It's Summer Time

I always get a little sad when Spring ends. With its sunny blue-bird days, perfect temperatures and pretty spring flowers (and multiple trips to the nursery for planting:), I could live in spring-induced state forever. But summer is here and, surprisingly, I'm not sad.


I think it's because I've had some wonderful experiences that I will always associate with summer. So, when it gets too hot and I'm melting and I'm doing everything I can just keep my wilting plants alive in 100 degrees, I will remember that life just ain't all that bad;)

My husband took our older son on a business trip with him to Boston and New York. He suggested that I take our youngest son to Busch Gardens in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. At first, I resisted the idea. I haven't traveled alone for years and when I did, it certainly didn't involve driving. I can do public transportation pretty well, but the thought of driving from the airport to the hotel just scared the beejeebers out of me. I think driving in an unfamiliar city is really stressful. Looking at maps, trying to find the street you need to turn on while in busy traffic. I know, you're all thinking, what's your problem? GPS solves this problem. My experiences with GPS are not good. We used one on a trip back East a few years ago and that stupid thing did not take us on the most direct route. If you have some idea where you're going and make a proper turn, the system will recalibrate, but if you don't, you're lost or taking forever to get there.

Despite my fears, I booked the trip anyway. My son assured me that the GPS on his phone would work just fine. We stayed at a hotel that was close enough to Busch Gardens that we could take a shuttle. By the time we got there and I became familiar with the terrain, things were good. We still relied on the GPS. I guess they're better nowadays because that thing in his phone was spot on.

This was a very memorable trip for me. Just me and my boy. People often say, "Just the two of you went? How cool is that?" And I'd have to agree. We took the whole family to Busch Gardens a couple of years ago and they were building a new coaster. It was almost finished. In fact, we missed the opening by two days and my youngest was pretty unhappy about that. So, of course, doting parents that we are, we promised him he'd get there someday. Just didn't think it would be so soon! Ultimately, we went back to Florida so this could happen, so my boyo could ride a roller coaster called the Cheetah Hunt. Great coaster. Totally worth it. I even introduced him to riding coasters at night, which is a completely different and more wonderful experience, in my humble opinion.

But there were other things that happened that were just as memorable. We drove into to St. Petersburg for a Rays vs. Red Sox game. Being at the game itself was really fun, but the part I will always remember is driving back to Tampa over the bay, blasting rock-n-roll, singing our hearts out with a cool ocean breeze brushing by. Feeding giraffes together was really fun, too. They are the most darling creatures.

And I really loved the manatee cruise. I know my son didn't enjoy it as much because we didn't have lunch before we got on board and it wasn't very exciting, but it was the world's most perfect day. I normally wouldn't say that about Florida. It's usually feels like you're in a steam bath, but the weather had cooled off a bit and dried out and there was just a hint of breeze. Manatees congregate in Florida in the winter to find warm water. In some places, there could be as many as 150 gathered in one place. But in the summer, they spread out and graze. We found six of them on our cruise. They are so docile and sweet. You can just swim up to them and they raise their snouts like they're saying, "Hey, what's up?" Plus, they have eyes like seals. They melt your heart. Here is a mother with her baby.

 Since we've been home, I've relished each opportunity to enjoy what summer has to offer: Barbeques, parades, lemonade, late nights with the kids listening to them play night games, boating and water skiing, reclining in the shade of my hard-earned, but very pretty back yard, watching my sons sing at fairs and in plays. We even watched a brood of baby owls fledge in our yard. We had an aviary for a while.

This healthy attitude toward summer may be because I have not experienced 100 degree weather yet, but I'm going to go with the fact that summer has started out with a bang and I'm going to keep it that way. It's all in the attitude, right?

What have you been doing this summer? What are some of things you do that makes summer special for you and your family? I'd love to hear.


  1. What an awesome trip with your son. Talk about things to remember for years to come!

    1. I know, right? I'm just as excited for the memories we made as I was for the actual trip. Good times for years to come.

  2. Enjoyed reading your post. I loved taking trips with our 4 sons. Now those trips are sweet memories because our sons have their own families now. However, they still talk about our summer vacations. Aren't memories wonderful!

    1. Thank you, JoAnn. I sat on the plane out to Florida with a lady who said she'd taken the opportunity to travel alone with her son. He's in his 30s now and tells her often how much he loved doing that with his mom.


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