For more than 20 years, my favorite place for summer vacation has been Martha’s Vineyard. Early morning swims and exercise in open water with the Polar Bears group at a beach known as The Inkwell are among my favorite experiences.
Almost nothing takes my breath away like the shimmer of early morning light bouncing off the ocean surface or the chill that wakes up my body and brain as I step into the water for the morning group swim. There are rules for this engagement. Someone is always watching, and no one swims alone. New swimmers or those growing older and less steady on their feet walk into the water holding hands. We are assured that if we endure the initial chill we will be blessed with the healing joy that only swimming in saltwater on Martha’s Vineyard can bring.
But this gathering is not only about the water; it is also about community. People come to share news and to seek and provide support. Every summer, we look forward to those moments when, in spite of whatever life dared to bring us, we are here together on this beautiful island again.—Sadie Burton-Goss, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Babson
For as long as I can remember, my parents, two brothers, and I have escaped our old Kentucky home in the summer months to stay in Atlantic City. Crossing the bridge into the city, we roll down our windows and are overwhelmed with the salty air that my nose will soon become accustomed to but my hair certainly will not. I spend my time on the beach where the ice cream man walks along the shore. When it is too dark to stay, I meander to the boardwalk and am surrounded by sights that you can’t find in Kentucky, from casinos and palm readers to hermit crab shacks and saltwater taffy stands.
As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve become less enthralled by all the ice cream and mini golf. And I’d say the excitement at the shore has dwindled since so many casinos closed. But I do still go to Atlantic City, and as soon as I roll down my windows, I am greeted with the comfortable familiarity of a home away from home.—Lisa Cole ’18
My husband, Kevin Wittnebert ’02, and I go to Park City, Utah, every summer. We went on a ski trip there once and fell in love with it year round. It is where we plan to retire. We absolutely love it—hiking, biking, boating, paddle boarding, national parks, street markets every day, gorgeous sunsets. There’s just something about the mountains that puts everything in perspective.—Abby Fabiaschi ’02, author of I Liked My Life
Summer unfolds like a peony bloom for me every year. I am surprised by its scents, its layers, its deliciousness. I live on the North Shore of Boston, in the very city, Salem, in which I was born. This sometimes perplexes me, but each summer’s advent reminds me of why, in the words of the great singer and songwriter Jonathan Richman, “I love New England best.”
Summer means travel for most, but I don’t need to go far. My public library is so close that my children learned to toddle and skip by taking the brick sidewalks to the children’s room. In the other direction, I can bike a breezy mile to the ocean and decide whether I want to marvel alongside the tourists on Derby Wharf or enjoy a luxurious, salty-aired, beachside read at Waikiki Beach. And nothing beats a summer night downtown with my longtime neighborhood friends. We slip cool linen over our sunburnt skin and compete in raucous trivia at a pub or sip elegant, sugar-rimmed cocktails on an outdoor patio. My city contains the world in its visitors, its flavors, its streets, and its citizens. I have no reason to leave.—Kerry Rourke, lecturer in English at Babson