Summer is like bananas, green today and brown tomorrow. While we get pumped up for the beach, we blink and it is September again, back to the humdrum of the school year.
If you are anything like me, you eat, breath, and make bigs plans for the summer, such as meeting friends, traveling, and discovering a dinosaur pit in your backyard. Just kidding, I didn’t find a dinosaur pit in my backyard. Yet.
Archaeology aside, to avoid the fall regrets of an unfulfilled summer, one strategy is to create a summer bucket list. For those who are unaware of internet trends, a ‘bucket list’ is defined as ‘a number of experiences or achievements a person hopes to accomplish during their lifetime’, or in this case, a few months.
I love bucket lists, mostly because they are lists and if you’ve read this blog post Maple Nut Granola Bars, you’d know I love lists. So when I planned a trip to Manhatten with my friend Alice, we concocted a bucket list of wacky things to do, because let’s be honest, no matter what we end up doing in Manhatten, someone else has already done something a lot weirder.
Our list included:
- Start walking in slow motion in a crowd
- Go into the Empire State Building looking for Mount Olympus (For anyone who is confused, we were referring to a book by Rick Riordan which set the ancient Greek Mount Olympus on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building. That might sound strange out of context…)
- Do the cup beat by Times Square
- Have a photo shoot
- Sneeze glitter (As in, hold glitter in your hand and pretend to sneeze, blowing the sparkles everywhere like a demented fairy with a head cold.)
- Meow inconspicuously to people in an elevator
- Buy socks (because why not? Socks are nice.)
- Set off a standard ringtone in a crowd
- Look up at nothing and say wow
We did not end up completing this entire list unfortunately. However, the cup beat we did around a table in Times Square, as well as the photo shoot in front of a massive library. The meowing idea was changed when people kept approaching us with pamphlets. They seemed to think that “no” means “give me a flyer! I want!” So we changed our response to a monotonous “meow.” We received a lot of strange looks, but no pamphlets. Mission accomplished.
We had trouble finding the Empire State Building, thereby finding the landmark underwhelming, especially for two girls living in Toronto, where anyone can see the CN Tower from miles away.
Inside, we saw no elevator, so we approached the information desk.
“Hi, could you please tell us how to reach the 600th floor?”
The lady laughed; she had obviously heard this before from previous Rick Riordan fans. We smiled politely, and she played along, “Oh, the 600th floor cannot be reached at this time.”
“That’s a shame,” said Alice. “We really wanted to see Olympus.”
The lady laughed again, this time, uncertainly. “You say that so seriously…”
I shrug. “I hear that it’s a major tourist trap, isn’t it? Come on, Alice, we may as well go see the Underworld.”
The highlight of the day was the time we pretended to be time travelors. One pamphlet distributor caught our attention with her purple steampunk outfit, advertising for a Broadway show.
Alice and I ran up to her, breathless, and said, “Quick! What year is it?”
The girl looks suspiciously at us. “Is this some kind of trick?”
“No! Just tell us what it is!”
I gasp and shove Alice’s shoulder. “I told you it was the green button!”
“No, I promise it was the blue one!” she yells.
“No, you’re wrong!” I push past Alice and dash into the crowd with her chasing after me, leaving the Broadway girl standing alone by the sidewalk.
Note: Alice is the kind of person who cannot tell a joke without cracking up, and she kept a straight face this entire time. Kudos to Alice!
You may not want to add bizarre stuff like this to your bucket list, but writing down a few nice things… I regret to inform you while you read this article, summer has ended and fall began. My heartfelt sympathies, now enjoy this fall-themed recipe with acorn squash and apples.
Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 1 acorn squash
- 2 apples
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
- Place the two halves face-down on a pan with a layer of water on the bottom to prevent burning, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, core and chop the apples and toss with the vinegar, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
- Fill the squash with the apples and bake for another 45-55 minutes.