This week’s topic is all about summer and the things that clearly identify the season of sunshine and scorched earth. Here are a few things that trumpet the beginning of long days and firefly-filled evenings.
1. Movies! Taking a page out of Brian at Cool and Collected’s book, my first herald of summer is the summer blockbuster. Every year there’s at least one big-budget film that I can’t wait to venture to my local theatre to see. So far this year, I’ve been treated to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Edge of Tomorrow, and Transformers 4. It’s barely July, and pretty much everything I’ve seen so far has been phenomenal. (Yes, even Transformers 4, if only for Optimus Prime’s jaunt atop a Dinobot.) I’m really looking forward to the rest of the blockbuster season, as I’m anticipating Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Lucy, Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (good or bad, it should be fun), The Expendables 3 and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. I’m a movie buff all year, but summer is a spectacular time to escape the heat for a couple of hours, settle in with a cherry Icee and some popcorn, and gear up for adventure.
2. Toy hunting! Another herald of summer is the flea market. Since I live in Tennessee, it’s warm enough almost year-round to head to the flea market, but flea markets in the summer are something special. As soon as the weather starts warming up, vendors gather up their best and worst wares to sell. Much of my local flea market is indoors, but the tables behind the buildings are amazing in the summer. It’s worth risking sunburn to rifle through tubs of vintage toys, longboxes of comics, and tables of kitschy vintage knick-knacks. In the summer, we venture to other flea markets as well, which leads me to…
3. Road trips! We take road trips all year, but summer is the peak time to jump in the car and head somewhere for the day, or pack a bag and get away for the weekend or week. So far this summer, we’ve traveled to HeroesCon and to visit our friends in Asheville over the July 4th holiday weekend. I’m sure we’ll take a few day trips and are plotting a getaway to Florida (which may or may not include a visit to Universal theme parks).
4. Beach Hut (or your local flavored ice stand)! We have a local flavored ice stand called Beach Hut that always screams summer to me. It’s always busy, but totally worth the wait. My favorite flavor is Tiger’s Blood, or if I’m feeling like a mix, red raspberry and peach.
5. Tunes! Like Nerd Nook, Go Play Listen, and Las Vegas Yankee, I equate a lot of music with summer. During my childhood, growing up near Nashville, one of the stations (WLAC) had a “Big Chill Saturday Night” program where they played oldies, inspired by the film The Big Chill. As my mom cleaned house, we danced around to songs from the ’60s and ’70s, and the tapes we made from those programs often had weather reports of sweltering summer nights. And there’s something so satisfying about rolling down the windows and cranking up the radio. No matter the song, it sounds better when I hear it in the sunshine.
So what about you, gentle readers? What are some things that you equate with summer?