Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Summer 2014 in Review

Amtrak’s Northeast Regional. Photo by Hawes Spencer.

A post by Garance Doré called “Summer Recap,” about different things she did this summer, made me think about my own activities during the season, especially now that it’s officially fall! Garance had quite a summer, breaking up with longtime boyfriend Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist. They really were the First Couple of Fashion Blogging so I can imagine how tough it was to do a post—they each did one—announcing their break-up. As if breaking up isn’t hard enough as it is!

While I didn’t have a summer as dramatic as Garance’s, I, like she, did a couple of new things. I have a tendency to stick to habit so I’m glad I stepped out of my usual comfort zone this summer and tried new experiences. Such as...

Took an Amtrak train from Penn Station in New York City to Newport News, Virginia.

I know this doesn’t sound particularly earth-shattering but I haven’t been on an Amtrak train since I took the Northeast Regional to Penn Station from Virginia back in 1996 when I was moving to Manhattan. I had not-great memories of a cramped and packed train car, a tiring ride that took forever, and confusing chaos once I arrived at Penn. So I was not excited to be doing this trip, in reverse, with two kids, and no other adult to help with bags.

I’m happy to say it was better than expected!

I decided to spring for business class seats and I’m so glad I did. It made all the difference—less people, free drinks, and a ton of room. The kids watched movies and played video games, I got to sit down for hours at a time (this never ever happens in my regular daily life), with a magazine and a cup of coffee. Or with my notebook, a pen, and my thoughts. What a treat! With airline and sometimes even car travel being so stressful these days, I highly recommend the comfort and space of the train!

The perfect bag for a train ride: A New York tote by Sylvia Steininger.

I carried the Sylvia Steininger New York tote and let me tell you, that is the tote you want to have on a long journey—stylish, sturdy, with a ton of room and comfortable shoulder straps.

My son watching a game on the practice courts at the US Open, August 2014.

Attended the US Open in Flushing Meadows, Queens.

This was a wonderful first-time experience too. Headings to Queens from Brooklyn via the subway always feels like going to another planet, or at least it does to me, so I hardly ever travel to that borough. My son was really pushing for us to attend the US Open though, and I thought, If not now, when? So I bought tickets at the last minute on StubHub and we had a great time! I haven’t attended a sporting event in awhile but this crowd is definitely my style—well-dressed (including ladies wearing extremely high heels and beautiful jewelry!) polite, lovers of champagne and tennis. It was a great bonding time for my son and me and we will be going again next year!

Oh the humanity! Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open, August 29, 2014. That spot on the court is Roger Federer!

Stewie agrees: Have fun in summer! He also says, “Open the door and let me out!”

Realized nothing gets done during summer.

I have tended to look at summer as a time to get to all the stuff I didn’t get to during the year—writing projects, paperwork throw-out, house cleaning, etc. This summer I realized that never happens, it never did and it never will, so I allowed myself to just let that stuff go and I found the season more relaxing than in previous years because of this new outlook. From now on I will save the projects and paperwork toss until September and try to focus instead on having fun with my kids, visiting with dogs and cats that make me laugh, and admiring the roses!

Forget the To-Do List, focus on the flowers! Princess Grace roses.

Did you do something new this summer? Tell me all about it!


une femme said...

Sounds like a wonderful summer! I love train travel; it's one of the aspects we try to book into our Europe vacations. The US Open, how exciting!!

Jill said...

Hiya Deja, my mother also talks about how wonderful train travel is in Europe. I hope I get to try it myself some day! XO, Jill

Anonymous said...

A wonderful post! You've inspired me to do one as well. Sounds like your Summer was super fun!

Jill said...

Hi SPD, I hope you do feature a similar post, I would love to read it! Please feature some H bags for me. I need a hit of glamorous luxury! XO, Jill

rosie said...

Hi Jill, I hadn't done train travel in America since I was a child & last year my husband & I instead of driving to Washington DC from NJ took an Amtrak train - & it was unexpectedly pleasant & easy. And we did not need a car in Washington for our long weekend there.

This year we were able, at last minute to rent a house for a week in Maine on the Somes Sound in Bar Harbor.. I haven' taken a vacation to the mountains in America in many years & I absolutely loved it. We drove there, took our time and stopped for 3 nites in Boston & one nite in Portland. Our kids (who are grown adults) came for the week in Maine.Still raving about Bar Harbour & Acadia.


Anonymous said...

:-) Sounds like you had a splendid summer! Enjoyed your little holiday report! :-)
Amtrack rings a bell - we took a train from LA to New Orleans some 30 years ago, were 2 1/2 days in the train, unbelievable, but an experience I'll never forget!
Hope your fall is just as good as your summer time with your kids! :-) xo

GSL said...

No great advances on this end. That SS tote is quite nice. I checked out Garance Dore and she is quite interesting...watched a few of her vids too.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I was surprised that Garance broke up with Scott...they seemed so matched with their blogs.
I do love train travel and would gladly travel by train to Paris if it were at all possible!
Your summer sounds like fun and your SS tote looks tres chic.

Anonymous said...

Nice post, Jill. I had to do a similar post on my blog because of being away from it for so long. BUSY but FUN summer. : ) My husband would love to go to the U.S. Open some day.

PinkCheetahVintage said...

So fun for you and your son! I never get anything done in the summer because I have the kids!

Jill said...

Hi Rosie, the trip to Maine sounds wonderful! I have never been there but I always hear great things about that part of the country. I hope to visit it one day.

And a trip to DC by train is very high on my list, I think it would be great to do a day like this with my husband and kids, I hope we get a chance to go this fall! XO, JIll

Jill said...

Happyface, I cannot BELIEVE you took a trip by train from LA to New Orleans. Wow! That's the kind of long train ride my son is hoping to go on but I don't know if I am up for it! Ha. XO, Jill

Jill said...

Hi GSL, I haven't seen a Garance video in awhile, I will have to go look at one. I like her relaxed style, she always seems like she would be a fun person to be around. XO, Jill

Jill said...

Hi Hostess! I was so surprised when I saw the post about the break-up on Garance's blog. Leave it to the NY media to get catty about it immediately, in the New York Magazine's section "The Cut," there was a recent photo of Garance at one of the fashion weeks and they said she looked good so she was "winning the break-up." God do I hate that kind of snark, don't you? XO, Jill

Jill said...

Hi Heather! I can't wait to read your post about summer activities! If your husband likes tennis he would enjoy the US Open so much, I had a great time and now can't believe it took me so long to get out to Queens and enjoy that event! XO, Jill

Jill said...

Hi Becky! Yeah, right? About summertime and kids and never getting anything done? I'm glad I finally got that realization through to my brain, and I hope I remember it next summer! XO, Jill

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

You have a pug!!! I knew there was a reason I liked you ; )