Earlier this summer, I came up with the idea for a Summer Bucket List. Every year, I mentally make a list of all the things I want to do once the weather gets warm. Every year, I end up doing a handful of them but not nearly enough of them. I should also mention the last 2 summers I was a busy bride to be with a full time job and planning a wedding which ended up taking up the majority of my summer weekends. This year, things are different. I am already starting to get that sinking feeling that the end of Summer 2015 is nigh (tear) and I need to get my Bucket List butt in gear. I actually wrote a list out this year and hung it out my refrigerator. This way instead of getting sucked into a Real Housewives marathon, I can remind myself to get outside and make some memories! While I’ve crossed a few items off already: music festival, bike to Point Lookout (a neighboring beach town), & watch fireworks on the beach-just to name a few-time is running out!
Now that summer is in full swing, here is my Summer 2015 Bucket List:
Movies on the beach
- Play Bocce Ball
Host a rooftop BBQ
- Eat a Lobster Roll
- Watch the sun rise
Be a tourist in my own city Concerts on the beach
- Wine tour
Bike & picnic in Point Lookout
- Sunset cruise
- Go hiking
Watch fireworks on the beach
Since we live in a northeastern beach town and endure very long, very cold winters (did I mention LONG?), my hubby and I look forward to taking advantage of the beach and like to stay local in the summer. Who likes to sit in traffic, anyway?! We also like to keep things costs on the lower side so we look for things that we can do that cost little to nothing, or find Groupons or Living Social deals to cut costs. We’re very lucky that our town has quite a few activities that cost little to nothing, such as movies on the beach and concerts on the beach (both free!).
This weekend, I scratched one more item off my bucket list. Jon and I had a free day so we decided to go hiking at a local nature preserve! A friend told me about the Norman J. Levy Nature Preserve in nearby Merrick. We packed the cooler with PB&J and water bottles, slathered on some sunscreen (SPF 50 or higher for this fair Irish lass!), laced up our sneakers and we were on our way. About 20 minutes later, we arrived at the preserve, where we discovered we can rent kayaks (imagine a 2 for 2 Summer Bucket List Sunday?!) but alas it was too good to be true. We had to reserve the kayak earlier in the week (at least we know for next time!). In addition to kayaking, the preserve also offers a golf course, driving range and fishing pier, as well as golf carts that are constantly zipping around in case you have little ones that can’t make the trek. The Norman J. Levy Nature Preserve is 52 acres, 3 miles and 115 feet at its highest point, offering vantage points of Jones Beach and the Manhattan skyline. There are several different types of wildlife that live on the preserve including red foxes (which we sadly did not see), along with a ton of greenery and winding hills that make you forget that you’re in the middle of suburban Long Island. It was a great day spent exploring new territory and we will definitely return in the fall!
The preserve’s essentially “employs” the guinea fowl (left) and the Nigerian dwarf goats (right). The birds are an eco-friendly insecticide, as they control the tick population, whereas the goats maintain the weed and brush overgrowth.