1. Going to the Beach - any chair on sand at the edge of water will do, but I'm particularly fond of a folding bag chair with a footrest. Around here, we are most likely to go to Lake Clear Beach. If you haven't been there, it's a public beach with no life guard, so you can bring your dog, your floating devices and your cooler... Go to Lake Clear, take rt. 30 as if you are heading to Malone, pass the former Lake Clear School on your left and the "dump" on your right and then watch for an opening in the trees on your left and there is a large parking lot and short trail to the beach.
I love a day at the beach with a good book, a beer and my honey. Nothin' like it.
2. Going Camping - Summer isn't summer without going camping. I guess part of the appeal is that I have a nostalgia from my own childhood of camping with my family. My dad was a busy man, and often working, but the one time we knew we'd get to spend time with him was when we went camping. It is by far the scene of almost every favorite childhood memory I have. As an adult I guess part of what I love about camping is the simplicity, the lack of distractions and the family together time as well. While we play our fair share of games at home, it's a guarantee that while camping there will be lots of games at the picnic table, under the lantern glow. Quiddler is an old favorite, but last year our fav camping companions, Scott and Karen, introduced us to Farkle, a great dice game, and that might be our new favorite.
I think camping is a state of mind. This year the weather was cold and often rainy, but we still loved that we were camping. As my brother Scott says, "a bad day camping is still better than a good day doing anything else." Amen!
3. Eating outside - Weather permitting, I love to eat dinner outdoors. I'm not sure why, but I think it's more leisurely and more relaxing.
4. Having a fire - One of the best purchases we ever made was this backyard fire pit from Dick's. While fire is a given while camping, and I can happily stare for hours into the mesmerizing flames, having a fire pit makes hanging out around the fire an option at home that we do love.
5. Kayaking - We just bought our kayaks at the end of the summer last year, but I have loved every minute we've spent in them. Last week we went on Lower Saranac and paddled around and went for a swim and just spent the morning ON THE WATER. I love the kayaks for a couple reasons, it's exercise I actually don't mind doing and it gets us on the water, and I love being on the water. I think if I could live anywhere it would be on a house boat. Kind of a cross between my two favorite places to be on the water and camping.
6. Morning coffee in the sun - On days when the sun is shining when I get up the first thought I have is, "I want to go sit in the sun and drink my coffee". I do think there's a bit of a sun worshiper in me, that loves to sit in the sun any time really. But there's something about that quiet early morning sun soaking up that I really crave.
7. Going for a walk with my honey - While Carol is great about getting up to go for a walk to exercise, I am not a morning person and don't rise easily. But every time I do, I'm so glad I did. When we are walking, chances are we are talking and there's no laundry or TV or telephones ringing or cats meowing or kids wanting or computers or ipods or distractions of the many sorts that we usually face. Granted, we could walk in the winter, and occasionally do, but nothing beats a stroll when the weather is warm and the breeze is blowin' in the summertime.
8. Cape Cod - We've kind of established a tradition, that in addition to summer = camping, summer also = a trip to the Cape. For the last several years, we've stayed in the same place in North Truro, Horizons Beach Resort, and while it may sound fancy, it's not. But it does have a beach on the ocean (across the road from where we stay) and a pool and it's a 5 min. drive into P-town. This is just a must. We've found a wonderful fresh water pond that we've kayaked on in Wellfleet and a tall ship that we've sailed on in P-town, and wandering the shops along Commercial St. never gets old. But more than anything, it's just nice to be "on the cape". It's a casual, vintage state of mind. If you've been there you'll know just what I mean, and if you haven't - go, it's summer and the Cape is the best place to be.
9. Time off - Now I love my job and I do still work in the summer, but only part-time. I usually arrange my schedule so that I work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - with lots of 4 day weekends. Carol has the same schedule so we get extra "chill time" in the summer that is just simply the best!!
10. Tie between ice cream and margaritas - when the weather gets warm I want to cool off with a refreshing frozen margarita or frozen soft ice cream. I am not a Donnelly's fan - although most people think it's the best ice cream around, I think it's too creamy bordering on slimy. I do like Mountain Mist, especially when they have a fun flavor like coffee.