AK Monthly Recap: July 2022

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July was one of many largest months I’ve had in a very long time. Travels in three international locations, tons of summer season enjoyable, good instances with mates everywhere.

And the most important factor…Charlie I acquired engaged! The entire story is on my annual birthday submit, which I revealed final week.

But let’s get on to this month — a month that started in Sardinia, moved overland to Lake Como, drove again to Prague, and acquired in a cheeky weekend to London as properly.

Kate is taking a selfie, standing in shallow bright clear aquamarine water, wearing a navy blue bikini top covers with tropical flowers.
Summertime in San Teodoro, Sardinia

Destinations Visited

Alghero, Stintino, Sassari, San Teodoro, Golfo Aranci, Capo Coda Cavallo, Tavolara, Olbia, Lecco, Bellagio, and Varenna, Italy

Prague, Czech Republic

London and Coulsdon, UK

Kate and Charlie stand side by side. Kate holds up her left hand with an engagement ring on her finger, plus pale blue glittery nails. Kate wears a denim jacket, white lacy top and black shorts with white polka dots. Charlie wears a maroon t-shirt and khaki shorts.
Celebrating with Charlie’s household within the UK. Photo by his sister Jo.

Highlights

Getting engaged to Charlie in Lake Como will eternally be the spotlight of the month! The proposal was great, it came about in a backyard in Bellagio, and nope, it was not a shock. (Who surprises somebody with an engagement?! That appears loopy, in my view.)

We celebrated at a wine bar with a tagliere of meat and cheese, and glasses of Franciacorta (our favourite Italian glowing white wine) adopted by Barolo (my favourite purple) and Amarone (his favourite purple) and a ship trip to beautiful Varenna for the night.

Lots of enjoyable in Sardinia. We started the month arriving in Alghero, a cool Spanish metropolis on the northwest coast of the island the place lots of people nonetheless converse Catalan! While it’s a really touristy metropolis, I discovered it to be probably the most attention-grabbing place we visited in Sardinia.

The spotlight of Sardinia for us was our crusing journey off Alghero. The boat was one of many nicest small sailboats I’ve ever been on; Captain Andrea was an ideal chief and served us a scrumptious lunch; there have been about 12 individuals on board, which was good; we sailed to stunning coves and went swimming. Just an superior chilled out day.

We additionally visited La Pelosa seaside in Stintino, famously one of many nicest seashores in all of Italy. It was stunning with shallow water that went out to date — although extraordinarily crowded! (Know that you could guide a spot on the seaside prematurely, as they restrict guests. It’s fairly low-cost, I believe 3.50 EUR per individual, however do it early.)

Next we headed to San Teodoro for a number of days, which seems like a well-liked Italian vacation city, and has beautiful seashores. One day we had a full correct seaside day with chairs (such an indulgence!) on La Cinta seaside, which I believed was even higher than La Pelosa. Another day we booked a scooter snorkeling expertise in close by Golfo Aranci, and for our last day we took a zodiac boat journey to Molara and Tavolara islands.

A return to the mountains. We took the in a single day ferry again to Genoa and drove to Lake Como, about two hours away. In the city of Lecco we took a cable automotive as much as the Piani d’Erna, on high of mountains the place you’ll be able to hike and discover. It was 10 levels cooler — so great after roasting in Sardinia!

I believe this yr we’re realizing that we’re extra mountain individuals than seaside individuals.

After an evening in Lake Como, we drove again to Prague: a nine-hour journey. Oh, and the McRib is BACK in Germany!

Floating previous Varenna, Lake Como, at Golden Hour.

More good instances in Prague. Reuniting with my kitties is all the time a spotlight of the month! Man, three weeks is a very long time to depart them, though they love their sitter.

We frolicked with mates, hit up some meals festivals, lastly tried a budget enterprise lunch on the Four Seasons (wonderful). And Charlie and I started researching wedding ceremony venues in earnest.

And this month we began swimming! There are a number of low-cost indoor swimming swimming pools close to us and we swam for practically an hour for about $2.50 every.

A beautiful lengthy weekend in London. Charlie and I visited for a household celebration, and it was so good to see all of them directly (particularly after COVID wrecked our Christmas gathering!).

I are likely to do plenty of the identical issues each time I am going to London, so this time I used to be decided to interrupt out of my routine a bit. Charlie and I went to see The Tempest on the Globe Theatre, which was such a humorous and unique manufacturing. (Pro tip: pull up the play in your cellphone to comply with alongside. It’s not a pretend pas right here prefer it often is at exhibits, and so they maintain the seating areas illuminated.)

Charlie and I additionally went to Dans le Noir, an expertise the place you dine in full darkness. Definitely a novel factor to strive as soon as! We additionally visited the V&A Museum and its Fashioning Masculinity exhibit. I used to be delighted to see Billy Porter’s well-known tux robe on show.

Another day, my buddy Dylan and I went to the Peter Pan-themed afternoon tea on the Shard, which was so enjoyable and I extremely advocate for a novel afternoon tea in London. We ended the weekend with a pub meetup with a few of our London mates.

Kate takes a glaring selfie at the camera wearing a frilly white button-down blouse and sunglasses. She's standing on the highway. Behind her is a blue car and Charlie sitting on the guardrail, angrily glaring at the camera. Behind them is a mechanic in a yellow shirt.
Stuck on the aspect of the freeway! Fun instances.

Challenges

The single worst second of the journey was once we had been driving from Alghero to Stintino. Most of the inside or Sardinia is extraordinarily rural, and we drove previous infinite dry yellow fields. Then I caught a whiff. “Is that garbage?” I requested.

Then we had been SMACKED within the face with probably the most putrid rubbish scent I’ve ever skilled. We noticed a dump truck unloading rubbish — the highway between the 2 hottest locations in northwest Sardinia actually takes you previous a dump. It was near 100 levels out (38 C). Imagine scorching, boiling rubbish invading your nostril, your mouth, the pores of your pores and skin.

I really feel an incredible quantity of sympathy for anybody who has to work in these terrible circumstances.

Charlie acquired stung by a jellyfish on our crusing journey in Alghero. Alghero has some jellyfish-rich spots that may often be prevented, however even in a low jellyfish space, Charlie acquired stung on the chest.

Luckily there was no want for anybody to pee on anybody — Captain Andrea had some sting cures out there.

(Since this occurred, a brand new mural has gone up in our neighborhood in Prague — a mural of JELLYFISH! Charlie was miffed. I couldn’t cease laughing.)

We acquired a flat tire — then one other. We had been leaving Alghero on a Sunday and had been planning to go to Bosa, keep in an agriturismo within the inside for the evening, then head to San Teodoro the subsequent day. Well, the tire started ker-thumping as quickly as we left the property.

Here’s a tip: don’t break down in Italy on a Sunday. And if it’s rural Italy on a Sunday, GOOD LUCK!!

Our agriturismo referred to as native mechanics, who got here to test it out, however apparently Charlie’s automotive has an uncommon tire dimension and so they didn’t have one that may match. All they might do was patch the tire. And in fact this course of took 5 hours, throughout which we labored at our agriturismo. The homeowners very kindly made us some carbonara, though they don’t often serve lunch.

Five hours later (our agriturismo man was yelling at them — YOU WENT TO LUNCH? How lengthy had been you at lunch??), the mechanics returned with a patched tire. We eagerly acquired again on the highway.

quarter-hour afterward the freeway, ker-thump ker-thump ker-thump. AGAIN. Five hours and that patch did nothing!! We contacted the agriturismo, who contacted the mechanics, and so they drove out and met us. They provided to tow us to Sassari and the tire could be repaired very first thing Monday morning.

Sassari is a little bit of a gritty metropolis with restricted touristic enchantment, however we really had an ideal evening there! We stayed in a incredible little guesthouse referred to as Album Boutique Rooms, only a great trendy oasis that feels luxurious however is definitely fairly low-cost. (The proprietor plans to increase to Alghero sooner or later and as soon as that’s there, will probably be THE PLACE to remain in Alghero!) We had nice pizza at La Nicchia and wonderful gelato at Naturalia.

The subsequent morning, the tire was fastened very properly, and we had been instructed it will get us safely again to Prague. Since getting again, Charlie has had the tire changed.

A view of the stone Charles Bridge and several Baroque buildings topped with orange and green roofs in Prague, underneath a cloudy sky.
One wedding ceremony venue we checked out has THIS view.

Blog Posts of the Month

27 Things to Do in Rockport, MA, a Coastal Beauty — Rockport is a city the place I’ve been going eternally, and it has a lot of the quintessential New England appeal that guests come right here to expertise. You ought to go to it (and extra of the North Shore!).

A model of a pirate ship. On it are balanced several pastries, including a fairy perched on a red pudding with an alligator gummy coming out of it. In the background you see a view of gray London from above, including the Tower Bridge.
Peter Pan Afternoon Tea on the Shard in London

This Month on Patreon

On the Adventurous Kate Patreon, I publish unique content material and never-told tales which you can entry for $6 per thirty days. We even have a non-public Facebook group and members get free entry to the Book Club every month.

This month’s massive submit was about my Dans le Noir expertise in London — the whole night eating in the dead of night, being surrounded by strangers, having no concept what you’re consuming, no concept even the right way to pour your self a glass of water. It was a very attention-grabbing expertise!

I additionally wrote a giant replace on the place New Hampshire Way is now. More on {that a} bit beneath. My Patreon individuals have been the one ones who’ve recognized about my New Hampshire web site over the previous yr.

Oh, and my Patreon individuals discovered concerning the engagement earlier than anybody else. 😉

Beautiful clear pale green water at a beach in Sardinia. Several people are in the water and you can see it doesn't even get knee deep in the distance.
La Pelosa in Stintino, typically cited as probably the greatest seashores in Italy.

Book Club This Month

Our subsequent guide membership will likely be on Sunday, August 28, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. We will likely be discussing The Air You Breathe by Brazilian creator Frances de Pontes Peebles. You can join the guide membership right here.

A fast notice — this guide is 528 pages, however it’s price it. Start now! And when you like Elena Ferrante’s work, you’re going to like this.

“Some friendships, like romance, have the sensation of destiny.

Skinny, nine-year-old orphaned Dores is working within the kitchen of a sugar plantation in Thirties Brazil when in walks a woman who adjustments all the things. Graça, the spoiled daughter of a rich sugar baron, is intelligent, properly fed, fairly, and thrillingly unwell behaved. Born to wildly totally different worlds, Dores and Graça rapidly bond over shared mischief, after which, on a deeper stage, over music.

One has a voice like a songbird; the opposite feels melodies in her soul and composes lyrics to match. Music will turn out to be their shared ardour, the supply of their partnership and their rivalry, and for every, the one manner out of the life to which every was born. But solely one of many two is destined to be a star. Their intimate, risky bond will decide every of their fortunes–and hang-out their reminiscences.

Traveling from Brazil’s inland sugar plantations to the rowdy streets of Rio de Janeiro’s well-known Lapa neighborhood, from Los Angeles throughout the Golden Age of Hollywood again to the irresistible drumbeat of dwelling, The Air You Breathe unfurls a shifting portrait of a lifelong friendship–its unparalleled rewards and lasting losses–and considers what we owe to the relationships that form our lives.”

A long-super-calm brown sandy beach in front of smooth blue-green water.
This month I wrote about Weirs Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee.

New Hampshire Way Update

New Hampshire Way is my new New Hampshire journey web site! I talked about it in my birthday submit final week. I’d like so as to add just a little replace on NHW every month to the month-to-month recap.

Traffic is at present exploding, and I’m thrilled about it. I’m shocked and excited that New Hampshire Way already ranks #1 for “things to do in lake winnipesaukee” and “water parks in new hampshire”! I’m additionally #2 for “things to do in north conway nh” and that’s particularly necessary as a result of North Conway is a year-round journey vacation spot, not like Lake Winnipesaukee.

Fall is the most important journey season of the yr, particularly within the White Mountains, so my precedence proper now could be getting fall content material prepared earlier than foliage season hits.

Here are a few of my favourite posts that I revealed this month:

A Guide to Weirs Beach, Lake Winnipesaukee — Weirs Beach is the enjoyable, kitschy, household city of Lake Winnipesaukee. Bumper vehicles, arcades, boat cruises, and one of many nicest seashores on the lake.

27 Epic Things to Do in Lincoln, NH — Lincoln is likely one of the hottest cities within the White Mountains and makes a wonderful base for exploring the area. It’s particularly good for mountain climbing, snowboarding, and scenic drives just like the Kancamagus Highway.

12 Must-Visit New Hampshire Fall Festivals — New Hampshire REALLY loves fall, and there are some superior festivals it is best to think about hitting up! I’ll possible be at Apple Harvest Day in Dover and NH Brewfest in Portsmouth this yr.

Kate and Charlie taking a smiling selfie wearing sunglasses. Kate holds up one hand and you can see an engagement ring on her finger. Behind them, Renaissance buildings set on a lake.
The first engaged picture! (With the short-term ring.)

Most Popular Photo on Instagram

Of course it’s this one which introduced the engagement! This was taken in Bellagio on Lake Como.

Instagram is the place I do probably the most updating stay whereas touring, together with a lot of Stories. You can comply with me on Instagram at @adventurouskate.

Kate wearing a black button-up blouse with cap sleeves, a frilly piece of fabric in the middle, and two satin pleated panels on each side. Worn with a long raspberry-colored polka dot skirt with pleats. She carries a small black bag and wears black heeled sandals.
I used to be about to do away with this high…now not!

Fashion Find of the Month

I discovered this lengthy raspberry Anthropologie skirt on Poshmark over the winter. I find it irresistible SO a lot — the pleating, the colour, the polka dots, the asymmetrical hem — however I couldn’t discover any high that actually matched. Everything appeared too informal.

Then I discovered this in my closet — an Express shirt that I’m fairly certain I purchased within the early 2000s (!!) and I used to be able to donate it. So out of fashion with it’s little frilly middle and satin pleated sides that it has come BACK into vogue! And it labored! It was the proper stage of dressy and the pleats added an echo to the skirt. Added these big teal Anthropologie flower earrings that I additionally discovered on Poshmark.

All the extra cause to pair an previous merchandise along with your new gadgets to see if it really works earlier than donating it.

The solely factor I want for this outfit is an efficient leopard-print belt. Currently looking for one in Prague, however my typical choices are “C&A, $12, it’s made of cardboard!” or “Dolce & Gabbana, $425, don’t breathe on it the wrong way!”

What I Watched This Month

This month I attempted a Disney+ subscription to make amends for plenty of the favored movies I’ve missed! I really feel so out of the loop on the subject of Pixar and stuff.

My favourite was Turning Red (as somebody who was a boy band-loving teenager with three greatest mates within the early 2000s, OMG this was relatable). Encanto was a colourful delight with an ideal story and memorable characters. Soul was pleasant and so New York. Moana had the very best music.

This month I additionally watched Love on the Spectrum: the US version. I like this mild, respectful docuseries about individuals on the autism spectrum in search of love. Every individual is a delight this season, and there are some joyful endings!

An open-air wooden theater with no roof. People standing surrounding the stage. On the stage, a cast of characters takes their bows.
Curtain name at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.

What I Listened To This Month

Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance is FANTASTIC. I’m not ordinarily an enormous Beyoncé fan however I like disco and 90s dance music so THIS is the album for me. I like what number of multifaceted layers of Black and Queer historical past are on this album (not not like Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly).

Who Shat on the Floor at My Wedding? might be probably the most ridiculous podcast subject I’ve ever seen. These two Kiwi ladies acquired married on a ship in Amsterdam, and in some unspecified time in the future, somebody pooped on the toilet ground.

Now, this can be a basic closed thriller — no one may acquired on or off the boat! — so that they put their detective hats to resolve it. It’s completely ridiculous. And I like their cheery New Zealand accents.

People sitting in front of wrought-iron benches in front of the river in Prague, the iron casting shadows in front of them.
Summertime in Prague.

What I Read This Month

Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon (2022) — Molly Shannon is greatest recognized for her characters on late 90s SNL, however what introduced her to that time? Well, plenty of unhappiness, really. When she was 4, her mom, child sister, and younger cousin had been killed in a automotive accident together with her father behind the wheel.

The heartbeat of the guide is Molly’s relationship together with her father, who beloved her deeply, raised her and her sister the very best he may, however was an alcoholic and coping with a lifetime of guilt.

THIS BOOK. This is one in every of my absolute favorites of the yr, and never simply because my mates and I had been obsessive about Molly’s SNL characters as youngsters. Molly’s father is probably the most Dickensian character I’ve ever seen that wasn’t written by Dickens! So many tales of Molly’s pre-fame days are INSANE (She and a buddy as soon as SNUCK ONTO AN AIRPLANE once they had been children and flew to a different metropolis! She and one other fan ran this wild rip-off in Hollywood claiming to work for David Mamet!).

I particularly advocate this one as an audiobook, as a result of you could hear it in Molly’s voice.

You Can’t Be Serious by Kal Penn (2021) — Kal Penn has a narrative like no different — grandson of Ghandian freedom fighters, stoner comedy icon, one in every of only a few Indian main actors within the US, who took a sabbatical from appearing to work for the Obama White House. This is the story of his life, his successes, and his distinctive path.

Whew. I actually loved this guide, and particularly listening to about what his expertise was attempting to get work as an Indian actor within the early 2000s (spoiler alert: racist AF, time and again). And I’ve learn plenty of Obama-era memoirs and beloved listening to his aspect of issues and matching it up with the others.

This guide acquired plenty of consideration when Kal successfully got here out with it, saying he was engaged and sharing how he met his fiancé Josh, NASCAR aficionado. I preferred studying it, however you’ll be able to inform he was SUPER guarded on this a part of the guide. Which is his proper, in fact. It simply felt like he was holding himself again.

Honor by Thrity Umrigar (2022) — This novel tells a swirling story of girls in India. Smita, an Indian American journalist, is known as to report on a narrative of a Hindu girl named Meena being attacked by her household for marrying a Muslim man. Smita swore she would by no means return to India, however she finds herself deeply concerned on this story and Meena’s life.

This was a very good guide and I appreciated the perspective — a girl who left India as a young person after a traumatic expertise and tried to turn out to be as American as she may. So many books within the US about growing international locations deal with poverty porn and trauma, however I appreciated the scenes that came about in Mumbai, studying a lot extra about this metropolis with its many layers.

My solely criticism was that the guide misplaced steam on the finish, and I believe the writer inspired the creator to make it into extra of a romance than was crucial. And the dude in query, Mohan, is a little bit of a Manic Pixie Dream Boy (, the proper man with quirks who likes the principle character for cause).

(Side notice: it was attention-grabbing studying this guide and Kal Penn’s guide again to again. Both books have a personality referred to as Pushpa Auntie. Kal talks about how his household referred to as her Pushy Auntie, which in lots of Indian accents turns into Pussy Auntie!)

How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing by KC Davis (2022) — This is a cleansing and organizing guide not like any you’ve ever learn, as a result of it focuses on neurodivergent individuals and people with anxiousness, despair, fatigue, ADHD, or lack of assist. These are sometimes the individuals who wrestle with chores — “care tasks,” as Davis calls them — and this guide is a delicate, compassionate information to doing what you’ll be able to.

This guide isn’t focused for me, however I actually appreciated studying Davis’s strategy. We maintain a lot disgrace once we can’t maintain a home wanting presentable to somebody from the skin. Instead, deal with small duties which can be inside what you might be personally capable of do.

I additionally preferred her strategy of tidying by dividing all the things into classes: laundry, dishes, not as a substitute, doesn’t have a spot.

A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for a Beautiful, Affordable, and Stress-Free Situation by Meg Keene (2019) — How do you propose a marriage with out going broke or dropping your thoughts? This guide is a manner of getting you to plan a marriage that displays what you and your companion really need (and may afford) with out capitulating to pushy members of the family, Instagram stress, or the marriage industrial advanced.

Pretty a lot everybody recommends this guide for the newly engaged and I believe it’s an ideal learn, if just a little redundant at instances (Do what you need! is mainly restated in dozens of various methods). I particularly preferred the start, the way it encourages you and your companion to deal with the sentiments and vibes you need and go outward from there.

A waterfall falling so gently it looks like sand, behind a green mossy cliff.
Behind an Icelandic waterfall, on Unsplash.

Coming Up in August 2022

This month it’s time for ICELAND, Part II (or IV, technically?)! My buddy Amanda from A Dangerous Business and I are going for 12 days, circling the Ring Road and past!

This, in fact, comes out of my catastrophe in May the place I by accident rented a handbook automobile for my Iceland highway journey, there have been actually no automated vehicles left within the nation, and I needed to go dwelling. But in a number of methods it’s labored out for the higher.

This itinerary is SO significantly better than the one I deliberate earlier than. For one, A NEW VOLCANO IS ERUPTING NOW! Amanda and I plan to hike to it on our first day, so long as it’s nonetheless secure to take action. And two new high-end scorching springs have opened since my final go to: Hvammsvik, between Reykjavik and Snaefellesness, and the Forest Lagoon in Akureyri.

Both of us have been to Iceland a number of instances, however we’ve by no means performed the Ring Road, so that is new territory. We’re including in a number of cool detours — the Tröllaskagi Peninsula and the Westman Islands — plus going whale watching, horseback using on the seaside, taking a puffin-spotting RIB safari, and visiting tons of waterfalls and scorching springs.

What are you wanting ahead to this month? Share away!

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