50 Summer Activities We’re Nostalgic For

Come summer I still think of my San Joaquin Valley hometown and the slap-slap of rotor sprinklers watering the front lawn; the clean, cold taste of valley water fresh from the hose (William Saroyan–style); the loamy scent emanating from almond orchards being irrigated at night; the mellow sounds of crickets and frogs seemingly lethargic from the heat. Escaping to the coolness and old-book-smell of the library for the weekly stock-up of summer-vacation reads. Hearing a distant train whistle punctuate an otherwise silent night studded with stars.

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Summer is finally here, and although we are excited (unlike some people), the season just doesn’t feel like it used to. Gone are the times when we could unabashedly run through the fountain at the local town center. Flying down the Slip ‘n Slide guilt- and injury-free without the context or liquid courage provided by alcohol? Not an option. However, we can be nostalgic for those times. So here is a long list of just about all the summer activities we wish we could be doing right now instead of being cooped up in the office. Join us on our trip and receive what Don Draper would call, “…the pain from an old wound. A twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.”

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Happy summer solstice!

In the Northern Hemisphere, sunlight lingers the longest today, enveloping you in a balm that’s deliciously warm. (In my mind at least.) How would you like to wade through the eddies of a lazy river?

I’ve always loved the way the water swirls and flows in O’Keeffe’s Chama River image, contrasted with the shades of red rock surrounding Abiquiu.

Chama River, Ghost Ranch, 1937 by O'KeeffeGeorgia O’Keeffe, Chama River, Ghost Ranch, 1937.

Chama River via TripadvisorThe inspiration, or a literal rendering.

(bottom photo via TripAdvisor user Chante_m, June 2009)