Once Upon a Summer

That Tennessee chill

That Tennessee chill

I love summer. I don’t mind the heat. I look forward to that air of informality, and I appreciate the more laid-back attitude that it brings to the Palm Beach community.

As I write this, I am sitting in the passenger seat while my hubby drives my family from Birmingham to Savannah. We have been traveling for 10 days on an epic road-trip celebrating my son Nik’s high school graduation. We wanted to have one last hurrah before he goes abroad to Quito, Ecuador, where he will be studying Spanish.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens in all its glory.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens in all its glory.

As a mom, this is equal parts scary and exciting. Being from Ecuador myself (not from Quito tho), I could not be happier that he is going to experience the “Mother Land” firsthand, uninhibited or influenced by my own prejudices and opinions. On the other hand, he will be traveling in South America alone, and figuring out where he belongs in this world of ours without my hubby or me. This is the scary part.

I’m aware that is the whole point of parenting. To love hard, nurture, teach and even ground them, but it’s never really about us. We do it for them, so they can have the tools and skills to make it on their own and grow up to be the cool little creatures they are meant to be. I guess it’s easier said than done, but I am handling it.

Blue jean babies.

Blue jean babies.

We started our trip in Nashville, which is quite a little city, but first the boys had their own road trip driving together thru the Florida Panhandle and spending time in the North Florida and in Montgomery, Alabama. I am happy they had their moments together, doing whatever it is they do, and eating whatever it is they eat when I’m not around. We met up with each other in Tennessee, where our family adventure began.

Boys and their sticks. Hiking Radnor Lake.

Boys and their sticks. Hiking Radnor Lake.

We did plenty of hiking and visited some wooded areas and state parks. We went to a music museum, an organic farm, and even a Christian skateboard Church. We gained a new perspective on America, just in time for the biggest 4th of July celebration in the US. We then moved on to Birmingham, and later Savannah. All very different southern cities.

Romantic Savannah stroll.

Romantic Savannah stroll.

My kids grow by leaps and bounds during travel. Our collective experiences and the challenges we face on the road also bond us closer as a family. The boys ask questions, play cards, renegotiate their territory, and eat so much sugar I cant help but complain (even though I always promise I won’t), and sometimes I even indulge in some bad food myself.

Cruising historic Savannah in a stained shirt because biscuits.

Cruising historic Savannah in a stained shirt because biscuits.

I’m happy to report we learned so much about civil rights and saw beautiful art relating to the subject. It was a rude awakening to re-learn that it’s actually so much more recent than we think it is, and we had beautiful, thoughtful conversations on the painful history of the US. IT was a nice reminder not to take for granted what the movement did for all of us.

Of course I’m always trying to create content and do some jewelry photos, but the reality was that on trips like these, where we are focused on family, traveling and mainly the outdoors, I don’t often change my jewels. I do have my go-to’s that keep me looking fab, even while hiking in 101 degree weather. I lived in these three pieces by Patricia Robalino, and often called upon these bangles by Idalia Baudo to change it up.

I never leave home without my timeless diamond studs and Flora necklace. Loving the Blue Topaz for summer, great for layering with my mother of pearl drop.

I never leave home without my timeless diamond studs and Flora necklace. Loving the Blue Topaz for summer, great for layering with my mother of pearl drop.

The Muse cuff is an absolute stunner and very much at home here at Cheekwood in Nashville.

The Muse cuff is an absolute stunner and very much at home here at Cheekwood in Nashville.

As I drive home inspired and hopeful, we are talking and planning. Like I said, traveling brings us closer because we have this shared experience and new awareness relating to the world around us. Our lives are so darn busy and fragmented these days, especially now with Nik in college, that these precious moments are even more special.

A long kiss goodnight during Nik's "long kiss goodbye"

A long kiss goodnight during Nik's "long kiss goodbye"

Life is fleeting, and we have to fight to be in the moment every day. With each trip we take we come to see how much we love our kids, and realize how they are really on “loan.”  Travel, is what connects us more and more. Every time we share an experience together, we can just be and grow and ultimatly feel safw within the confines of our little family. 

 

My home away from home: my family

My home away from home: my family

I hope I might have inspired you that you to make some time this summer and drive somewhere and take a moment, alone or with your fam. I also urge you to just be, not only do. Museums and botanical gardens are my favorite places to do that. We visited plenty of them and wandered aimlessly. We also watched a lot of 80’s sci-fi movies and laughed, and stayed up late and had cereal and ice cream for dinner. Life is good. Happy Summer!

 

xoxo

Gaby

PS All jewelry in this post available thru me. Pls email: gaby@thecuratedlook.com