Summer has finally arrived. It is my favorite season. There are many things I love about summer...here are just a few of my favorites in no particular order.
Being a Beach Bum
One of our favorite summertime activities is heading up to Hampton Beach on the weekend. We like to get there early in the morning to take advantage of the cheaper parking prices and plant ourselves on a premium spot before everyone else claims their part of the sand. We bring a cooler filled with fruit, chips, sandwiches and drinks. We also pack a lot of sunscreen as my husband and kids are very fair skinned and burn very easily. Nothing is more relaxing to me than sitting at the beach reading a book, listening to the waves and my kid's laughter and smelling the ocean air.
They have bands playing in the half shell. We will usually head up there at least once during our day trip to escape the sun for a little bit. Another must-do at the beach is heading to Blink's Fried Dough. You can top your fried dough with virtually anything.
The Smell of Suntan Lotion
Yes...I love the smell of suntan lotion. When I start getting the winter blahs, I head over to Yankee Candle and pick up the Sun & Sand room freshner. Currently, I have two at home and one at work. Just a spritz of it brings summer memories of hanging out at the beach.
We usually take a family vacation during the summer months. This year we are planning a trip to Washington D.C. Last year we went to my all time favorite family vacation spot; Disney World. The year before my husband's family rented a house at the Cape (that would be Cape Cod to those of you not familiar with New England). I love the whole process of picking a vacation spot to planning it then finally heading to our destination. I'm already thinking about what we could do next year and we haven't even been on this year's vacation yet.
Warm Summer Nights
Everything about a warm summer night is appealing to me. I love sitting outside sipping on iced tea in the evening. We finally bought a patio set this year and are anxious to get some use out of it. I like when we keep the window open at night and take the comforter off the bed. The night starts to cool and a light breeze comes in through the window. Then of course, I wake up in the middle of the night cold, shut the window and wrap myself in the comforter.
The highlight of our summer is the 4th of July. When my husband's grandparents were alive they would have a big party at their house. They had an inground swimming pool. It was where all of the grandkids learned how to swim. In the evenings we would meet my parents for fireworks. In more recent years since both my husband's grandparents and my parents have passed away, we spend 4th of July at home and then go to the local fireworks with the kids. Two years ago we moved to a place closer to town which also meant closer to where they set off the fireworks. The first year we moved into the new place my daughter wasn't feeling well on the 4th of July so I stayed home with her while my husband took our son to watch the fireworks. I was standing outside when the fireworks went off to see if I could watch them from our place. When it came towards the end of the fireworks and they got really loud our home started vibrating so much that it woke my daughter up and scared our cat.
Up at Hampton Beach they have fireworks every Wednesday night during the summer months. We try to get up there at least once to watch them. It's nice sitting on the sand at night with the moon up above shining down on the water while the fireworks are going off.
Our town has a summer concert series. During the months of July and August they have a band play every Tuesday and Thursday after dinnertime. We break out the beach chairs and bring them to the park with a bag of drinks and snacks. It's a lot of fun listening to the different bands play, watching the little kids dancing and being with other families in the community.
We have a drive-in theater not too far from our home. It is about a forty minutes away. When my now teenagers were younger we would go to the drive-in every week. We would pack some food and drinks and head over. On the way there we would sometimes pick up a pizza. During holiday weekends the drive-in shows three movies instead of two. When the kids were younger we had a van and would take the last row out of it. We would park the van backwards and sit in the back of the van and watch the movie. We always brought plenty of blankets, pillows and insect repellent. We made a lot of memories with the kids at the drive-in.
Head over to driveintheater.com to see if there is a drive-in near you.
We were so excited when we moved from our apartment to a home where we could have a grill. I think being able to own a grill was more exciting then moving out of the apartment. My husband has become the king of the grill! We are always marinating something or finding a new recipe to try on the grill.
Fresh Fruits & Veggies
We are always stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer. There is nothing more refreshing than biting into watermelon and having the juice run down your face. Just thinking about it makes me want to run to the store and buy one.