are all growing up (ages 14-20) and we think this might be the last year they will all come with us so I think it will be extra special.

  15. Rachel says...

    Love this! I’m going to live like I’m 21 :)
    But better this time.
    I hope you have have the most amazing summer

  16. Joanna, many moons ago, you mentioned how much Toby and Anton loved a particular art camp. I believe it was in Park Slope. I’ve been scouring your site to find this for my 4.5 yr old, but no luck. This summer, I’m looking forward to having her do all the fun activities that she missed out on last year!

  17. Christina says...

    I almost dreaded reading the comments, fearing everyone has these grand plans that most of us Europeans can’t have due to slower vaccinations. Am I an awful person to get relieved that most plans were rather low-key?
    I will not be fully vaccinated until August, when I am already back to work, so there will not be any fun plans for me and my family this summer; no trips abroad, no nothing. We still have so many restrictions. Hopefully the beach will be open, so we can swim in the ocean.
    I do look forward to seeing friends that I haven’t seen for a year, but mostly I look forward to this autumn :-) !

    • Jen says...

      Don’t feel bad. On the other hand, us Americans usually look on with envy at the common practice of Europeans getting many weeks of vacation while we have to do our best with much less.

    • Agnès says...

      Swimming in the ocean sounds pretty good to me! Grand plans shouldn’t be the best.

    • Ana D. says...

      Christina, go ahead and feel bad if you feel bad. You don’t need permission and Jen isn’t authorized to revoke it.

    • Jen says...

      I think my wording was bad Ana – but I meant she shouldn’t feel bad – she shouldn’t consider herself an “awful person” since she is relieved most people are having low key plans. I wasn’t trying to “revoke” her feelings. Simply suggesting that she shouldn’t feel bad for having those feelings of jealousy and near relief when others were in similar low-key situations.
      Also wanted to point out that the US might be doing well on the vaccine front – but our general lack of decent vacations makes us unworthy of jealousy most of the time.

    • .S. says...

      I feel you Christina! But even the low-key plans made me feel sad. Canada prioritized first vaccines over full vaccines, which was totally understandable, but now the province I live in is on track to fully open up in early July in time for a giant annual rodeo/carnival, even though only 13% of the population is fully vaccinated and 44% is partially vaccinated. I would love some relaxing summer plans, desperately miss my sister, who lives in the UK, and want to hug my family and friends, but instead I simultaneously feel guilt that vaccine hoarding by more privileged nations is putting millions of folks at risk around the world, and stressed/anxious that the province is playing fast and loose with variants that could extend the pandemic even after we get our second vaccines in August/September. All that being said, after reading all of the comments I did feel a small glimmer of hope for next summer and fall <3

  18. Ashley says...

    I was just talking with my mom the other day about how much we didn’t do last summer. No concerts or barbecues or 4th of July parades or amusement parks……

    Here in Utah County every town has a week-long summer festival with a carnival, free family activities, lots of good food and (sometimes) a rodeo! Our town’s is next week and I CANNOT wait to get back to celebrating the traditions I’ve participated in since I was a little girl.

  19. Ann says...

    Hugging my Mom and sister.

  20. Inga says...

    Hugging Mom and Dad and Grandma and a Sister (or two) after over 2 years. Greeting dear friends’ brand new babies (well, almost 1 y olds by now…) in person at last. Living on different continents during a pandemic sucks, but my gratitude for the vaccines exceeds the misery of last year. So much joy ahead!

  21. K says...

    With a baby at home who is not vaccinated and has a genetic condition that could possibly make him at higher risk of serious illness from Covid, our family is still being cautious because we don’t want to get a mild case somehow (even though adults are vaccinated), and pass it on to him. Don’t have any other family nearby to pod up with. My parents live in another country where the vaccine rollout has been slow, and elderly people are just getting their first dose. Their second dose isn’t until 12 weeks later (the Astrazeneca) so it’ll be some time before they feel comfortable traveling. I’m happy for everyone who can feel more comfortable returning to more “normal,” but personally I’m dreading the Summer and it feels even harder than last Summer because I feel more alone in this situation! It’s not easy taking care of a baby with other kids in normal times but this just makes it so much harder. My husband has been able to thankfully work from home this past year and help out but now he is expected to be back in the office. It’s hard seeing other people hanging with friends more freely and reuniting with family. I’ve had to stop looking at social media to not be depressed/envious. Especially with our state not having an indoor mask mandate anymore soon, it is going to limit where we feel comfortable going. We have a lower percentage of vaccinated people, higher number of Covid cases in our area. Trying to enjoy the nicer weather these days in our area, and doing outdoor activities where we can still distance. Dreading when the heat hits and staying at home will be mostly what we are doing, and our AC unit is not the best so we all get a bit cranky together. I mean, I’m used to staying home by now but I’m burnt out of thinking of activities for my kids. Can’t wait for the vaccines for age 6 months and up to be approved! Fingers crossed it’ll be before Christmas. I’m glad so many can enjoy things more and I do feel less nervous being out than before with some people being vaccinated (and thankfully half the people I see are still wearing masks outside even though they’re not required to!), but please be mindful of people like us when talking about all the fun you’re having! Probably a very small percentage but we exist. :) other countries are still struggling too, and don’t have the access to vaccines like the U.S. has. Hoping all countries get over this worldwide situation soon!

    • Lily says...

      That sounds really, really hard, K. I see you. Last summer I often thought it would be better if my kids were younger so they wouldn’t be asking “But when are we going back to Disneyland?” or “WHY is the play structure at the park covered in tape???” as we walked on by. But I also remember having an infant and toddler and how I CRAVED my breaks so badly, especially when they weren’t sleeping well through the night. This mom is wishing you much strength. The new phase of “kind of normal” will be tough for many as we get back to the new normal. I wish you happy summer days free of social media and hope your A/C pulls through. Hang in there!!

  22. Colleen S says...

    As a fully vaccinated Californian, I’m looking forward to being maskless. I thought I could make it through the extreme heat last summer with masks, but it was horrible. I am happy to go without a mask, but I will also mask up if required to in businesses. My summer won’t really change from last year. I don’t do a lot.

    • margaret says...

      Similar! I live in an area where basically everyone wore masks outside and inside. I fully supported this, did so myself, and still plan to wear masks inside for the foreseeable future even though I’m fully vaccinated. But to take walks and bike rides without a mask is pure joy! Turns out I’m a fresh air junkie and I don’t think I will ever take fresh air for granted again.
      (But to be clear, I’d go back to masks in a heartbeat if that’s what is necessary/prudent – public health comes first)

  23. I’m looking forward to living in flowy summer dresses, the loose-fitting, no-undergarments-necessary kind.

    I came home from the beach the other day – my skin sun-kissed, my spirit reborn – and slipped into a breezy, floral beauty of a dress and instantly, I felt alive and ethereal and absolutely ME. In that moment, no care in the world, no grieving this past year’s losses, no planning for the future. It was just me, touched by the magic of a near-summer’s day, twirling in a dress.

    More of that…THAT’S what I look forward to :)

    • Rachel Adrianna says...

      <3 love this <3

  24. Tara says...

    Eating outdoors, listening to outdoor concerts, going on a few vacations, and just as orient in-person quality time with my boo, friends, and family. I love this time of year!!!

  25. K says...

    Hugging my dad who turned 80 this year, learning how to make my own margaritas, going home (after so long!) to smell the salt air, picking strawberries, bike rides with my kids, and hopefully finding a book I can’t put down.

  26. Savannah says...

    I’m nervous about setting boundaries around my energy and time but I’m excited to try! As an introvert married to an extrovert who wants to make plans every night I keep reminding myself that I am a better friend when I take breaks and take care of myself!
    As far as actual things to look forward to, we’re away to the beach in August with our best friends and my plans are fresh tomato mozzarella sandwiches and lots of sand time with the kids. I just want to squeeze my loves!

    • Monica says...

      As a fellow introvert married to a (socially awkward) extrovert, I feel this. I have mini panic attacks when I say yes to just about anything these days. It always turns out alright in the end, but I’m struggling to work up the nerve to do just about anything. Not out of fear, but just knowing that after a year+ going to the store for bananas takes energy let alone a dinner party.

    • Tracey says...

      Oh same. Would join this introverts married to extroverts support group in a heartbeat. I would politely cancel it each week to fully respect your & my need for space though.

  27. Veronica says...

    I’m looking forward to these midwestern CICADAS dying! After hanging out underground for 17 years, a new group of these dummies officially exploded in people’s backyards. Want to sit on your deck and listen to music? Too bad, all you’ll hear is the terrifying symphony of cicadas. Want to walk the dog? Better bring your tennis racket. It’s like Jurassic Park up in here. What the hell is going on?

    • Vava says...

      This is hilarious! Thanks for the early morning laugh here.

    • Susan says...

      Ugh I grew up in Chicago and came back on summer when this happened. I was standing on a train platform in a pretty pink dress and polka dot wedges and was ATTACKED. I screamed and a kind businessman helped me out by grabbing it out of my hair. Terrible experience. They’re deafening.
      The tennis racket on a walk made me snort! Xo

  28. Libbynan says...

    I live in a state with a very low vaccination rate so fully-vaccinated me will be doing pretty much what I did last summer….working on landscaping, building garden structures, drinking peach iced tea(homemade) and reading everything I can get my hands on. I am so happy for those of you who live in more enlightened areas and hope you all have blissful pre-COVID style summers.

  29. maywyn says...

    Meeting people, outdoor music, painting plein air, and hearing clear voices. No more…what did you say!

  30. Tricia says...

    Last summer, I had a baby in early June just as the second wave hit our state, so we really hunkered down for the summer. It’s been tricky to navigate the return to normal, because I don’t get to go back to my life before COVID – there’s a baby here now. This summer, I’m just excited to plop her in the grass and watch her eat her first ice cream cone.

    • KJ says...

      Feeling the same way, Tricia! I went into covid last year with a toddler and pregnant with a second, now as we head into summer, I’m trying to figure out what life as a mom even looks like. Enjoy that first ice cream cone.

  31. Selena says...

    FYI, there’s a spelling error with “ncozy ” :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you!

  32. Erin G says...

    I’m looking forward to not having to manage my boys’ zoom schooling.

    • Eva says...

      Yes, this! I truly look forward to the time without zoom school for my kids.

  33. Hilary says...

    I am leaning HARD into suburban mom vibes this summer! We are gonna bike to the neighborhood pool for pre-dinner swims, we are gonna make homemade popsicles and let the juice drip down our chins, we are gonna hand over the hose and let our 4-year old water the garden and make a muddy mess, and we are gonna buy as much fancy sidewalk chalk (Crayola! It’s the best! The colors! The glitter!) as we want.

    Often, the world feels like madness. But then I see my beautiful children with dusty bare feet and happy, tired eyes at the end of the day. And I think, we just might be ok.

    • Sarah says...

      I love you. Adopt me!

    • M says...

      Hilary. This comment is magic.

    • L says...

      Totally! I’m in Toronto and cannot wait for fall/winter to come back! I can’t go outside in heat/sun due to medical conditions so summers are not fun at all for me.

    • Susan says...

      OMG YES!
      Don’t forget La Croix.
      From one suburban mom to another!

  34. Dana says...

    My sister and I are planning on a weekly Sunday morning lake swimming date. Took our first dip last weekend. Just what we needed in this early summer heat wave we’re having.

  35. Sage says...

    Summer is the worst here in Arizona and I cannot wait until fall and winter, haha. I get depressed from it being miserably hot and also light out until late. Looking forward to my birthday and that’s it!

    • Erin G says...

      I grew up there. I feel you. Try to get up to Flag for a weekend.

    • A says...

      I live in Florida, so I feel your summer bummer.

    • Sage says...

      Great idea, Erin :)

      You get it and then some, A. I lived in Orlando briefly years ago, and that humidity is no joke!

    • Erica says...

      Is it weird irony that I am also hating the oppressively hot, humid miserable days of summer…but I’m in Boston? BRING BACK MY WOOL AND FLANNEL WARDROBE

    • Ashley P says...

      I’m in central Phoenix and girl I feel this so hard haha.

    • Lauren says...

      In San Francisco and June and July are the worst!

  36. Hillary says...

    Baking pies with summer’s bountiful produce and sharing them with friends and family, combining my true loves of baking and hospitality.

    I also can’t wait to introduce my daughter to Lake Michigan (we live nearby) and the Atlantic ocean this summer on vacation.

  37. Elizabeth says...

    We just bought a house in May and decided to host our wedding in the backyard this September. Our original wedding venue let us know back in January that they were no longer going to host weddings or large events and what to do for our wedding has been stressing us out since then. At the time I was so upset because we specifically picked this place because it was very affordable, but now I just can’t believe how everything is working out. I’m nervous, a little overwhelmed, but very excited to just have a relaxed (smaller) wedding with my favorite people :)

    • a a says...

      Have a lovely day! This is a great way to start a lifetime of serendipitous adjustments together.

  38. Erin says...

    So much swimming. I live in a condominium with a shared pool, which was closed throughout 2020. It finally reopened about a month ago, and my kids and I have spent a ton of time in the pool since then. It’s such a good physical and mental reset, and even when I’m not swimming myself, I can see my neighbors getting in and out of the water and it makes me so happy to see how glad everyone is to have a little bit of normalcy back.

    Also, library books and ice cream.

  39. AE says...

    Summer is my favorite season by a lot. And there’s nothing like NYC in the summer. This summer will be different- a baby due in August! Which means those long, sticky days and salty, icy-watered beach days will be punctuated with even more magic. I love all of it and it seems to come and go so quickly… thrusting is back into 6 months of grey and sad and too overdressed while waiting for the C train. Oh, Summer. No matter the time of year, Summer always feels like “the one that got away”—

  40. SK says...

    Alllllll the swimming!
    I’m 8 weeks away from giving birth to my second child (eeep!), and 4.5 days away from finishing my school year (elementary music).
    I just want to pack as much summer feeling and fun times in with my hubs and son before life gets turned on its head again!

  41. I’m getting together with my college girlfriends at a beautiful airbnb in LA, and two of them are bringing their babies! I am very excited to hug my friends, but might be even more excited to hold their babies. I have missed babies very much this last year.

    • Kate T says...

      As someone with a pandemic baby this made me cry! Thank you for holding our babies!!!! I can’t wait to share this delightful little person with loved ones and I also can’t wait to have a break!

    • kat says...

      BABIES! My local bestie and I had our now 3-year olds a week apart, mine was second kid, hers was first kid. I couldn’t be as much as the support I wanted to be. And of course her #2 came the week of the pandemic. All I want to do is hold the baby…who is now toddling?! Baby smell is gone for sure. I’m at the point where I’m tempted to ask general acquaintance neighbors if I can hold their babies to get my fill. I love Kate’s comment – I only thought of it as creepy, forgetting that as a new-ish parent, it can be nice to have your tot loved on, within reason ;-).

  42. kat says...

    Summer camp for my rising second grader! I’m also stressed, since not sure how it will go, but I figure compared to school, which has learning objectives, he can’t complain as much, right? I want him around kids all day and to come home tired. And then maybe I can start to teach myself how to be me again, working mainly during work hours and having more mindspace in the evenings.

  43. Britt says...

    Peru! I’m fully vaccinated and nearing the end of my master’s program. I’ll be working there for several weeks this summer and I’m so excited to get to experience the culture and outdoors in a place where English isn’t the predominant language.

  44. Blythe says...

    I was out to dinner with a friend (fully vaxxed baby!) and “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne came on. Everyone started singing along softly, tapping feet, nodding in time. Slowly it grew until our entire area was singing Stacy’s Mom at the top of their lungs. Everyone smiling and singing and relishing this communal moment that has been absent for the past year+ and it was AWESOME!

    • Robyn says...

      That is AMAZING. And all I want this summer to be. Thanks for passing the joy on! I might spend the next couple of months trying to replicate this moment, ha ha.

    • Julie says...

      This is so funny! It is so special to feel so silly and light-hearted with a lot of people at the same time. It really makes me laugh to think that Stacy’s Mom was at the heart of such a group moment in 2021, hahaha! Crazy times!

    • Laura says...

      This is so poignant too because Adam Schlesinger died of Covid early in the pandemic. Nice to think about his work living on. He was a super talent.

    • A says...

      Aww, this made me tear up. The lead singer of Fountains of Wayne, Adam Schlesinger, died of Covid last year.

  45. Jules says...

    Traveling to reconnect with friends and family we haven’t spent time with in far too long!! I’m taking my almost 6-year-old daughter to Atlanta next weekend to visit my best college friend and her family (she finally loves road trips!), stopping through Charlotte on the way to visit one of my other best friends and stay at his fabulous new home (the first one he’s bought himself) and we also have an upcoming week in the Outer Banks with extended family AND two weeks in western Massachusetts with my entire mom’s side of the family in July. Not all of my close friends and family live nearby, and the pandemic made me realize just how important some of those long-lasting relationships really are!

  46. Julie says...

    1. Seeing my best friend and his husband in person, other than a brief socially-distanced hangout outside the day after Christmas, I haven’t seen them since Before Times.

    2. Going to Vegas for the first time with my husband. We got a gorgeous room at the Cosmopolitan with a soaking tub, tickets to Penn and Teller, and (ahem) we’re checking out the Star Trek Convention for one day.

    3. Having beers and wine and cocktails outside, with strangers, on hot summer nights with the Phillies playing in the background.

    4. This weekend I’m taking my first solo weekend away by myself. Not too far from where I live in Philly, to Jim Thorpe, PA. It’s a cute little town with great hiking, and the B&B I’m staying at looks super old timey and adorable. And doesn’t have a tv! I can’t wait to turn off my brain, go shopping and to museums and out to dinner by myself, and relax with a book.

    • Louisa says...

      Number 4 is all I want! after a year of never being more than 20’ from husband, dogs and kid that sounds like heaven.

  47. N says...

    Eating all the stone fruits, swimming with my kids, de-plugging, taking walks, hydrating, and keeping things simple. :)

    • margaret says...

      Peaches! Cherries!

  48. AG says...

    Can I just insert myself into that picture? Love their style!

  49. JR says...

    Having our first baby in August! Hopefully doing some swimming, lounging, and alllll the relaxing beforehand.

    I’m a high school teacher and this year has been mentally draining. I so commend all of the teachers that have been putting in extra time and throwing themselves into attempting to make this school year semi-normal, and this was me last year…but… in all honesty, I feel like an awful teacher right now and I don’t have it in me anymore. So, I am ready to say goodbye to the 2020/2021 school year, take a year off, and come back to teaching motivated and refreshed.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so exciting, JR!!! congratulations :)

    • Hannah says...

      Aww yay! We’re having our first baby in September! Looking forward to meeting her and also looking forward to my sister’s NC wedding this weekend, which is our last pre baby plane trip.

      Also I just got vaccinated today after grilling my Ob gyn and med student graduate sister. I feel more free knowing my husband and I can fully enjoy our city/state’s reopening without fear of covid exposure

  50. Charlotte says...

    This weekend we’re hosting a family party for my one year olds birthday, and tomorrow is his first full day at nursery. I just love the idea of all the socialising & exploring he will finally be doing!

  51. Lauren says...

    SMELLING MY MOM. She lives in CA and I’m in NY, and due to weird scheduling, I hadn’t seen her since spring of 2019 when the pandemic locked us all down. I’m not even a big hugger (I’m one of those awkward people who always anticipates the wrong arm-tilt direction and accidentally tackles or almost kisses you), but wrapping my arms around her and being engulfed in her mom-ness for the first time in more than two years – it can’t happen soon enough.

    Like you, Kim, I’m also eager to swim. I’m still a CA girl at heart, and being lifted up by a cresting wave is like feeling the whole Pacific take a breath. Plunging into the ocean is also smelling my mom, now that I think about it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so, so sweet, Lauren. <3

  52. Eleanor says...

    My best friend moved from DC to San Francisco in February 2020. I leave on Friday to see her– calculating its been 495 days since we have seen each other, certainly the longest since we met 10 years ago. I told her to be fed and rested when we hug because it’s gonna be a long one.

  53. Connie says...

    My parents are moving back to my area after 5 years living in an entirely different part of the country. Their car pulls on into town tomorrow afternoon and there will begin a new phase in our family life. So much took place in my life while my folks lived far off: we became parents, bought a different house and moved to an entirely different area, I discovered I can sing and am part of a band (my folks have never been in person to hear me sing before). My kids have never known the feeling of having grandparents living nearby. We as a larger family will suddenly have that Sunday Dinner thing that families get to have. I have hated having them so far away-feeling helpless when something was going wrong for them, one of them was ill, etc. And post pandemic, the fact that we all “made it” and are vaccinated and things are good….the gratitude I feel that we GET to live this new chapter together, knowing how fleeting life is and how everything can change on a dime…every day we get it, I’ll do my darnedest to be grateful for it.

    But also? I’m just happy to share real, safe, hugs with people again. To embrace others until we both sigh…I didn’t realize how deeply that matters to your psyche until you couldn’t. Man. That’s been the best.

    • Melissa says...

      Aw this makes me so happy for you!! Thank you for not taking it for granted.

  54. b says...

    Stepping up to take more responsibility at work. Going Marie Kondo on everything I own in hopes of being able to move into a place of my own next August, just as I turn 40. Reading a million books.

  55. Laura says...

    The beach!! I live in New England so the water is always frigid and I think I’m going to invest in a wet suit so that I can go in for more than a few minutes at a time, and maybe learn to surf! My husband and I are also going to Miami later in the summer and I’m excited to be right on the beach there.

  56. Kerstin says...

    In Germany, we’re not nearly as far with our vaccination campaign as the US. Pregnant women like me haven’t had access to the vaccine until recently either, and now that we are there aren’t any appointments available. But, I’m looking forward to the summer anyway – most of the rest of my family is vaccinated, we’re welcoming a new baby into the world, and I’ve already enjoyed 2 meals outdoors at a restaurant (the first ones since last summer’s lull between the first and second waves). And, hoping by the end of the summer I too will get to join the fully-vaccinated!

  57. A says...

    I’m looking forward to seeing my 2 year old meet/play with all my friends’ kids for the first time in his life!

  58. Chelsi Rodriguez says...

    We are getting married in the fall! So a LOT of wedding planning has been happening. As excited as I am, wedding planning is NOT for me (haha), and so my fiancé booked us a long weekend getaway in Destin, FL end of July to just relax, read books, run and go on sandy walks. I am so excited! It will be like a mini pre-wedding honeymoon :)

  59. CS says...

    We went to dinner with friends the other night. I was amazing! I’m looking forward to college tours for my son, seeing friends and family and not feeling terrified when I leave the house. My family is fully vaccinated so I definitely have a sense of calm when I go into a store now.

    • Rachel says...

      I know you probably meant “It was amazing!” but I really appreciated the full hearted, sincere exclaim of “I was amazing!” It’s my goal to use that phrase this week. Went to Trader Joe’s with a 2 year old while 39 weeks pregnant? I carried the groceries one handed–I was amazing! Socialized with a group of people for the first time in 18 months? I told a funny anecdote–I was amazing! We are amazing. Who better to recognize it than ourselves?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Rachel, love that!!!!

    • Abbey says...

      Haha :) I thought the same thing, Rachel. Probably a typo but a fantastic one. I turned 40 with grace and joy last week – I was amazing!

    • M says...

      Yes, these first two lines have me both cracking up!! ALSO very much planning to use this exclamation this week.

  60. Liz says...

    So, so excited about the upcoming birth of our baby girl in August! Last year this time we were in the middle of IVF and the pandemic, so this summer feels so much more joyful and hopeful.

    • Cathy says...

      This is my story as well. Due in October after many, many IVF attempts. This is a very joyful time – I’m so happy for you. Enjoy your summer Liz.

  61. AN says...

    BRB, going to research these swimsuits which I NEED in my summer life!!!

    • Franzi says...

      Juhu, Summer is coming and cafes are opening now. I am looking forward to drinking an iced coffe outside a tiny cafe, watching people passing by. :D

    • Melanie Gangle says...

      The swimsuit on the right is a Jantzen swimsuit (you can see the Jantzen “Diving Girl” logo on the bottom of the skirt). Jantzen was founded in 1916 in Portland, OR. I’d love to learn more about the lovely ladies in this photo and the photo itself if you have any more information you can share? Thanks!

      And Happy Summer to all!!!

    • Megan says...

      As a native Portlander, I love that someone identified the Jantzen logo in this photo! And as a historian, I’d love to know more details about the photo as well–maybe a more detailed attribution?

      Love this thread, btw, and our collective reveling in the possibilities of this summer! Thanks Kim and CoJ!

  62. Lisa says...

    We’re going to France to see my in laws. It’s the first time I’ve seen them since last year, and first time for my husband and children in six months. We’re all desperate to see each other and BEST OF ALL my husband and I are going away to a hotel, just the two of us, for three nights. I’m going to sleep so much! We’re going to (hopefully) go to restaurants and the beach. My plan is for the hotel nights to also have it that the biggest decision I have to make is what to order for dinner, or beach or pool? That will be a real break after having to constantly think and decide about / for work and family. Decision fatigue is real.

    • lauren says...

      @ Lisa, I truly hope you have the most wonderful time! I’m not going to France this spring (sadly) so I’d consider it a personal favor for you to indulge and enjoy yourself so completely, that even I can feel it from where I am!

  63. Corey says...

    Here in BC, Canada, our restrictions are just starting to ease. My husband and I just bought our first house (EEK!) on some property and we move in August. Thinking about having our nearest and dearest over to celebrate, with a barbecue on our new front porch, it doesn’t get much better.

    • Kat says...

      congrats!!! so exciting

  64. Elizabeth says...

    My parents visiting my partner and me and seeing our new house!! We moved in the middle of quarantine and we’re finally all vaccinated. So excited to see them and for them to see our house and meet our dog

  65. Meredith says...

    So far I haven’t been handling the reopening very well. My local in-laws, for instance, planned five (!!!) gatherings in a week’s time, and I can barely stand them all as it is. I guess I can say I’m looking forward to honing my boundary-setting skills this summer. And reminding myself that if I have to say “no thanks” 19 times out of 20 and just letting my husband go ahead to these gatherings, that’s ok. But, truly excited to get out of town a couple times and seeing people I’ve very much missed!

    • Mandy says...

      Ohh that’s tough. I hear you! Thank you for the reminder that these boundaries are ok!

    • Jill says...

      Omg Meredith, I can SO relate to in-law gatherings. It really was the best thing about quarantine. And now it’s over and I have to participate and fake smile again. So do they. Ha!
      But other things are more important than them, so I’m grateful for reopening for sure.
      Hang in there.

    • HJM says...

      I think this past year has taught us this important lesson, how and who we’d prefer to spend our time. It’s perfectly fine to take it as it comes and take your time deciding who gets to share in the value of your time when you are ready.

  66. Lauren says...

    My husband and I are heading up to Burlington, VT for an early summer long weekend trip sans toddler! Neither of us have spent any time there and we are so excited for lots of delicious food and drinks, biking the island line trail, and enjoying several maple creemees. If anyone has any great Burlington recommendations, please respond!

    • LIZ says...

      Yes please on the recommendations for Burlington! Heading there next weekend!

    • Mary says...

      Al French Frys – it’s really spelled that way, not a typo!

    • Mary says...

      Al’s French Frys – it’s really spelled that way, not a typo!

      (My typo was typing only Al at first…i was so excited about it because I am also headed to VT this summer :))

    • Kimberly says...

      I’m so excited for you both! Downtown/the Church Street marketplace area has great restaurants and unique shops to wander through-I love to pick out greeting cards from Katherine Monstream, a local water color artist. Burlington pub and brewery has been there for ages for very good reason and has a big patio to sit outside. Getting an ice cream cone from the original location of Ben and Jerry’s is also a must in addition to maple creemees. The farmers market is also terrific Saturday mornings. Enjoy!

    • Ali says...

      Hi Lauren! I am so jealous of your trip to Burlington! We live in Canada and Burlington is about a 3 hour drive for us – we spent so much time there before COVID and can’t wait to go back when the border re-opens! Here are our favourite stops:

      If you like craft beer, there are so many great spots. But two honourable mentions: Foam Brewers, which is right down by the water, and Burlington Beer Co., which is about a 10 minute uber ride out of downtown, but you cannot not go. I also recommend the Korean beef nachos at BBC. We often stop in on our way back to Canada on Sundays and I always make this my pre-road lunch.

      For breakfast/brunch, two great spots: Monarch and the Milkweed, right downtown on Saint Paul Street. They have super thick, fluffy pancakes and delicious chicken and waffles, plus cocktails and pastries. Another good spot is Juniper, which is inside Hotel Vermont, but has a lovely atmosphere and great coffee!

      If you like oysters, please stop by Hen of the Wood. Not sure if they still do it, but pre-COVID, they did buck-a-shuck oysters from 4-5pm before they opened for the full menu. They also have parker house rolls which are to die for.

      For dinner, highly recommend Farmhouse Tap and Grill. Awesome selection of local and state craft beers, great menu, great atmosphere.

      Otherwise, the shops along Church street are a fun outing. If you are into outdoor sports, you can’t skip Outdoor Gear Exchange, which is huge and covers everything from ski mountaineering to rock climbing to running, and has great deals in the basement along with gear on consignment. Burlington also has a great weekend market (on Saturdays, I think!). It has moved around in past years due to some construction in its original location, so google it to get the current spot. Show up hungry – lots to eat and drink, so many dogs to say hello to, and a ton of cute wares to browse!

      I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time, whatever you end up doing. Enjoy!

    • Lauren says...

      Thanks for all of the great recos!

    • Pemberton says...

      Yay, this is so much fun! We live in the area and I second many of these suggestions. Lauren, you’re off to a good start – the quintessential VT summer day is spent at a lake, in the mountains, or biking followed by a creemee (or local IPA!). :) Burlington is a cool town, but I’d also highly suggest carving out time to get out of town. You don’t have to drive very far at all to find yourself on a farm or a trail. If you can’t do that, at the very least, go to the lake (Leddy Park, with a beach behind the ice arena, and Oakledge Park, both in Burlington, are good spots).

      Some other options to consider:
      – Hiking: Sterling Pond Trail in Smuggler’s Notch, Niquette Bay (Colchester), or on top of Mt. Mansfield to the “chin”
      – Biking: the Causeway (take the bike ferry!), rec. path in Stowe
      – Mountain biking: Catamount, Saxon Hill
      – Sailing/Canoeing/SUP: Community Sailing Center (Burlington) or Waterbury Reservoir
      – A visit to Stowe with stops at Cold Hollow Cider Mill and Ben & Jerry’s on the way
      – Shelburne Museum
      – Shelburne Farms
      – Berry picking (Isham Family Farm)
      – Eating: Farmhouse (has been mentioned but also on my list); Waterworks (super nearby in Winooski, right on the river); Kitchen Table Bistro (Richmond); Von Trapp Bierhall (Stowe, and yes it’s run by the real Von Trapp family!)
      – Eating/Drinking Absolute MUSTS: maple creemee (You already knew this and you are oh so correct!); local maple syrup; Heady Topper (double IPA); Cabot cheese and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, too, of course, but these are pretty widespread out of state

      ENJOY!!!

    • LIZ! – This Saturday the 12th from 11:00 to 2:00 there’s an open house at our friends’ family farm in Williston (20 minutes from Burlington). There will be free creemees from the best maple creemee place around! You can also pet calves and learn about the farm. For a local taste, check it out!

  67. Katie S. says...

    LIVE MUSIC. I’m going to a Built to Spill concert in Seattle next weekend (which will almost certainly not be a dancing crowd) and I plan on wearing my cowboy boots, a tight little dress, and dancing my ass off!!!

  68. Laura says...

    Continuing good-for-me pandemic habits developed–like evening yoga on the deck while the sun turns the end of my day rosy colors–because I love it and want to, not because I HAVE to in the absence of YMCA class. I think we’ll all have some things we hold on to and enjoy.

  69. Yelena says...

    We live in California and have been planning a trip to the East Coast (Avalon, NJ) for the last God knows how many years. There was always a reason not to go–new baby, illness, another new baby, a global pandemic. But this summer, finally FINALLY we are embarking with our 2 tiny humans to my husband’s family beach house with lots of extended family meeting us there from all parts of the country. I couldn’t be more excited!

  70. Mandy says...

    Not everything is open here yet in Ontario but when it does I’m excited for a carnival again with my kids. For me though a sweaty concert where everyone is so into the music and dancing that we forget we were ever afraid to be to close.

  71. liz says...

    I’m planning to live like a 23 year old this summer. I am turning 33. :)

    This girl will be out late, pretending my metabolism has not yet slowed down to that of a 99 year old tortoise, spending as much time as possible, visiting friends in other cities as much as possible, and seeing as much live music as possible.

    Best part about not actually being 23 is that I will have a larger budget.

    • carrie says...

      just gorgeous! live it up!

  72. Sasha L says...

    Our summer last year wasn’t all that different. We hike, spend weekends at cabins or backpacking, so we still got to do all that. But this summer we’ll get to do those things without the looming sense of dread, and worry and just constant what if anxiety. Life just already feels so much calmer and it’s easier to breathe deeply and take it all in when we’re sitting at a beautiful alpine lake and watching the clouds roll over. We’re heading to a cabin this weekend and I can’t wait for star gazing and a fire and s’mores with peanut butter cookies and hiking. And no phone 😉

    • Dana says...

      Ooh, peanut butter cookie s’mores!?

  73. Heather Burris says...

    There are so many small things I’ve never done before that I want to do this summer – simply because I can. Join a book club, gather all my friends for a massive dinner party, leave the kids with my husband for a night to go on a solo mini retreat. This year has completely cured me of making excuses not to do things I really want to do!

    • LEE ANN says...

      Yes to doing all the things we want to do!
      My spring tennis lessons fell through due to the third wave. But I just booked myself a tiny off-the-grid cabin in the middle of a wilderness areas for two nights. I can’t wait to spend 70 blissful hours not taking care of anyone but me.

  74. Ramya says...

    So many things. My first post-pandemic concert (at the Kennedy Center!) in a couple of weeks, happy hours with friends, a solo trip to Jamaica (I’m going to stay at Jake’s in Treasure Beach, which was recommended by Joanna some time ago), afternoons at the pool and picnics with my son, summer romance(s), drinking ice cold rose at a cafe and people watching, having friends over for brunch or dinner. I could go on and on!

  75. D says...

    having a baby! any day now! and hanging out with him in the park!

  76. Alison D. says...

    This might be counter-intuitive because many teachers have the summers off. But I’m going back to teaching in person in a summer writing program in 2 weeks, and after 15 months of Zoom teaching I am SO EXCITED to be with kids in a classroom again.

    • Amelia says...

      This comment made my day. I feel so happy to know that teachers can feel such enthusiasm about being in classrooms with kids. Thank you for the work you do!

  77. Abbey says...

    I’m going to visit my family in lush, verdant Vermont! I’m looking forward to hugs and trail runs and cheese sampling. Aaaaand I just booked my flight to Rome this summer to see my boyfriend for the first time since Covid. My heart is bursting at the thought! Aperitivo, pasta, and KISSING <3

    • Julie says...

      This is so cute I could pass out. Have the BEST time in Rome! And with the kissing!

  78. Illana says...

    hi from wisconsin! gotta ask this because my gf and i are weirdly enamoored by this insta and need to know if anyone out there is too!

    he came out in wintertime and just moved from texas to nyc with his wife and bf and five kids. https://www.instagram.com/billyjackbrawner

    • Laura says...

      YES! I even started following BJB’s new boyfriend to get more content ;)

    • Morgan says...

      The Brawners are the BEST! I’ve followed them for years and years and they have been through so much together. The way they live and love and play inspires me constantly. I really couldn’t love them more – a unicorn family for sure. <3

  79. Helen says...

    I’m looking forward to my first summer being open and out as a queer woman. I am looking forward to more conversations with my friends and family about how to be more inclusive, and how to love me just the same (if not harder). I am looking forward to feeling relief, and bravery, and all of these other things that bubbled under the surface for so long. And I am looking forward to being a loud but gentle support for the beautiful queer people in or outside my life who are still struggling, still closeted, still figuring it out. For every picture I post of kissing my girlfriend on the cheek for all the world to see, I hope these people know: This is what it feels like to exhale.

    • Alexis says...

      Helen- I love your comment. I also came out this past year, separated from my husband and am ready for my hot gay girl summer lol. Seriously though, Im so excited to go to my first pride event and socializing with new friends I have made. It feels amazing to be honest with myself and let others see me as I am. I’m thinking its my summer of yes, even at the old age of 40. Happy Pride!!!!

    • HJM says...

      I love this… I hope that both you and Alexis in the comment below have the best summer! (And anyone else celebrating, too!)

  80. Ann says...

    I’m a high school teacher and the mom of a 10th grader and a 7th grader. I am looking forward to the school year being over, even though, in retrospect, it was actually a pretty good year. I worked harder than I ever have as a teacher and as a parent. I am tired. Most of all, I look forward to long warm days and not much to do and my girls having summer fun and my husband and I going out for some dates that include live music.

  81. Agnès says...

    I took my son to the movies and I cried as I was buying tickets ;-).
    I am really looking forward to REALLY doing nothing, and swim in the ocean.

  82. Emily R says...

    Summer makes me so happy. I love the heat and the sunshine. Last summer sitting on the stoop with friends kept me sane. This year I see a lot more beaches and eating out with friends. I’ll be sad when our brief summer in New England is over again.

  83. Meg says...

    I’m going to get completely indulgent this summer. I’m gonna order every side of fries, a fourth glass of champagne, buy another sundress I don’t need, stay out late when I need to get up for work, abandon my chores to sit outside on the patio and read. Life felt so bleak this past winter, and I feel like I deserve everything I want this summer.

    • Ramya says...

      Amen!

    • Michelle says...

      I want to stroll through the north end of Boston and go back in time when my parents would take us out to dinner at the European and then Mikes Pastry. As a kid, I was so impressed with the old Italians that would hang out on the streets in the summer time. The smells of amazing Italian food and people so full of life. They knew how to party!

  84. Lana says...

    I’m looking forward to the pool! Our public pool is incredible and our family’s “happy place”. However, I am 42 and just had to have two moles removed off my back so I’m looking for swimsuits with good sun protection and coverage, but not a swim shirt. Any recommendations from this awesome group???

  85. Jane says...

    Two trips in the next few months!!!

    My spouse and I attended church in person for almost the entirety of the pandemic, so we haven’t “missed out” on things as much as everyone else, but a trip is still a trip :) !!!!

  86. celeste says...

    Nerdy, and I always check out way more than I’m actually going to read, but I’m reintroducing my kids and myself to the library after a 14 month closure and we are going to save so much money.

  87. HJM says...

    In the Sumer of 2019 I hosted a book swap where my reader friends came over with a tote full of books and we laid them all out and everyone got to “shop” for books they hadn’t read before! Anything that was left over, I donated to a local women’s shelter. Of course we had snacks and wine and great conversation to go with. Looking forward to hosting an epic version of this book swap this summer, I have a huge stack to swap with!

    • K says...

      What a fabulous idea! I am totally going to host a book swap party this summer. Thanks for the notion, HJM.

  88. Jennifer says...

    I had a moment just like this the other day going to the movie theater for the first time in forever. There is something magical about being back with other people enjoying something as classic as a Friday night movie at the theater. It made me a little teary-eyed, even though the movie (A Quiet Place 2) was not really the sort you cry in. The movie was fantastic by the way, in case anyone is considering seeing it

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      This sounds like so much fun, Jennifer. Alex and I are going to see a movie tonight and I cannot wait!!!

    • Jules says...

      Did the same a week ago and it was soooo fun! We got all the different candy boxes and popcorn and made it the most cliché theater event ever. When a friend asked how my weekend was it was so much fun to say “we went to the movies!!”

    • Katie says...

      I just saw Quiet Place 2 yesterday in a theater! My sister and I ended up having the whole theater to ourselves! (Super weird going to the regal on 42nd Street off Times Square and not seeing a single other patron either going in or coming out!) Gotta love a weekday matinee 🙌

    • Karen says...

      I had a nightmare about going to a movie theater again a few nights ago. My husband and I were in the theater commenting about how weird it was during the pre-movie everybody arriving part. Then during the moving a giant monster came out of the screen and started eating people. I was never a big movie person before Covid, so I assume this is more re-opening related than movie specific, but beyond the Covid implications I feel like the nightmare in and of itself is going to keep me out of the theaters after I’m doing lots of other risky things.