How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Summer’s ended. Always a bit of a shock isn’t it?  I never squeeze in enough beach time. Still, I had a rockin’ summer. Many adventures, I’m happy to say. Here’s my little report: What I Did On My Summer Vacation—The Top 10. Pix included. Enjoy!

1. Most contemplative audience: American Association of Museums, June
I spoke on a panel about Digital Culture and the Future of Museums in Los Angeles, emceed by Mark Hayward. He’s one of our most traveled Culture Scouts. Audience seems to be taking social media very seriously.

2. Most tender moment: Watching my daughter graduate from high school, June
The afternoon garden party we threw for her got rained on. Still, people were crammed into my kitchen until midnight. Her uncle texted me from O’Hare on the way back to Atlanta: “We had a blast. So much love, so much.” Indeed. 

3. Most hands-on, hilarious, and happy audience: Junior Achievement Leadership, July
What is it about people who work with young entrepreneurs? The ever-ebullient JA crowd is one of my favorite groups to address. We can’t seem to get enough of each other!

4. Best beach moment: Laguna CA, July
I hung out at Crystal Cove near Laguna Beach. It’s an artist’s colony—or, used to be. Now it’s being turned into a state-run tourist destination. My guide, Nancy Griffin, showed me the weathered surfer shack she once lived in. We ate lunch on the beach and talked about what it’s like to come into your own.

5. Best meal: Wasabi guacamole with taro chips. July
Queen Mother Café, Toronto. Asian meets pub grub. OMG!

6. Most interesting new friend: Amy Alkon, July
Meet Amy the Advice Goddess. She drives a pink Nash. Dates the assistant to Elmore Leonard. Dishes out love advice for a living and can set you straight on all those prickly love questions: What do you do when the guy’s a bad kisser? Here we are at the AAN conference where I spoke.

7. Rising star new friend:
Nina Simon

Meet Nina Simon. She wrote the book on museum participation. Now she wants to open her own brew pub in Santa Cruz. She hopes to use it as a lab for experiments in social participation. She’s an up-and-coming cultural phenom I intend to watch.

8. Best down time: cabin, Pine Lake in Marcellus, MI, Aug
I took a silent retreat in Michigan. My soul has been thanking me ever since. Now if I could only train it to type!

9. Weirdest weather fact: Festivals all got rain
It rained at every outdoor festival I attended, from the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair to Chicago’s Ribfest. Here I’m taking shots of Those Darlins, the y’all-ternative girl band whose “Wild One” has become a viral hit. 

10. Happiest glint: Riding my bike along Lake Michigan after work
We tend to measure life by its big juicy moments–births, weddings, book launches, major business pitches. But this summer, I paid attention to the not-so-big moments. I taught myself to savor the glints of light that sparkle in between the bigs. Pictured is my trusty vintage Raleigh.