Summer Outings and Breaking Routines

This summer has been hot but beautiful. I love the smells of jasmine and roses and BBQs starting up. I love big sunglasses and simple cotton dresses and being able to eat outside. I especially love the long, sunny days that have just a hint of rain on the breeze.

When The Dude and I travel, we love to go to street fairs and festivals, hang out in city parks, and attend any local events we happen upon. We always lament that we don’t live somewhere that has all of those things and/or that we wish we could do more things like that at home.

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Lounging at the Wine & Jazz Festival

Well, we’re just whining.

We live outside of Philadelphia. There’s usually something going on within a 25 mile radius of our house, particularly on the weekends. The big problem is that it takes effort to find something that we think would be fun; it’s so much easier to sit on the couch and watch an episode of “Downton Abbey” or “Battlestar Galactica”.

That’s the crux of the issue: when we’re travelling, we’re prepared to be out and about constantly. We have already done research and often (though not always!) know about events we want to check out. We’re also ready to be spontaneous and love to wander around and just find new things to do and try. When we’re at home, it’s harder to break out of our usual routine. Work days tend to be stressful and exhausting and it can be overwhelming to try to plan stuff for the weekends unless there’s a specific event (like a birthday or wedding or something) coming up.

Routine is easy: you know what to expect and you don’t have to plan for it. But, it can also be boring and unhealthy.

To break our routine, to get out of our rut of spending nights and weekends at home, The Dude and I have been actively looking for and tentatively planning outings to different events or festivals in the area. Unless we’re going to a ticketed event (like the Wine & Jazz Festival at Longwood Gardens), our plans are flexible and depend on things like the weather and The Dude helping his dad do lawn work. But, it’s so nice to have things on the calendar and, on a given weekend, to only really have to think about whether or not we want to do x event.

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The Dude is always excited for tacos.

So, what kinds of things are on our list? The first Saturday in June was the Wine & Jazz Festival at Longwood. We’ve gone a number of times before, and really loved it again this year. Last weekend was the Manayunk Art Festival. We had never been before, but spent a lovely Sunday afternoon browsing the artsy wares and eating tacos at Taqueria Feliz. Coming up are things like the Kutztown Folk Festival, the Philly Night Market, and outdoor movies at Penns Woods Winery.

This motivation has also helped us go on impromptu outings. So far, we’ve wandered around Antique Row and the area around Eastern State Penitentiary (I can’t wait to finally tour the prison itself!)and hiked through a bit of Fairmount Park. It’s been so nice to just be outside with The Dude and discover more about the area (and, of course, to get something delicious to eat). I can’t wait until our next outing!

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