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And the Livin’s Easy

The most miraculous thing happened to me the other day.

I woke up in silence, without the persistent wasp-like buzzing of a space heater.   I put on shorts and flip flops. And, most importantly, I did not have to shovel mounds of snow to back out of my driveway. All these small but noticeable changes led me to the most exciting epiphany since my introduction to Starbucks back in 2006: Summer is near.

I must confess I am a most stereotypical teenage girl. My idea of a perfect day is driving around aimlessly with the sunroof open, radio blasting, giant obnoxious Aviators covering my face. Summer is a thing of beauty to me, and should be duly appreciated.

So, in homage to my favorite season (at risk of likening to the Sound of Music), here are a few of my favorite things:

  1. Eating on the Patio: Go to your favorite restaurant, request a table outside and soak up the sun. A few places that have outdoor seating: Qdoba Mexican Grill on Wilson Mills, Brio Tuscan Grille in Legacy Village, and The Winking Lizard in Lakewood.
     
  2. Bonfires: Nothing beats s’mores, slightly charred hot dogs and flickering firelight. Just try not to catch anything on fire.
     
  3. 99¢ Sweet Tea at McDonald’s: 32 ounces of pure bliss. Go get one right now!
     
  4. Drive-Ins: Reminiscent of the 50s, this is one of the best ways to spend a summer night. Mayfield Road Drive-In in Chardon is my personal go-to. They show a double feature every weekend.
     
  5. Late dusk: Who doesn’t love having more hours in the day?
     
  6. Summer Releases: The best movies come out during summertime; and the perfect way to cool off is to sit in an air conditioned movie theater. Flicks to look for: Iron Man 2, Robin Hood, and The Karate Kid.
     
  7. Nelson’s Ledges Quarry Park: Located about an hour southeast of Cleveland, Nelson’s Ledges is a beautiful lake surrounded by tall rocky ledges. It’s perfect for camping, hiking and swimming. Day admission is $5 and camping rates are $10 per day.
     
  8. Crickets and Fireflies: My favorite childhood memory is competing with my siblings to catch the most fireflies in a jelly jar to the soundtrack of a chorus of chirping crickets.
     
  9. Walking everywhere: What better way to get your beach body ready? Walk to a restaurant, take your dog for a stroll or grab a buddy and wander around. Saving on gas is also a huge perk!
     
  10. Vans Warped Tour: A day-long music extravaganza involving mosh pits, sun burns, overpriced bottles of water and underpriced merchandise from approximately 40 bands. Warped comes to the Time Warner Cable Amphitheater on July 8. Tickets are only $40.

This summer take these activities, add a few of your own, and make some sun-soaked memories that will last you a lifetime. Or at least through the winter.