By: Karen Walrond
I grew up in the Caribbean, where the sun shines bright, and the weather is warm for most of the year. For this reason (now that I live in a more changeable climate), I feel most myself when temperatures start to rise — there’s just something about summer, man.
And so, in anticipation of my favorite season, here are what I call the top 10 most awesome things about summer.
1. Longer Days
It’s almost like the weather is making up for forcing us all indoors all winter by keeping the warm weather sun out longer during the summer. And it’s a good thing, too: With all the sports and vacations and get-togethers we have planned, we’re going to need those extra daylight hours.
2. Beaches, Lakes and Other Large Bodies of Water
There’s a reason people love baths: Submerging your body entirely in water to the point of weightlessness feels therapeutic. Besides, whether your pleasure is the ocean, a river or the city pool, there’s nothing quite like cooling off in a large body of water on a hot day.
3. Drinks With Umbrellas
Sticking an umbrella in an ice-cold drink just feels like an instant vacation. Add a maraschino cherry or a slice of pineapple, and you’re practically in the tropics.
4. Cotton and Linen
It’s finally time to throw off those heavy coats and sweaters: Pulling out cotton tees, linen dresses and madras shorts can make you feel instantly lighter on your feet.
Tip: Try skipping all your expensive perfumes and colognes this summer, since nothing beats the smell of freshly laundered cotton.
5. All Those Awesome Fruits and Vegetables
Peaches. And berries. And watermelon. Farmers markets teeming with vibrant produce. Summer is the season for sweet or savory salads, and, thankfully, variety is everywhere.
6. Eating Outdoors
Speaking of awesome fruits and vegetables, now’s the time when they taste best while sitting outdoors. Besides — in my opinion — outdoor feasts are this season’s Thanksgiving: An excuse to get family and friends together to commune over a huge meal. So plan a big picnic on the beach or a backyard barbecue — the gratitude is sure to follow.
7. Ice Cream
Sure, you could eat ice cream at any time of the year, but somehow it isn’t as satisfying as when you have a triple scoop cone on a hot summer day. Bonus points if the ice cream is purchased from the back of a truck that makes music as it slowly cruises down your neighborhood street.
8. Outdoor Movies and Festivals
We’re not the only ones who take advantage of the long days and warmer weather: A plethora of movie and music festivals are all over it as well. This form of entertainment becomes scarcer during cooler weather, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Kids are out of school, making summer the perfect time for family vacations. Whether it’s hiking in the mountains, camping in the forest or road trips on Route 66, this is the best time of year to hit the road.
10. Patios With Sparkly Lights
Those lazy summer evenings with the sun dipping over the horizon well after dinner just make evenings more luxurious. After a full day’s fun in the sun, watching the fireflies come out late in the evening twilight is just one of the best feelings ever — and what better way to partake in the fading light than while on a patio accompanied by the perfect ambiance: twinkle lights everywhere.
When she isn't sharing tips on StyleUnited on how to add more awesome to your life, you can find Karen on Chookooloonks.com. She's on a mission to prove to you that your life is filled with different, unique moments of beauty, starting with her book, The Beauty of Different. Her work can be seen on Babble.com, TEDxHouston and USAToday.