This time of year is when people in cold climates just can't take it anymore and head down south to lay on the beach. Unfortunately (or really fortunately) we have too many projects ongoing, so we'll just have to dream about warm weather for now and start this new tradition next year.
I once read about a couple who collected sand from each vacation they ever went on (obviously not to Alaska) and kept it in small clear jars on a shelf. They labeled each jar with the location and date, and each time that they looked at the jar a different memory came to mind.
What an inexpensive and yet meaningful decoration to have on a bookshelf. Plus it’s also a conversation starter especially at the beginning of a party where no one is talking much because they either don't know each other, or not enough guests have arrived yet (we’ve all had those awkward party moments). I imagine someone noticing the jars and had either been to one of the same places, or has always wanted to go there, and it could really get a discussion going.
I hope that you are one of those people who was either fortunate to have gotten in the sun, or you are heading out soon!