I could write a book about why I love summer so much.
When I was growing up – before Facebook and cell phones and iPads and wireless internet – my instant messenger and AOL screen name was SummrGirl142! Or something like that. Remember instant messenger? It was the rage.
I grew up spending my summers in the pool. I swam on a swim team and would spend hours outside with my friends. I’d come home and spend even more time in our backyard pool (with my best friend, Katy – hi Katy!). At night, we’d play manhunt – running all over the neighborhood hiding and seeking. We’d rent movies (VHS!) and eat microwave popcorn. One summer, I was skimming our pool getting all the bugs out and fell right in – clothes and all!
As I got older, I’d frequent the Jersey shore with my friends. And no, it is not the stereotypical Jersey shore you have in mind! I’d go to Avalon, Ocean City, Long Beach Island, and Cape May.
I worked at a snack bar and the front desk of a local pool when I was 17 and 18. You couldn’t get me away from the water!
Summers are carefree; full of fresh air, starry nights, beach days, and popsicles. Here are the top 12 things I love about this short season. What do you love about summer?
1) Sundresses! Lots of sundresses. All different patterns. Flowy, casual, strappy, bright colors, and lightweight. I have about 30 of them!
I love this look from Target. I get a lot of my sundress from there for super cheap.
2) Music Festivals! My friends and I go to one each summer. I don’t have any lined up for this summer (cookbook writing is taking over!), but I always have a blast at Lollapalooza or All Good.
3) Beach Hair! When you can put that straightener away and just let it all go. My hair is a mess in the Baltimore humidity, but when I go to the beach – I soak up the salty air!
4) Flip flops. I told you this in my 27 odds + ends about Sally, but I live in my flip flops from April – October. They’re my slippers. I resist the need to put on anything else (besides my running kicks!) even when the late September breeze comes.
Anyone else like that?
5) Suntans. I have the need to get as tan as possible (with sunscreen of course!) and maintain my tan for as long as possible.
6) Beachy Drinks. AKA “boat drinks.” I am a sucker for those frozen umbrella drinks. Nothing says relaxation more. Margaritas and pina coladas are my favorite!
Even better when the drink is bikini-friendly! Add some rum to my Skinny Strawberry Milkshakes. YUM!
7) Frozen Yogurt & Ice Cream. Enough said.
8) Long days. More time to play outside with Jude!
9) Trips to Deep Creek Lake. Last summer, Kevin’s family and I went to Deep Creek Lake on vacation. It was a blast! Despite it raining for most of the trip. We are headed there again this August!
Kevin took me back to Deep Creek Lake in January and Swallow Falls is where he proposed.
10) Summer Fruits! I am a fruit-lover. Total fruit-aholic. Give me a fruity dessert over chocolate any day. Seriously, not lying. Love them.
11) Road trips! Easy-going, fun, and laid back.
Kevin and I plan to take a road trip next June (2014) after my cookbook is out and a few months before our wedding. Stopping in Cleveland to visit my best friend Marie, St.Louis to see my sister Sarah, Colorado to visit Kevin’s friends, Utah to visit Kevin’s friends, Las Vegas to visit Kevin’s sister and niece, and sunny California to visit Kevin’s friends. Yep, we’re bringing Jude!
I make Tropical Granola for road trips. Toasted coconut, mango, bananas, cashews, and pecans. So many different tastes and textures, the perfect snack to munch on the road!
12) The fact that “Anything Goes.” It’s summer. Time for an adventure or time to relax. Ice cream for dinner and drink a margarita for lunch. Live in a bathing suit and paint your nails bright orange. Neon colors, outdoor concerts, country music, beach chairs, iced coffee, juicy peaches, ice cream, sand in your toes, 8pm runs, and big sunglasses.
What does SUMMER mean to you?