June // 7 Ways to Kick Back and Enjoy the Summertime
- Baseball – America’s past time is slow on purpose. It’s the kind of sporting event you can actually go to and kick back at. Drink a beer. Chat with a friend. Things happen all at once, and the crowd will let you know. But for 80% of the game, you can sit back and drink in the summer. A lot of people have it in their heads that going to games is expensive. But if you’re visiting the Nats, you can probably get $5 tickets (or can find better tickets at a discount), and you’re allowed to bring in your own food and water. Many other MLB teams have similar policies. Additionally, minor league teams are a great bargain, and they’re EVERYWHERE. So go out, and enjoy America’s pastime – not matter what!
- Pool time – we are lucky enough to have our own little pool. And while we initially scoffed at the idea of one in our backyard (especially in quirky, small-lotted Del Ray), it’s gotten to be a pleasure to go home, change into my suit, and be out for a dip in the backyard in less than 5 minutes. No muss, no fuss, no dragging a bag of 200 small items and 4 different kinds of sunscreen. No debating whether there will be a lounge chair for me, or enough time at the pool to make the trip worthwhile. It’s there, and it’s easy for 10 minutes or the entire afternoon. But cooling off on a hot day – whether at your own, at the neighborhood club, or community center is a relaxing summer-only treat.
- Popsicles – make your own, buy the sugariest candy-studded ones out there, or the ones with whole chunks of fruit. It’s hard to feel stressed when you’ve got ice cream on a stick. Popsicles are honestly one of my favorite parts of the summer, and lucky girl that I am…someone left some in our freezer while we were away recently! Plus, our local custard and ice cream parlor has a pretty swanky lineup of fancy-flavor popsicles that I think I’ll be sampling this year…
- Outdoor movies – Our neighborhood does a monthly outdoor screening of a kids movie in the park near the community center. Too often our schedules just don’t mesh with the posted one, but once or twice per summer we have a chance to pull out the picnic blanket and stretch out under the stars while watching a terrific (or cheesy but fun) family movie. It’s such a fun and different feeling to watch a movie outside. Like you’re cheating – this is not how movies are supposed to work. My family used to visit the drive-in movies when were near one, and it’s such a different experience to watch a movie outdoors.
- Books – As a kid, I was always super excited about the summer reading program at my local library. And despite the fact that I am no longer attempting to finish 25 books in an effort to earn myself a free ice cream cone and my name on the wall, I love to find new stuff to read during the summer. Summer reading tends to be different kind of reading – the fare is usually lighter, less serious. You don’t read your thousand-page-tome on the life of a founding father (unless it’s that Ron Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton that inspired the musical), and instead read a new thriller, space opera, or tale of rich people vacationing in faraway places. I’ve got a few books lined up for myself, and some re-reads that should be fun as well.
- Salads – In the summer, it’s hard to motivate yourself to turn on the oven. And sometimes even the stovetop. So it’s important to look for recipes that don’t include either of those. The best way that I’ve found to get around this self-imposed kitchen ban is to make salads. Usually ingredients don’t need to be cooked. Or if they do, it’s not for long. I’ll definitely be trying to stretch my salad-making repetoire this summer, but if you’re interested in one of my previous recipes, we’ve got my favorite quinoa spinach salad, the roasted brussels sprouts salad (which does require the oven, but is worth it!), and the lemon garlic dressing which I definitely need to make again.
- Vacation – We as a country are bad at taking our vacation time. DC is especially bad at it. And having recently come back from a vacation, I can tell you that it is completely worth it. Not having to dress for both the weather and the icy blast of air conditioning. Not having to deal with annoying coworkers. Not having to play the office politics. In fact, if you can find a way to turn off your phone and have an unplugged vacation, even better. The world is a pretty incredible place, and too often we spend our time in it with our noses in our phones. Go out – relax or have an adventure. Explore the world – even if it’s in your state, and only for a long weekend. Get away from the daily grind, and take advantage of the extended sunshine hours.
Details: This post is part of Project Reverb 2017, which sends out monthly (and sometimes daily during a month-long challenge in December) writing prompts for bloggers. If you’re interested in participating, sign up here.