Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Peek Into My Life: Fireworks and Family Time

Happy 240th birthday to the United States of America! (If you thought that America was 2016 years old... you might need to take a history class.)

I finally got a "long weekend" to travel and there is no where else I'd rather go than to my family's lake house. Growing up, we would go here every year, but since I left for college, it's been a little harder to visit considering the drive is about 10 hours and I am a work-a-holic.

I'm thankful that my boyfriend wanted to come on this adventure with me. (He also got to meet my father for the first time.)

We started the drive on Friday afternoon, with the plan to get a hotel in northeast Ohio. First stop: Raising Cane's in Columbus, Ohio. I lived here for a year during my internships in college and I remember my first Cane's experience, where I got second degree burns on the roof of my mouth because the chicken was so fresh. That hasn't stopped me from loving it. I needed to share it with Taylor. He may have told me that it was "one of the best chicken sandwiches he's ever had".

The rest of the drive was pretty boring. Stopped at a cheap hotel for the night (which I had to book in advance because I'm an organization freak). The drive across Pennsylvania is not that entertaining, if you didn't know.

We arrived on Saturday right around lunch time, which could not have been more perfect. Tacos for lunch (super American, right?) and then took the kayak out on the lake for some "exercise". Our plans for the night included going into the next town over, eating lots of fried desserts and watching their fireworks show. I forgot how cold nights get up there, so luckily we had a sleeping bag in the trunk of the car that we used as a blanket.

The next morning, we had my dad's awesome pancakes for breakfast and then decided to go for a hike at the nearby ski resort. We climbed up a "blue square", obviously took a ton of photos at the top, and then decided to run down a "green circle" trail, which, despite my horrible ankles, was a lot of fun. No, I'm not the most in-shape person, but I did it.

Next stop: boating on the lake. After waiting for my dad and his friend to get the dock installed and the boat fueled up and in the water.

My dad let Taylor and I put the tube in the water and he hooked it up to the boat. It was actually a lot of fun, until I fell off. I might have kinked my back a little (and it still hurts) but it didn't stop me from doing it again. The second time, I went on the tube without Taylor and managed to hold on a lot longer. My dad enjoyed making wake and watching me scream. Taylor went on after me and had just as much fun.

That night involved eating Korean food (my favorite food ever, but only if it's cooked by my grandparents) and s'mores and my dad's private mini-fireworks show.

One of my favorite parts of family time is my pup, Cleo. She's 12 years old and leaving her to live in Ohio is rough. I know dogs don't last forever, so I give her the biggest hugs every time I'm with her.

If you know me in real life, you know that I complain about my family all the time, but honestly, I do love the few times a year that I get to see them. Being the 4th of July, it brought back a ton of memories from my childhood that I haven't been able to experience in the past 5 years.

This weekend was amazing and I wouldn't have traded it for the world. Even though we did 20 hours of driving for a ~48 hour stay, I cherished every adventure and can't wait to hopefully do it again next year.

My questions for you, the reader: What are some family traditions that you have? Have they changed as you grew up? How did you spend your Independence Day? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Sounds like a great 4th of July weekend. Families are crazy but they're the best!

    Greta |

    1. It was a great time for sure. Makes me realize how much I miss my family now that I'm an "adult".

  2. Even though that was a lot of driving, it sounded like it was really worth it. Your dog is adorable too!

    1. Thank you, it was great to see her one last time (she actually passed away a week after).