Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. I've already got a BBQ to attend this weekend, and new bathing suits are arriving via UPS any day now. It's the most wonderful time of the year, as far as I'm concerned. The big fat man in the red suit's got nothin' on summer.
1. Summer Concerts: Summer brings more concerts, particularly outdoor festival-type shows with several bands, tailgating, and lots of shirtless guys with badass tattoos. It is far more satisfying to leave a venue sweaty and grimy after a full day and night of rocking out than walking out of an area after a mere few hours. Plus, I get to wear my signature cowboy hat. No one appreciates it indoors.
2. BBQs/Pool Parties: It's not even so much about the food. By the time September rolls around, I couldn't be more sick of macaroni salad. It's the social atmosphere. Everyone's chill, having a good time, drinking fun and fruity drinks. Evening swimming is always a blast. No matter how old you are, it feels like a special grown-up treat to swim at night. Little kids don't get to do that.
3. The Beach: Two summers ago, I had Fridays off. For the first time in my life, I went to the beach alone. And though it wasn't a long stay, it was one of the highlights of that summer. I find the beach to be incredibly spiritual, especially when it's quiet (which is hard to find in the summer), when the only things that seem alive are you and the ocean. The ocean is powerful and mysterious and to be revered and respected. I adore the beach, even on crowded days. Even with the stupid seagulls. And the people-watching. Ohhh, the people-watching on the Jersey Shore is top notch!
4. General attitude: People are happier in the summer. There's a more laid-back collective, traffic is lighter, the kids are out of school, schedules loosen up a bit. Everything flows a little more smoothly when people aren't rushing through their days Monday - Friday. People are more pleasant. Maybe it's the Vitamin D.
5. "Solar" Energy: Summer makes me want to get out there and do stuff, see things, go places. The days are too beautiful to waste on the couch, the choices are plentiful, and before you know it, we'll be back to stuffing ourselves into jeans and sweaters and thinking about Christmas. Farmer's markets, street fairs, the Boardwalk, the park... It's hard to take advantage of the summer when you work the 9-5, but I'm far more ambitious (and poor) during the summer months.
So, a virtual "toast" to the arrival of summer. May your grills burn hot, your drinks stay cold, and your tan lines be minimal. Happy Summer!