How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Back when I was in grade school, classes began after Labor Day weekend.  I am still getting accustomed to the fact that students and teachers now return to school before the holiday.  And, with temperatures still well into the 100’s, it is difficult to believe that summer is over.


This has been a summer of unexpected things and exciting moments.  A highlight for me is definitely the Mavericks winning the NBA title—go Mavs!  I also got to see my kid brother graduate from college, scored some tickets to the Colonial in Fort Worth, and recently took a fun river trip in Austin with friends from college.  Summer was great, but I’m definitely ready for some cool(er)  temperatures.

Amy & her brother, after a very long day moving out of the dorms!


Despite the sweltering heat, this summer has been a monumental milestone in my life.  Not only did I achieve a life-long goal and land my dream job here at the DMA, but my husband and I also bought our first house, which was the very home my great-grandmother lived in.  Best of all, I spent most of my time in the galleries with students, teaching and learning about art.


I escaped the Dallas heat and spent ten days in the Pacific Northwest.  Over five of those days, my friends and I hiked 47 kilometers (29 miles) along the Juan de Fuca Trail on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  We walked through lush rainforests with huge ferns, scrambled over the roots of enormous fir trees, waded through muddy bogs, and climbed up and down rocky cliffs along the coast.  Some of the scariest moments were crossing over bridges hewn out of logs and expansive suspension bridges.  Afterward, we treated ourselves to a three-day weekend in Victoria and Vancouver, where we visited Granville Island Public Market and enjoyed the deliciously famous JapaDog!


This Summer I Learned a New Word…“extirpate.”  It means to pull up by the roots; to totally destroy.  Extirpated animals are those that no longer exist in the wild in a certain area, but may exist
elsewhere in the world.  I learned this new word during my summer vacation trip to the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.  It’s one of the largest county fairs in the world and it’s held in my Indiana hometown.  I LOVED going to the fair as a kid and hadn’t been back in quite some time to see the chickens, rabbits, and goats; watch the harness horse races; check out the new tractors and other complex farm machinery; and sink my teeth into a sugary, fried-dough concoction called an elephant ear.  I don’t remember what extirpated animal I am in this picture.  Turkey?  Hedgehog?  I’ll have to return next summer to be sure.



Although I didn’t make it to the beach during my summer vacation, I did visit the Paris Plages.  Each summer, sand is placed along the right bank of the Seine River in Paris, transforming the streets and walkways into a temporary beach.  Each section of the Plage was decorated with different colored beach chairs, umbrellas, and cabanas.  It was cloudy and rainy during my day “sur la Plage,” but I had a lot of fun walking through the sand along the Seine.


Though I didn’t have the grand, romantic odyssey that Shannon had in France, my summer was full of travel and excitement. In May, I drove to Louisiana for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (also known as Jazz Fest). Jazz Fest features two of my greatest loves: fantastic music and copious fried food. In July, I flew into Chicago where my brother took me out for one of the most delicious hamburgers I’ve ever had. From there, I drove to Fall Creek, Wisconsin, home of the Fall Creek High School’s Fighting Crickets! Fall Creek is also home to my grandmother and my many, many precious great-aunts.


Flickr Photo Stream