Favorite (Summer) Things

Well, it is officially summer, which, in most parts of the United States, brings about elation and joy. I, however, reside in a city that happens to be about 20 feet away from the sun–Scottsdale, Arizona.

Yesterday, the city issued a heat advisory warning as we all watched the temperature climb to a scorching 110 degrees. And that ain’t nothin’. We will reach the 120s by July. Reminder: I am pregnant. Actually, I am really pregnant. I’m due at the end of summer. Oh, lucky me.

But, for all of my complaining about the heat, I really do love summer. I have such great memories of my childhood summers in particular. Now, as my kids grow older, I get to watch them experience some of the same adventures.

Here are my Favorite (Summer) Things for Friday, including some good grub, sweat, bodies of water, and tropical cocktails…

Vacation. My husband and I are known to take a big trip each year in October, to celebrate our anniversary. Yet, every summer we still try to steal away from the heat and relax. Even stay-cations count. There is nothing like packing up, heading off, exploring a new place or enjoying, a familiar spot away from home. I look forward to vacation all year.

Fourth of July. As a kid, nothing beat the Fourth of July. I remember summer after summer being mesmerized and astonished by the beauty, power,and awesomeness of a good fireworks show. This year, my monkeys will be almost 3 and 5 and, man, are they going to love it. I bet the boom might make the baby in my belly jump a bit, too.

BBQ-ing. Truth be told, I am a terrible BBQ-er. I don’t even know how to turn on the grill (it’s that little switchy-push button thingy, right?). It’s my hubster who lights up the barbie and leaves beautiful grill marks on my steak. Um, yum. We open the doors, even though it’s still hot in the evenings, and grill away.

Does anyone else find this picture hilarious and totally creepy?

Swimming. Arizona has the highest rate of pools per capita (we also have the highest rate of drownings; go figure). Growing up in the desert means many summers are spent splashing, floating, and winning or losing rousing games of Marco Polo. Lakes, rivers, streams, and any other body of water are game.

Summer blockbusters. This summer is proving to be one of the best lineup of summer movies in years. Needless to say, I’ll be at the theater a lot.

Otter Pops. Need I say more?

The blue ones are my favorite. I hide them from my kids.

Tan lines. I know, I know, people think they are tacky and, honestly, I don’t like them on myself. There is, however, something so adorable about the tan lines my kids rock. Love ’em.

Frozen concoctions. Sadly, being pregnant prevents me from throwing back the usual summer Margarita or Pina Colada. So have one for me, will ya?

Okay, so what are some of your favorite summer things? Do you even like summer? What is your favorite season? What is your favorite Otter Pop flavor?

image props

25 thoughts on “Favorite (Summer) Things”

  1. Okay, I have to share a quick fireworks story. When my daughter was about 2 years old, we figured that she might like the fireworks, but not the noise, so we watched them from about a mile away. Sure enough, our prediction was accurate. She was on the verge of sobbing the whole time, but nevertheless loved the colors. She kept repeating over and over, “I don’t like it… I don’t like it… I don’t like it… Oooooo a RED ONE!… I don’t like it… I don’t like it… Ooooo a GREEN ONE!… I don’t like it…”

    It was quite funny to watch, but we went home after about 10 minutes.

  2. My “summer” comes in two parts.

    Part 1: Sweating it out in the desert sun in the UAE. This year I have to work here until mid-July, which translated into English means, “Hell-has-overcome-the-face-of-the-earth” hot.

    Part 2: Going back to the US, to Michigan, and seeing family and friends again after a whole year away. Swimming in Lake Superior. Camping in woods (actual trees!). Summer light until 10pm. And this summer (hopefully): getting baptized into the Orthodox Church! :)

      1. Josh,

        I remember standing in the shade in Dhahran, and it would be 101 degrees in the shade and 115 degrees in the direct sun. You could literally feel the temp change as you went in and out of the shade.

        *sigh*….I miss that.

      1. It looks like an old EC comics cover.

        “Has anyone seen mother?”, asks the kid.

        “Why, yes, Timmy. She’s right here for lunch!”

        Cue canned 1950’s Leave it to Beaver laugh track.

  3. I love beach, pool, barbecues and movies. I am going to Hilton Head in a few weeks with the family and so looking forward to it.

    What I don’t like: in NYC there are lots of women who feel too free in the summer. I’m all for trying to look pretty and even sexy and all, but please, leave room for the imagination. I live in a wild city!

    Have a good weekend Nicole!!

    1. Oh I can’t even imagine the scandalously clad women in NY summer time. Eek. I’d rather not.

      I hope you have a great time on vacation! So fun. Will you be blogging or taking a real break?

      1. I’m taking a break. No blogging. I’ll put a funny picture on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and ask for a caption or something. But no writing!

        Thanks and cheers to you. Tell Jonathan I said hi!

  4. Such a fun post! Loved your list. We are home in the South for the summer and it is so nice to have a break from the heat of Thailand, where it sounds a lot like temps of arizona but a killer humidity that makes you just shiny all over. Anyway, all that to say, I have LOVEd summertime here more than probably usual– the front porch and ice tea with lots of ice and beach vacations and cute sundresses and strapless, pretty things to wear. :)

    Happy Summer!

  5. There is NOTHING not to love about summer :) I wait for it all.year.long. I am *always* cold so it is the rare hot day that is “too” hot for me — ha! Let’s see. . .sprinklers, fireworks, BBQs, camp, lightening bugs, later bedtimes, overhead fans whirling, cold drinks on the front porch, flowers, color, sunshine. . .thanks for the chance to list these things — and I did so with a smile on my face. . .no kidding!
    OH, o.k. one thing to NOT like. . .the bugs :(

    1. Jenni,
      Your summers must be spent in a wonderful idyllic place. aka not Arizona!

      Lightening bugs? Sounds so cool. I wish my kids could experience that. we’ll have to vacation somewhere where they can catch them.

      Boating, however, we have tons of in AZ. I grew up going to the lake every weekend. I have great memories of those times. So fun!

  6. Okay, you have captured many of my favorites as well. I remember as a child, being so excited that summer was near. We would stay up all night watching movies, and sleep in late only to get up and run outside to play with all the neighborhood children. Those were awesome times. Simple and fun. We sold ice cream cones, made obstacle courses, rode our bikes, climbed trees, looked forward to the ice cream truck, played at the neighborhood park, and walked to the neighbor corner store to buy our favorite goodies! It pains me that my children can’t have the same experience I had. It’s hard to just send your children outside to play with all the crazies running around. Not to mention it’s a tad bit too hot here. I grew up in TX. I plan on making this summer an awesome experince for my children with simple fun. Thanks for this post. It has me drifting off into memory lane!

    1. Tamarria,
      It sounds like you had such wonderful childhood summers. Your kids will make great memories too no doubt, despite the crazies and the heat.

      I grew up in AZ and I look back with fondness.

  7. I’m a big fan of Hawaiian shaved ice. And state and county fairs, which are the best places to get the aforementioned shaved ice. And jumbo pork tenderloin sandwiches, the official state food of Indiana.

    Oh, and my other favorite thing at the fairs is the mouse game. It’s a game in the midway where there’s this big wheel with numbered holes. You bet on a number, and then they release a mouse into the middle of the wheel and whatever number hole the mouse goes into is the winner! So ridiculous, but so fun.

    1. Rachel,
      Holy cannoli…shaved is the BEST!

      Now as for the fair…um, not so much. The Arizona State Fair is basically a parade of every meth head, junkie, weirdo, perv, and sicko in a 400 mile radius.

      I may just have to come to Indian instead.

      1. But Nicole, if you were a really real Christ-follower, you would want to hang out around meth heads, pervs, and the like. I mean, how can you be such an isolationist?

        Wait for it…wait for it…


  8. I love my tan lines- they are a way to prove to myself and the rest of the world that I do have some level of tan-age going on. I actually always wear the same sandals so I can develop them to their full potential.

    Another thing I love about summer is that it is light longer. June 21 is one of my favorite days of the year :)

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