An Ode to Summer

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An Ode to Summer | Sense of Sunny

While I longingly anticipate the arrival of the *real* (controversial) PSL, some cozy cashmere, and the crispness of fall, nothing compares to the dog days of summer. I will miss the easy breeziness of it all. Some of my favorite memories could only be possible between the months of May and August. Alright, May is still spring and September is still summer, but who’s counting.

Like a bee in a meadow of wild flowers, my summer flew right on by. I have so many exciting things to look forward to in the cooler months, but I couldn’t let the season pass without a proper adieu.

The West End Overlook | Sense of SunnyTraveling is fun year-round, but the liveliness of the streets and ease of walking from one place to another just doesn’t happen when it’s freezing cold outside. Over Memorial Day Weekend, I had the opportunity to check out the city of Pittsburgh for the first time.

The skyline view at the West End Overlook was incredible! After a quick day trip, it was awesome to see the city from above, particularly Heinz Field, Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning far off in the distance, the sparkly PPG Place, and all of those big yellow bridges.

Some other hot spots we visited were the the Church Brew Works (literally a brewery in a church), Primanti Bro’s, the Strip District., and the inside of the Cathedral of Learning (aka Hogwarts).

FUN FACT: If you’ve ever been obsessed with Stephen Chbosky’s book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you may recognize Pittsburgh in the background of many iconic scenes. The Overlook was a fav hang out spot for the three best friends. Check out this cool article for more location scenes.

UPITT | Sense of SunnyAn Ode to Summer | Sense of Sunny

I love going on trips and exploring interesting cities, but sometimes walking is too much work and water doesn’t quite quench your thirst. I’m so lucky to live in a location that caters to the winos and beer buffs of the world. The “wine trails” and “beerways” in Southwest Virginia are enough to never have a boring Saturday afternoon. You can order your favorite or try them all, bring snacks or don’t, catch up with a friend or the whole family. The sound of live music, the warm and gentle afternoon breeze, and a cold glass in hand is all that a summer day should be.

If you ever find yourself in Virginia, definitely check out this super comprehensive list and find a brewery or winery near you! Everyone should go at least once. This summer I visited Blue Ridge Vineyard, Veritas Vineyard & Winery, Parkway Brewing Company and Roanoke Railhouse Brewery for the first time! I’ve also been to Valhalla Vineyards, Bluestone Vineyard, and Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers.

Next up on my wishlist is a fall visit to Bold Rock Cidery (they make my hands down the best ever favorite hard cider!) and Trump Winery.

Veritas Vineyard | Sense of Sunny

Veritas Vineyard | Sense of Sunny

An Ode to Summer | Sense of Sunny

Everything feels more *real* when it’s made with actual pumpkin straight from the dirt. Or cement. Going to happy hour? Grab the patio table. Need groceries? Stroll the Farmer’s Market. Want a sweaty workout? Take a nice long nature walk. All summer long I crave sunshine after spending hours in my windowless office.

This summer I took many a “stay-cation.” I woke up bright and early on Saturday mornings to browse the fresh produce and window shop Downtown. I tried my first ever shrub cocktail, which was amazing and easily one of the best drinks I’ve ever had. I gulped down every ounce of fresh air during a hike to the falls. Days spent al fresco are days well spent.

An Ode to Summer | Sense of Summer

An Ode to Summer | Sense of SunnyAn Ode to Summer | Sense of Sunny

My all time favorite part of summer is endless ICE CREAM. I scream for that. The feeling of ice cream dripping down your hand is a guarantee blast to the past. Any reason to feel 12 years old again is a good one to me. One of my favorite places to get ice cream is Pop’s Ice Cream & Soda Bar. When I can’t get the good stuff piled on top a sugar cone, I drive to the closest DQ or reach for my favorite pint of Denali Extreme Moose Tracks. Sugar is my weakness, but ice cream is my downfall. Not even sorry about it.

An Ode to Summer | Sense of Summer

An Ode to Summer | Sense of SunnyCheers to sunny summer days.

What was a favorite summer memory of yours?