In the last few months, time has seemed to pass by slowly and quickly all at once. Have you ever felt this way before? It’s a strange sensation. As Brian and I wrap up the second quarter of the year, we’re asking ourselves, “Where did the time go?” Q2 2023 began with dreamy intentions of diving into several of our 52 experiences. We realize now that if we had done so, we would have missed the quiet grandeur of what lay before us.
Busy schedules became a blessing in disguise this quarter. Rather than jumping into various experiences, we recognized that it was better to slowly enjoy what we could when we could. We might not have completed as much as we intended to, but the silver lining is that we were more present than we would have been otherwise. Instead of taking time away from our experiences to plan for others, I’m happy to share that we enjoyed our time without stretching ourselves too thin.
1. Road trip through at least 2 never-visited states
Brian and I traveled through Southcentral Alaska in April. It was our first time visiting the state, and we already know we’ll be back to explore more of it. We had a lot of fun checking out the Anchorage area and road-tripping to nearby cities. I’m so thankful we were able to experience our trip without the summer crowds!
May brought us to Michigan. Flights cost just as much as driving, but we decided that a road trip was in order! We honestly didn’t want to deal with airports. Instead, we chose comfort and privacy in our own rental car. It was great. We popped into Kalamazoo, stayed in Grand Rapids, and ventured over to Holland just in time for their Tulip Festival. It was a memorable trip that took us through several states.
2. Visit Brian’s favorite brewery (Founders Brewing Co.) in Grand Rapids, Michigan
The main reason for our Grand Rapids getaway was to visit Founders Brewing Co. Unfortunately, our time at Founders was a miss, but we’re still happy we made it there. It just seemed too commercialized for us. Luckily, we visited a handful of other breweries that more than made up for our lackluster experience at Founders.
- Bell’s Brewery and Eccentric Cafe
- Greyline Brewing
- City Built Brewing
- The Mitten Brewing Co.
- New Holland Brewing
- Guardian Brewing
- Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery
- Arvon Brewing Co.
I’m not the biggest beer fan, but I had a nice time. It was great to be able to explore the local area and support small businesses. Brian loves craft beer and felt that the selections were of a higher calibre than in other cities we’ve visited. I guess that tracks since Grand Rapids is known as Beer City, USA! With over 40 breweries within the city and more than 80 breweries in the Greater West Michigan area, there are many more places we’ll have to check out on our next trip.
3. Enjoy an omakase experience
We had a casual omakase dinner in Anchorage. Our chef-selected 32-piece sashimi assortment took us on a journey of fresh, succulent flavor. Rich in texture and taste, it was one of the best meals we’ve had in some time. Though it wasn’t a traditional omakase in the sense of a progressive meal, we enjoyed the experience of putting the fate of our taste buds’ and tummies’ in the chef’s hands.
4. Add another investment to our portfolio
Brian and I added another index fund to our brokerage account and are contributing to it regularly. Still, we’re in the market for additional investment options so that we can continue to diversify!
5. Commit to a 30-Day writing challenge
Success! I completed my writing challenge with a creative journal of mindful prompts and insightful questions.
6. Keep plants alive
Brian and I notoriously have black thumbs. We had already killed three plants by this time last year, with another on its way out. Surprisingly, we’ve managed to keep our last one alive. This plant, pictured in the center, was gifted to us a year and a half ago. The other two plants have been under our care for the last three months.
…at least these three aren’t dead, right? Even though there are a few dead-looking spots and a bit of browning, they’re still alive. I’m going to count this as a win. Though I admit, I have a looooong way to go before I am able to care for plants like my mom. Some of her plants are over 40 years old.
7. Explore more free community events
Check. We ventured to a Turkish Festival, an International Festival, and a Bluesberry Festival. I’m glad they got us out and about, but we were a little disappointed overall. These events seemed less robust and involved than they would have been pre-COVID. Though I suppose that stands true for a lot of things today. In any case, we look forward to spending more time in the community.
8. Visit with out-of-town family
We spent some time with family over our summer vacation. It was nice to see everyone, catch up, and even play some games.
The last few months might not have turned out how we intended, but that’s life, isn’t it? A collection of moments strung together by chance, effort, and perception. I’m thankful that we explored and experienced what we could. And – I acknowledge and am grateful for the opportunity to do it again today, tomorrow, and the day after.
As summer enters our world with its brilliant sunshine and longer days, I work to remind myself to freely allow the unintended. The best adventures can happen when you’re not looking for them.
On to the next quarter!