Today is August 9.
That means, we have 22 days left in the month, 44 days officially left in summer and just enough time to make the most of it.
For the first year of in a nutshell I created a bucket list for every change of season: like this, and this and this. But, for fear of becoming repetitive I decided to keep my summer wants, wishes and goals to myself this time around. Then came August first and the panic set in. For someone who’s lived in a city were six months of the year I feel like hibernating under a mound of blankets, only to emerge for a Baileys and hot chocolate, let me tell you, I make the most of this short period of unmatched warm weather.
For all of us nuts, we are currently in that young professional stage where it becomes a little too easy to take life a little too seriously. Excuses to put fun on the back burner and focus on other priorities are a plenty. We have jobs, relationships, goals, social engagements, life decisions to make – learning to be an adult while still not completely feeling like one.
But, for anyone who knows me, they know I party… a lot (let’s be honest, probably too much). But, I also work a lot. I read a lot. I exercise a lot. I DO a lot. It’s important to, that’s life. In my opinion you will never achieve happiness by only focusing on one thing. Balance, variety, with a pinch of spontaneity – these are the ingredients for what I consider to be the recipe for a good life.
So, if you haven’t yet gone out on a Thursday when you work on a Friday morning, just because your dancing shoes need some dusting – spent an evening looking up at the stars, patiently awaiting the suns arrival with someone special – packed a bag at a moments notice, grabbed some pals and hit the road – or just found the time to do something you REALLY wanted to do, then what are you waiting for?
I know our readers are not all situated out of the Nation’s Capital, but for those that are and those that are planning to visit, here’s a little inspiration for the home stretch of a well spent summer in the city:
1 – Movie in the park
You know that scene in The Wedding Planner (ok, I watched a J-Lo movie, sue me) when they’re sitting in a park watching a movie outside? I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do that (with Matthew Mcconaughey by my side, no less). So you could imagine my delight when I learned that not only does this happen in Ottawa, it happens DOWN THE STREET from where I live. Written in the stars to watch the stars under the stars? I think so.
Run by the Carleton School of Information Technology, (alumni, represent!), movies are shown every Friday and Saturday night in Dundonald Park 512 Somerset St. W between Bay and Lyon.
Talk about an adorable first date idea and who knows fellas, maybe you’ll get a wife with a great bum out of it.
2 – Murray Street patio
Gracing Kate’s “Top 5 Restaurants in Ottawa” list, I have to say that Murray Street tops my own. An inventive and ever-changing menu, local produce and great drinks means I’ve never had a meal I didn’t like at this Byward Market location. While I’d take a dinner here any time of the year, it is an especially amazing dining experience in the summer thanks to one of my favourite patios in the city. You won’t find much sunlight, but nestled under twisting vines and rustic wood, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation somewhere far away from the city lights as soon as you cross the threshold.
3 – Wakefield Quarry
It’s not the first time we’ve mentioned Wakefield Quarry on inanutshell, and in fact, Wakefield in general could make this list. Cute restaurants, a bridge that everyone I talk to seems to be jumping off (safely), and only a short drive from downtown Ottawa. The quarry is one of my more favourite Wakefield features because for $5 you can pack a picnic, bring your own booze and lounge in turquoise-blue water, with a pretty incredible view. On “things I’d like to do on a summer afternoon” you can’t get much better than that.
4 – Yoga on the hill
I’ve recently become somewhat obsessed with Yoga. I’ve always liked the occasional class, but four days a week of Bikram hot yoga has me feeling amazing. With that said, one of the things topping my own personal summer bucket list is joining the hundreds that show up to do some poses right on the lawn of Parliament Hill. Lululemon Athletica offers free yoga sessions that last about an hour, starting at noon. Running from the beginning of June to the end of September (weather permitting) all you have to do is show up with your mat and get ready to stretch. A healthy alternative for your lunch hour? See ya there.
5 – I scream, you scream
Hot weather = ice cream. It’s science. And luckily, Ottawa has more than a few spots that can deliver when that particular kind of craving, or heatwave, hits. Of course, a Dairy Queen Blizzard can always do the trick – but some alternative and more unique suggestions can be found sprinkled throughout downtown and centretown Ottawa.
– Pure Gelato on Elgin (360 Elgin Street)
This gelato haven probably has the widest variety of flavours in Ottawa, almost too many for someone as indecisive as I. But, open year-round you can make your way through each one, just make sure to do # 4 listed above to compensate.
– Truffle Treasures on Bank (769 Bank Street)
If you can resist the temptation of the truffles lining the display cases in this Glebe location, you’ll find freshly made gelato available in cones or cups. Perfect for a stroll through one of the capital’s nicer neighbourhoods.
– Spoon Frozen Yogurt Lounge on Clarence (111 Clarence Street)
I cannot attest to this spot since it’s on my own list of places to visit before the end of the season, but I’ve only heard good things. 12 different kinds of self serve frozen yogurt and over 50 different toppings, I’d lie if I said I didn’t get pretty excited when I saw this brand new storefront pop up on one of the most happening streets in downtown. YUM.
And with that, I’ll leave you with a motto from one of my good pals, Joey Manley. Words to live by, my friends:
“Here’s to it to do it. If you can’t get to it to do it, then you may never get to do it again.”