It’s Summer—This Time for Real!

Yesterday marked the summer solstice, the longest day of the year (at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere), as well as the official first day of summer.

Summer? What’s that? we may be asking ourselves, after having last year’s pretty much taken away from us by the pandemic. But now that so many in the country have been vaccinated, we’re finally venturing out again to eat indoors at restaurants, go to the movies, local parks, and the beach. Even ride the Giant Dipper roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, screaming in glee all the way, letting out some of the pent-up stress and anxiety from the previous fifteen months.

As for me, I’m looking forward to maskless barbecues this summer, as well as cocktail parties in our back yard, enjoying gin and tonics, finger food, and the company of friends that I so dearly missed during 2020.

And walks sans mask along the ocean with Robin and Ziggy, stopping to chat with folks along the way. And baseball and the Tour de France—with spectators once again! And most of all, hugs—long, tight, squeezing HUGS! Boy, did I miss that.

But I’m also looking forward to continuing some of the activities we did over the past year, such as eating outdoors at restaurants who’ve set up sidewalk cafés, replete with planter boxes and heat lamps.

Robin toasting our al fresco date

An now that summer is here, those heat lamps aren’t even necessary, and we can dine outdoors in our aloha shirts and flip flops. And the good news—at least here in Santa Cruz—is that the county has agreed to let restaurants continue this practice, at least through the end of the year.

So I say, happy summer to you all, and may you enjoy it in the company of family and friends!

Readers: What are you looking forward to doing this summer? Are there any changes due to Covid that you see as positive and hope will continue into the future?

38 thoughts on “It’s Summer—This Time for Real!

    1. I’m not generally a fan of roller coasters (I’m too much of a scaredy-cat), but I LOVE the Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk–especially that view you get of the whole Monterey Bay as you reach the top of that first climb (click, click, click…) before you WHOOSH down. Wheee!! (But sorry about your sun glasses.)

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Happy summer!

    Unfortunately, I think it’s too late for mud runs (although I should check to see if one or two are going to happen this fall) and my summer league ultimate Frisbee again this year. But hopefully I will get plenty of swimming in this year. And a few more trips to the beach.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. My goal last year was do some literary festivals, to which it’s difficult to be accepted as a self-published author. Unfortunately, many were shut down by the pandemic, and it looks as if a lot of them have not returned for this year, either. But I’ll just keep on keepin’ on…

    Liked by 5 people

  3. It may be officially summer, but our high today in Marquette is 57. In the U.P., we sometimes joke, “I hope summer falls on a Saturday this year!”

    Liked by 6 people

  4. The hubs and I spent yesterday at the (NH) shore. Well, not exactly the beach…we did drive along it, but we pretty much ate and drank our way through the “city” of Portsmouth. Just watching the boats go by while having a pina colada was like some kind of dream. I’m so grateful this summer, but I do keep my mask on hand, just in case. I noticed I was not alone in that, in the midst of all the fun. One semi-cough from anyone within a 5 mile radius, or just an uneasy feeling, and it’s on.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I LOVE roller coasters! I wish there was one near us where we don’t have to pay a gazillion bucks for entire theme park admission. I just want the roller coasters! I’m looking forward to gin-and-tonics on the patio, although I may or may not have already had a few out there. I’m loving going back into restaurants instead of just carrying out. Not everything travels very well! But I’ll do some ugly crying when our live theatre opens up again for our Broadway season ticket series. Ugly. Crying.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I’m looking forward to camping this summer. It’ll be nice to be outdoors and under the stars with s’mores in hand.

    I like having outdoor dining options available, so I hope those will continue. Some restaurants that didn’t do reservations before are still keeping that system going, so I’d want that to last. Also, these affordable virtual writing conferences where I get to see fabulous writers from all over are wonderful (although I do miss in-person events).

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Fabulous photos and post, Leslie! I can feel the excitement and energy radiating from the page.

    Last week I hugged my bestie, something that hasn’t happened in 15 months. That was a huge highlight. I also enjoyed a meal al fresco (and sans mask), which was lovely, as well. Ahhhhhh summer!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Great photos, Leslie!
    For me- the hugs were a huge loss during the height of the pandemic. Sadly, I can no longer do coasters, but I’d have taken Becky Clark on if I could. With Neurological stuff happening, Becky would have to grab an ankle and drag me off if she’d be so kind. Summer- I love to swim, and I just want to be around family and people. I look forward to some concerts and going to Pride in my area of PA. Because it kept falling on Father’s Day, they changed it from June to August now. Got this year’s shirt ready too- it says “Wingaydium Lesbiosa.” and has a rainbow feather on it. Could not pass that one up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tracy, you and I could do the roller coaster, get kind strangers to help us extricate ourselves, then we’d go lurch around the closest Pride Festival trying not to spill our drinks or drop our cotton candy.

      Liked by 2 people

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