Sharing some of my highlights of the summer in my latest friDIARY post!
It’s been an action-packed summer, and I didn’t even realize how packed it was until I started making a list for this post. My goal for May was to get out of the house and experience something new in the Dayton area everyday for the month. You can read all about that in this friDIARY post. In this post, I’m just going to focus on June and July, and honestly I had to narrow it down to my top favorite things because holy cow, it’s been crazy summer. We did a lot of traveling, saw a lot of live shows, and got outdoors a lot over the past couple months. It’s been so much fun, and I’m grateful for all of the memories we’ve been making.
GOING TO COLORADO
Colorado is easily one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever visited, and I would go back in a heartbeat. I could go on for days about how much and how quickly I fell in love with this place, but I’ll spare you for this post. If you want to read more about my five-day trip to Colorado where I visited Colorado Springs and Denver, you can click here.
SEEING ARIANA GRANDE IN INDIANAPOLIS
I’ve become a huge Ariana Grande fan over the past year or so, so when she announced her tour dates and they included a few places nearby, I tried to rally to get some friends together to go with me. It ended up being just Kyle and me going, but we met up with my friend, Sam, who was going to the concert with her husband. The concert was absolutely incredible. We were in the very last row of our section, but it didn’t even matter because Ari’s voice carries, y’all. It filled that entire stadium. She is so beautiful, and the entire show was whimsical and amazing. We danced, we sang, and we had the best time.
Another highlight of our short trip to Indianapolis was our AirBnB. I booked it last minute, and it ended up being the perfect spot. We took Gunther with us, so we had to find a place that we dog-friendly. We ended up staying at this farm. The owners were super nice and had five dogs of their own. They also rescue animals, so they had horses, potbelly pigs, chickens, goats, a turkey, and all sorts of animals, and they all wandered the farm freely and were best friends. It was so fun getting to meet all the animals.
SEEING WINE & CRIME LIVE IN DETROIT
Wine & Crime is at the very top of my list of favorite podcasts, so when they announced their tour dates, I immediately jumped at the chance to get to see them live. They had a show in Detroit, which is about 45 minutes away from where Kyle’s parents live, so we made a weekend trip of it. We brought Gunther with us, and he loved getting to wander around in the backyard (so much so that we lost him for a minute).
The day before the show, Kyle took me downtown to this little festival that was happening in Ann Arbor. We also walked down graffiti alley and went to an arcade, because apparently we love arcades. The next day, we went to Detroit and visited the Heidelberg Project, which was so neat. We also tried and failed to go to the Motown Museum. Unfortunately, it was booked for the day.
The gals had their live show at the Majestic. It was just as amazing as I could have imagined. They’re even more funny in person, and it was awesome getting to hear one of their podcasts live. They did “Motown Murders” for the theme, and both Kyle and I were hooked into the stories. Afterward, I got to meet them at a little meet and greet. I honestly had no idea whether I was going to get to meet them or not, and I’m so glad that I did. I didn’t buy any merch, so they signed my shirt. They were so complimentary. Kendall actually recognized me from my Insta stories, and I felt like a little celeb. We talked about Harry Potter, anxiety, and so many other things. They loved Kyle and me, and trust me, gals, the feeling is mutual.
SEEING PENTATONIX IN COLUMBUS
Kyle had never really heard of Pentatonix before we went to the show, so I was glad he agreed to go with me (especially after all the driving and traveling we had already been doing over the past few weeks). They were playing in Columbus, and the tickets were only $20, so we made the drive to go see them. I’ve been a fan of Pentatonix for years after accidentally discovering them on YouTube. They’re so freakin’ talented, and that definitely showed during their concert. I would love to see them again for a Christmas show! I bet they’d be amazing!
They had Citizen Queen and Rachel Platten as openers. I had never heard of Citizen Queen, but they’re an all girl a cappella group, and they were so talented. They did a little meet up after the show to take pictures, and I went and met them just because. They are all so pretty, and Cora complimented my hair. So sweet!
I only knew a few songs by Rachel Platten before the show, so I was excited to see those couple of songs live. Seeing her in concert made me become an even bigger fan. Yes, she’s super talented, but I just loved her personality on stage. She told stories and was so relatable and just hilarious. She also came out again to sing “Jolene” with Pentatonix, and holy amazingness, it was so good!
MEETING SARAH DESSEN
I’ve been reading Sarah Dessen novels since high school, and even though I’m pushing 30, I still read and reread her books and love them. She recently did a book tour for her new book, The Rest of the Story, and I was way too excited when I saw that she would be coming to Dayton. She answered a lot of awesome questions, and I got to know more about her, her books, and her writing process. I had seen Sarah Dessen live before at the Austin Teen Book Festival in 2013, but this was even cooler because it was just her, instead of a whole panel of authors. I also got to meet her this time around, and we had the best chat. I mentioned that I saw her at ATBF, but we mostly talked about Veronica Mars because she’s a huge fan too.
CANOEING IN BELLBROOK
I don’t remember how I came across this, but I randomly found a canoe and kayak rental place in a nearby town called Bellbrook. I pitched the idea to Kyle about going canoeing, and then we went. It was one of my favorite days that we’ve spent together in Dayton. We took a picnic with us and stopped halfway down the river to eat and drink. We went early in the morning so it wasn’t too hot. It took us a couple hours to get down the river, and it was just a great day. We’ve already talked about doing it again.
DOUBLE DATE AT WILD AXE THROWING
Axe throwing has been all the rage lately, and Wild Axe Throwing just recently opened up in the area, so we decided to give it a try. Kyle and I went on a double date and had some Italian food for dinner beforehand. We were all super average at axe throwing, but we all had a good time.
I’m sure by now you know that I love musicals and going to live shows. I had seen the movie, Waitress, long before there was talks of it being a musical. Even though the central part of the movie is super sad, I knew it was going to make a good musical because Sara Bareilles wrote all of the music for it, and I love me some Sara B. Waitress was funny and entertaining, and the music was so good. I would definitely go see it again. I wish I could go see it on Broadway while Colleen Ballinger and Todrick Hall are in it, but it’s very unlikely that I’ll be able to make it to NYC in the next couple of months.
One thing I love about Dayton is the number of festivals they have going on, especially during the summer. Going to Celtic Fest was a very last minute decision, and we ended up going later at night, which ended up being perfect for us. They had music on four different stages and, of course, lots of different beer to choose from. We each had a drink while we wandered around the festival looking at some of the vendors and checking out the acts at the different stages. My favorite part of the night was seeing the last band we saw, Cuig. We stumbled upon this stage by accident, and I’m so glad we did. It was just a group of five young guys playing different instruments, and they encouraged lots of crowd participation. They were super high energy and definitely the highlight of our first time at Celtic Fest.
BUCK CREEK STATE PARK
I’ve been dying to go to a beach, and since it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, I decided the next best thing would be to go to a man-made beach at a nearby lake. A Google search brought me to Buck Creek State Park, and none of the locals I talked had even heard of it. It has some mixed reviews online, but Kyle and I ended up loving it. We went on a Sunday morning, so there were barely any people there yet. It started filling up a little more in the afternoon, but it’s such a big beach that it didn’t even feel crowded. It was pretty rocky in the water, so I wish I had worn some water shoes, but other than that, it was the perfect way to start a Sunday. We brought some drinks and made a couple sandwiches. We had our Bluetooth speaker playing, and we just spent the day relaxing. I would definitely go there again.
NEW TAYLOR SWIFT MUSIC
Okay, I couldn’t have a summer highlights post without mentioning my girl, Taylor Swift. I’m so excited for her new album to come out, and I’ve loved every pre-release she’s put out so far. “ME!” is still my favorite, but I lovelovelove “You Need to Calm Down.” The message behind the song is so important, and the music video was so much fun. I’ve loved all of the behind the scenes videos she’s put out.
She also released track five of the album, which is “The Archer.” When I first listened to it, I liked the sound, but I didn’t really absorb the lyrics. After 5 million listens, I’m in love with it. It made me cry on my drive home from a particularly frustrating day at work. I am so impatient for the album to come out. I already know it’s going to be amazing!
What’s the best thing you’ve done so far this summer?