It’s been a heady summer.  Brimming over with reading, giggling and consumption of fermented beverages that caused me to giggle more.

I drank red wine, the potion of seduction, while reading Serendipity in Sihanoukville.  Elaine Thatcher convinced this skeptic that bar pickups can lead somewhere.

Sally Thelen’s recounting of a date gone wrong in Osaka Fizzles Teriyaki Style left me passed out on tequila from laughter and exhaustion, the equivalent to fun in a glass. Oh, but the crashing part is never pretty.

That was May.

Then June came around and summer was at it’s beginning stages, so the party kept going.

In the middle of swilling passion-fruit vodka, I applauded Giulia Cimarosti’s ode to aesethic diversity in World of Beauty.  She left me beaming with pride and feeling gorgeous.

I boldly broke two rules, because when under the influence of alcohol, I can’t be held accountable.  1.  Miz whiskey hater (me) tried a Manhattan! 2. I bended the rules from the editorial mandate and featured my friend, well-known blogger, speaker and marshmallow lover, Jodi Ettenberg.  She regaled us with her tongue-in-cheek experience on her monthly friend in Tissue Woman in the Philippines.

My conclusions?  I still don’t like whiskey and Jodi’s story was a superb choice.

July is the laziest point of summer, when you lie on a patch of freshly cut grass, stare at your toes, the sky, because really, you have nowhere to be, and for once, that’s a good thing.

That’s why I giggled something awful at New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Florence.  The antics that Natalie Vartanian had to go through just to (ahem) bed her Italian Stallion went down free and easy with a spiked Italian soda (some Fragolino).  Oh, and her first foray into group travel, how cool was that?

I was almost weeping from gin and the nerve-wracking immersion into solo travel that Marie Elena Martinez’s endured.  The weird language!  The lonely hotel room.  Her destination? Ecuador.  Once she re-balanced herself, I yelped with joy, spilling gin all over the place.  Then, I cried anyway.  Note to self: scratch off gin on the must-drink list.

I always view August as a purgatory of sorts.  The doorway between endings and beginnings, of shorter nights creeping up and the cocooning fall days ahead.

Which is why you gotta take it up a notch.  Explore things that might be scary. Face new challenges and come out wiser.

The Day Everything Stopped in Vienna left me white-knuckled, but educated.  Connie Hum stepped up to the plate in survival mode when her entire identity was ripped from under her.  Lessons learned, and her inner strength shined through.

Which is why it was necessary to throw down with Kick-Ass in Central AmericaDalene Heck went all ninja and landed one helluva a roundhouse kick, even if it was a wee bit imaginary.  Woot woot, sister!

Trust me; wish I could have included all of you in the round up.  Launching this series is the most fun I’ve had in a summer, in a long time.  Reading your tales was a treat, sharing them even more so, and getting to know a group of chicks conquering the world was worth it all.

The question is, will I do it next year? Hmmmm…