My summer season was difficult, and the entire second half of 2022 has been a blur. That’s likely why it’s Christmas Eve and I’m just now sitting down to recount it all. This is my little space on the internet, so I’m choosing not to focus on the challenges but instead sharing some of my best memories. Let’s get into it!
Good music we heard live
I’ll start with a summer highlight: concerts! Brandon and I love live music, and saw one of my bucket list concerts in August. We visited Washington, D.C., to catch Leon Bridges at The Anthem. His song “River” is my all-time favorite, and I’ve always wanted to see him perform it live. He had shows in North Carolina three times earlier in the year, but we were gone for all of them. I didn’t mind combining a quick trip to D.C. with the concert.
Two weeks later, we saw The Lumineers in Charlotte with friends. I’ve always liked their music, but wouldn’t have considered myself a big fan. We purchased tickets because my friend, Alyssa, is a big fan! The show blew me away: the set list, the cohesiveness from the band, the technical aspects of the production. It was perfection. I’m a frequent concert-goer, and it was truly the best performance I’ve ever seen. Now, I am a big fan and must see them on every tour. To note: James Bay opened the show, and we also loved him!
On the last day of summer, we visited local venue The Ramkat for the first time to see Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, supported by The National Parks. We’ve seen Drew several times before, and enjoyed his band’s performance. However, we were especially impressed by The National Parks! Brandon immediately bought every one of their records for sale at the merch booth.
Things I ate
Three summertime meals stand out in my mind: two small plate experiences and one new-to-us cuisine. I was anxious to have a meal at Boqueria while we were in D.C., and it did not disappoint. I’ve eaten at their Manhattan W40th location a couple of times, and their pan con tomate is to die for. 10/10! José Andrés is my favorite chef, and I hope to dine at as many of his restaurants as possible. (We celebrated Brandon’s birthday at The Bazaar in Miami in February.) While we were in D.C., we also tried Ethiopian food for the first time and it blew our minds.
Brandon and I have a tradition of treating one another to a nice meal when one of us receives a promotion or new job. I chose James Beard-nominated MACHETE in Greensboro to be my “new job” dinner, and it was hands-down the best meal I’ve ever had within driving distance of our home. The small plates were *very* small, but incredibly inventive and delicious. We did not leave hungry!
In our day-to-day, we ate a lot of EveryPlate dinners over the summer. 😉 I made a couple of new recipes, too, including a red velvet cake (good), pineapple upside down cake (not a favorite) and fresh basil pesto (very good).
Books I read
I added this subhead as a joke. I didn’t read a single book all summer or (spoiler alert) all fall. Better luck next season!
What I watched
The latest season of “Stranger Things” was certainly a highlight of the summer, along with the second season of “Only Murders in the Building.” I neglected to mention this in my last recap, but we watched “The Dropout” in the spring and it was phenomenal, as was “WeCrashed.” Worst of all, I forgot to include the final season of “Ozark”—one of our very favorite shows. Le sigh. We still watch too much television.
On the horizon
At the end of summer, I was looking forward to a small trip to Nashville coming up in November, and to celebrating the holidays.