School's (almost) out for summer: A bucket list for Summer 2017 I FAVORITE THINGS

May 4, 2017


Cascade River State Park is a favorite of mine...and I cannot wait to add other favorites to the list!



We are just weeks away from the greatest two words in the English language: Summer vacation. Yes, this linguistic pairing–which believe it or not is greater than frosted donut, hot coffee, and cheesy mac (although these pairs are also amazing)–equals freedom, which means it is time to harness that privilege into a summer bucket list.


I like bucket lists because they make us think about what we really value. It makes us take a second look at what we really want out of our life. It makes us see how we want to make the most of our moments.


I spent some time thinking for myself, and I came up with a few wants and wishes for my June, July, and August. Here is, in no particular order, my to do for the summer of 2017:

  1. Travel. It has been three years since I have gone on my last vacation, and I am getting a little stir crazy. After my trip debacle from last summer, I am still a little too burned to plan anything too extensive, so I am hoping to head to the East Coast to visit NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. I say hoping, because as I learned as we were forced to deplane last year, anything can change in a moment’s notice.

  2. Visit 3 new Minnesota State Parks. Minnesota is full of beauty and natural wonders…which makes me wonder why I always end up at the same three parks (Gooseberry, Itasca, and Split Rock). These are iconic places in northern Minnesota, no doubt, but I want to expand my home-state horizons and find three new locations with which to become familiar (so if you have any suggestions, please throw them out to me!).

  3. Finish my thesis. I’m weird, I get it; writing this paper has been one of the greatest accomplishments for me, so much so that I really don’t want it to end. I have to accept that all great things must come to some kind of conclusion, and this project is one of them. It must be finished.

  4. Have old-skool fun. I want to do what I used to think was just amazing. I want to play mini golf or go to the roller rink. I want to feel that weird plastic burn one only gets from a Slip ‘n Slide. I want to channel my fourth-grade self, and just live a day from my youth again.

  5. Go camping. Man, I haven’t camped in forever. That’s unacceptable. I have to fix that.

  6. Fish from a kayak. I’m not one for much seafood, but I love a good fish fry. LOVE. Especially with crappies. And like camping, I haven’t fished in forever…I have just mooched from everyone else’s limit. I also haven’t kayaked lately, so I want to kill two birds with one stone (even though I wish to not hurt any birds this summer).

  7. Practice night photography. Stars and star trails. The Milky Way. Images of the night sky have always intrigued me, so I would love to do more of that one summer night.

  8. Say “Heck yes!” to everything for a day. OK, maybe not everything. I do want to have a day where I don’t automatically respond with “I don’t have time” or “I don’t think I can.” I just want to do for a day.

  9. Journal every day. I used to love journaling. That was how I procrastinated best. I don’t do it near enough, so I would like to make it a habit again.

  10. Disconnect. I spend way too much time online; it’s embarrassing the number of times in a week I find myself on Facebook on my computer, and then check it on my phone at the same time.  I want to take a day or a weekend to just log off and live.

These are just a few of the things I want to accomplish…and I am sure more will pop up as the summer progresses. Either way, I am hoping this list can help me frame my days and weeks to make the most of the fleeting season that is summer. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



At home on the road. Forever-focused on authenticity and the thrilling art of creation; always found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After fourteen years as a high school educator, I stepped back through a door I thought was closed. Journalism came back into my life. Armed with a Masters of Arts in Communication, I was again challenged and prepared to tell the stories that would become history, but with a twist: It is now your legacy of love that I document. The tension I seek is that from every tear, smile, laugh, and moment of love on your wedding day. 


© 2015-2024 Kayla Lee Photography + Design LLC

Design by Tonic


Privacy Policy