Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The It's Almost Summertime Special

No matter how many years I'm out of school, when May rolls around I always get summertime fever. It's the time of year when full days to spend as you please were tantalizingly close and total freedom just around the corner. Unfortunately I don't have the type of career that let's me have entire months off. But I do not plan to let this keep me down. This is a sampling of some of the awesome activities that I plan to fill my weekends and warm summer evenings with for the next few months.

Visiting the vineyards of Long Island
Long Island is home to a wonderland of hundreds of picturesque vineyards clustered in groups along the north and south forks of the far eastern portion of the isle. They are more beautiful than you could imagine while passing the hundreds of strip malls on your way out. It’s only a short drive from spot to spot making flight hopping a fun summer sport if you can manage to drag yourself away from the first one you happen upon.

Kayaking several bodies of water throughout NYS
There’s a sound tucked away on Long island that offers all day kayaking for $40. Unheard of anywhere else! The little inlet is full of boats to spectate, and little islands to pull-up to and picnic upon. Just be careful of going on windy days. It makes it difficult to paddle in after a day of sunning and swimming. Other places I plan to kayak? The Hudson river using one of NYC’s glorious free kayaks , and my uncle’s summer camp at Sacandaga Lake .

Riding the Codzilla
Speed? Awesome tunes? A refreshing blast of water when the sunny day becomes too much? Yes please. What more could you ask for in a summer activity besides a giant raging river ride through the Boston Harbor made for adults?

Climbing the Fire Island Lighthouse
Ok, so I agree with you that climbing a narrow, dimly lit spiral staircase can be nauseating and claustrophobia inducing. The view at the top? Worth it.

Making a couple pitchers of homemade Sangria and picnicking in Central Park. This will probably be followed by some wiffle ball. I don’t really like white Sangria. But that is because I’m convinced that the people making it/selling it just aren’t making it with the wines/fruits I enjoy. It always looks so delicious, but just isn’t tasty enough for me. Thus this summer I will be inventing my own white sangria recipe (and posting it here), and enjoying it’s crisp refreshment while munching on bread and cheese under the afternoon sun. Things it will definitely include: At least one bottle of Riesling to sweeten it up, peaches, and a little bit of papaya juice. Stay tuned for the rest.

Canoeing on one or more of the multitude of lakes surrounding my home town
I grew up in a little town outside of Albany. I own a canoe. There are 6 lakes within a 10 minute drive from my house. Enough said. Some of my fondest memories with my friends involve strapping a boat to my car and popping it into a body of water then paddling around for hours. Hopefully this will include jumping off some docks as well.

Attending the very first non-family wedding of my life
This one I’m very excited about. Four of my girlfriends got engaged this year. The first one is tying the knot in a few weeks and will be my first friend EVER to get married! Weddings I have to look forward to? One on the beach in Portland, ME, a destination wedding in Hawaii, and my first hometown wedding in Upstate NY.

Making Margarita popsicles
From a recipe I found here on one of my favorite blogs (Yes and Yes). Ok, so I might have to cave and buy a blender to accomplish this one. OR I can harass my overly friendly neighbors downstairs into letting me borrow theirs. I can’t imagine a better portable summer treat that won’t get you busted for breaking open container or public intoxication laws. What could be more innocent than a nice young lady enjoying a popsicle? While I’m at it I’ll probably try some of her other delish recipes too!

Reading copious amounts of silly novels while laying on a blanket in a park or on the beach
I’ll just say that I already pre-ordered the 3rd book in the Stieg Larson trilogy, and I’m dying to find out what happens. But this isn’t the type of novel I’m talking about. I have a stack of books with authors like Nora Roberts and titles like Bergdorf Blondes stacked on the nightstand at my Mom’s house waiting for summer to roll around. Now that its almost here all I have to do is retrieve them, relish in the scandalous romances and lighthearted plots, and let the silliness roll.

Visiting my grandparents
I can’t help but hum to grandmother’s house we go while I type this. Nothing says summer like sitting on my Gram’s back porch sipping iced tea, snacking on pretzel sticks and dill dip, watching the hummingbirds, and rounding out the day by taking everyone’s money in a few rounds of Onze (a gambling card game I’m pretty sure only my family plays). Then I drift off to sleep in the twin bed that has been designated mine since childhood to the sounds of trains choo-chooing in the distance. Relaxation.

Hashing through NYC
This little running scavenger hunt for the location of your 1. clean clothes 2. pizza, 3. beer, has bee motivating me to up my running distance. I’m up to 4 miles. I’m not sure if that’s enough, but hopefully this fun little trek will whip be into bikini shape before long.

Watching a movie outdoors
The entire time I have lived in NYC I have not enjoyed an outdoor movie. Maybe I’m spoiled from growing up near a drive in, but this year is finally the year I’m going to accomplish it. Goldfinger? The Never Ending Story? I’ve got my eye on you to start.

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