What Does Summer Mean to You?

As the Memorial Day weekend fades in the rear view mirror known as the calendar year, we are on to one of our favorite times of the year: summer! Say it with me now, “Summer, Summer, Summer.”  Throughout the next few months we’ll be periodically posting from guest bloggers about what summer means to them.

First up, Laura Donaldson. You know her from roles as the Administrative Assistant in the History Department and part-time Secret Agent. You’ll have to ask her about the legend of Secret Agent L sometime.


I love summer. I love the sun, the warmth, the blue skies. And I particularly love the slower pace. During the academic year, things can get pretty hectic in my office. Students and faculty often approach my desk with requests, emergencies, and problems that need to be solved. There are also projects that need to be completed, events that need to be planned, and meetings I need to go to. So when May rolls around, I feel myself begin to breathe again, as well as want to do things away from the office. And while I’m not really a “sun worshipper” due to my very sensitive, fair skin, I do enjoy being outside for a little while and feeling the fresh air inhabit my senses.

This summer, my husband Ross (aka The Ross-a-tron) and I have decided that we’d like to take a trip to see some friends in Savannah, Georgia, but we’d also like to enjoy a lot of what our own backyard has to offer. Pittsburgh really is a tremendous place to see, to do, and to experience.

One of our favorite places in Pittsburgh is Highland Park. There’s an incredible reservoir there with a walking path around the entirety of it. On a clear, blue day, it’s one of the most magnificent places to be, just feeling the breeze and the sun and hearing the gentle lapping of the water up against the reservoir walls. There are even ducks that make their way there and provide endless fun as they bob their heads in and out of the water. There’s also a gorgeous fountain in the center of the park where benches surround it in a circular fashion. Families and children spend time dipping their feet in the fountain, and adventurous pooches splash and play until their owners reluctantly lead them on to the next spot. My husband and I will definitely be making frequent visits to Highland Park.

Another thing we’d like to do this summer is take a Segway tour. About seven years ago, my husband surprised me with a Segway tour of the city for our anniversary. At first, I was so hesitant. I’m rather clumsy, and I was sure that I’d fall off my Segway in the middle of a busy downtown intersection! But after some practice in a controlled environment before hitting the town, I felt confident and couldn’t wait to get going. It was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had! We went all over the city with our group and our tour guide—we even went across the Fort Duquesne Bridge! And as we zoomed by on our Segways, pedestrians and drivers couldn’t help but smile and wave. It brought so much joy to everyone around! I highly recommend this activity to anyone who enjoys being outside and wants to see Pittsburgh from a new angle.

We also plan on going to see a baseball game (provided the Pirates are still doing well!). We’re not really sports people (Shhh! Don’t tell anyone! Especially in this town!), but we do enjoy being a part of a group of people where there’s excitement and community. Plus, the view of the city from PNC Park is second to none. And who doesn’t like baseball park food?!

So this summer, my husband and I may depart from beautiful Pittsburgh for a short break to see our friends down South, but the majority of our time will be spent with each other in our beautiful city. Sometimes, the best experiences and memories are had and made right at home!

-Laura Donaldson

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