Summer is by far the shortest season of the year. Except if you live in Southern California or the dessert, and then I have no sympathy for you. Every year it whizzes by, taking with it all the fun things you can only do 3 months out of the year. When the temperatures start to hit 95, you curse this unbearable season, but then you always miss it when it’s gone. Since the season is so fleeting, I try to pack in as much as I can before it’s over. That means put the Netflix account on pause, use your oven as storage, and abandon the inside of your apartment for greener pastures. Here’s a short list of things you should do this summer before you’re back on the couch with your Snuggie, reflecting back on the things you could have done.
Go to a Pool Party
This past weekend I found myself at a pool party in the middle of Brooklyn. The last time I was in an actual pool was probably two years ago, so I get pretty worked up over the opportunity to swim. There is certainly a lack of pools in New York if you don’t count hotels or community pools, so if you do find yourself at a pool party, you go all out. At first I was being a big girl about (wah my hair) but then eventually caved and dived in. It was like an old MTV pool party, a graduation party, and a house party, all rolled into one. There were kegs, boxed wine, plenty of James Brown, and weirdly lots of asymmetrical swimsuits. I don’t think I’ve seen so many grown men do cannonballs in my entire life. Back Hair, Schmack Hair, nothing stopped them. Unlike public pools, I didn’t find any Baby Ruth’s floating around, but I did find a cast-off piece of dreadlocks floating around. I realize for people on the West Coast and those who live in the suburbs, that in-ground pools are old hat, but if you do have access to one or know somewhere who does, your ass better be in there all summer. If you’re like me, and your swimming opportunities are limited, I highly recommend sneaking into pools at night or start making friends of people who live in a swank housing complex.
Recently I was telling a friend I wanted to organize a trip to go tubing down a river. Her eyes lit up like I just told her Santa Claus was real. And there’s a reason for that, tubing is truly one of most fun things you can do outdoors. If you’ve ever been to water park, there’s always a ride called the Lazy River which involves laying on an inner tube and letting the current do all the work for you. Tubing is also great for leisure enthusiasts, all you need is your swimsuit, a case of beer, and some friends. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can always do what I did and bring along a shitty radio encased in a Ziploc bag. Just hope that your local radio station pumps out some consistent summer jams, because you can’t change the station. Most local places will rent you a tube, but if you want to go on the cheap, stop by the dollar store, pick up your own float and let the river/lake pull you along.
I think the last time I went full-on camping was in the 4th Grade at Hersey Park with the rest of my fellow Girl Scouts. One scout had eaten too many Hershey bars and ended up puking all over our tiny campground area. Needless to say I was somewhat scarred by the experience. But now that those mental images are no longer in my head, I’m ready to pitch a tent again and rough it in the wild. And by wild I mean, preferably a campground with Port-O-Potties or maybe the beach. Plenty of my friends have returned from the camping trips the past couple of weeks with tales of sharing stories round the fire, eating charred hot dogs, and drinking cheap beer into the night. As long as you don’t live near any Grizzly Bear habitats, you can pretty much camp anywhere. Extra bonus points to anyone that brings along a ukulele.
Watch the Sunrise
This seems like simple advice I know, but when was the last time you were up to actually take a good look at a killer sunrise? Stumbling home from an after party does not count. The only thing you’re focusing on, is learning how to walk again. I’m talking about tracking down a rooftop perch or the top of a hill and really taking it in. Romantic cliche or not, you can even go solo and enjoy something we often take for granted. Because the only thing you’ll be taking in come winter, is various types of hot carbs.