As summer starts approaching its mid-point, I start to panic. I can almost feel the season slipping away through my fingers. To make myself feel better, I come up with a checklist of activities that make my summer complete and commit to doing them. Then I can relax and start in on the fun!
1. Swim. Poolside, lakeside, beachside—I'll take any of them, and I'll take them as often as I can. I love the contrast of the sweltering heat and the cool, refreshing water. It helps me find my summer Zen.2. Road trip. All I need is a new magazine, my favorite chicken salad, my feet on the dashboard, and the open road ahead. Not to mention stops at roadside stands and eclectic gas stations along the way. 3. Outdoor concert. Live music doesn't sound any better than it does outside on a summer evening beneath the stars. Throw in a handful of fireflies for ambiance. 4. Hike. The hard work and occasional huffing and puffing up a mountain or hillside is well worth the payoff—sweeping views of lush summer valleys. 5. Barbecue. One of my favorite smells in the world is meat and veggies on the grill. I especially love it when the smell is coming from my grill. 6. Amusement park. I'm a sucker for roller coasters, funnel cakes, and cheesy haunted house rides. And cotton candy. And oversized stuffed animals. And corn dogs. And bumper cars. And, and, and... 7. Picnic. Finding a great picnic spot is like finding a pot of gold, in my opinion anyway. Whether it's beneath a gorgeous leafy tree, a secluded corner of a park, or a smooth slab of rock overlooking the sea, I love to spread a beautiful old blanket and munch on my favorite picnic foods with a handful of special people. On second thought, maybe just one special person. 8. Homemade ice cream. A tradition that screams summer is a fresh batch of homemade ice cream, made with freshly picked peak-perfect summer fruits. I've never met a person that doesn't like homemade ice cream and I don't think I want to. 9. Campfire. Sitting around a campfire, even if it's built in a backyard pit, is a summer must. The flicker of the flames is mesmerizing and just the setting for long visits, spooky stories, and marshmallow roasting. 10. Summer reading. I like to break away from my usual picks for the summer and indulge in something different for the summer. Sultry novels, psycho-thrillers, and mind-blowing non-fiction have all been summer friends of mine. What's on your summer checklist? Share your thoughts in the comments section. I'd love to know!