Thursday, August 16, 2007

Summer places

I feel like we're in limbo, these weeks we are passing in "Flat City" -- it's strange. The reason we're here is because it seemed silly to drive all the way back to Oregon for a week or two then turn around and drive all the way back for my sister's wedding out in San Luis Obispo. It seemed reasonable to stay here -- we mostly have Jim's mom's house to ourselves, it's spacious and cool, and we can work. And it's fine.

But I was just thinking about "summer" and what that meant when I was a kid. Clicking around to various blogs, I see vacation pics of kids at lakes and beaches, smiling, fishing, playing with their cousins, doing summery stuff, and I am launched back to childhood summers and how GREAT they were. How golden. I want that again. For all the years since college came to its unceremonious end, plunking me into the working world, I've been missing that golden stretch of months. I want to recreate those summers as an adult. If/when we have kids, I definitely want them, but I also want them NOW.

For the past few years, summer has been nothing special -- we go on some fun "work" trips like SCBWI and Comic-Con, and maybe to the Oregon Coast for a weekend, and that's about it; we always ending up working a lot, like the deadlines pile up in the summer. What I am itching for is that drained, contented feeling I used to get as a kid, walking the two blocks home from the beach late in the afternoon, my hair crunchy with dried salt, sand between my toes. I'd stop home for a shower and dinner and then head back out for the "passegiata" with friends -- that's when Italians go strolling in the evenings to have a gelato and greet everyone they know. I want a real summer. A vacation house somewhere with a world to lazily explore. A dock with a kayak on it, quiet water, a long trail through a forest, a country store, a cool bottle of wine on a deck. A stack of fat books, a frisbee, a happy, tired dog or two. A hammock.

Weeks of it. Yeah. That's summer. I want to vow to do that next year, somewhere, to rent a house for, say, three weeks, somewhere warm but not too hot, with a body of water -- could be lake, river, or ocean. It has to be beautiful and just the right mix of laziness and activity. Where should we go? Any ideas?

Where are some of your favorite "summer places"?


maggie said...

Oregon Coast of course! Like you would expect anything different from me. My summer week at the beach has come to an end only now, at 28, my parents decided they want to go on a vacation without the kids! how rude! That beach trip has been my summer since i was little an now i guess I'll have to come up with my own version.

it kinda sucks that my slow time is in the middle of winter, but thats nice too since we have a nice cozy woodstove to curl up by and read away those dark winter days...oh, now i want it to be winter!

oh, and yay for me to have the first comment!

Frida said...

Hmmm, I love Piha Beach on the West Coast of NZ - black sands, wild surf and bush sweeping down to the sea. At a few key junctures in my life I've moved out there, rented a little wooden cabin and enjoyed a summer that lasted until I was ready for the next adventure.

I also love the east coast beaches of New Zealand - from the northern tip with its fine white sand and departing point of spirits into the next world all the way down to Castle Point with dolphins, orca and seals paying visits and rugged fishing families making a living from the ocean.

I love the summer beach holiday so much and my promise to my self this year is that no matter whether I extend here or not I'm going home to the beach for at least four weeks this summer (of course downunder that means January and February).

Thanks for this little slice of summer.

Sentient Marrow said...

Peaks Island, Maine. To me, there is no better vacation spot. You take a ferry to get to the island and every house is walking distance from the tiny grocery store and the couple restaurants (one that has live reggae bands on the weekends in the summer) located near the ferry. The weather is perfect because it is not too hot or too cold. The island is located in the bay so you can kayak to other islands or out to sand reefs in peace. Here's a link to one photo from our vacation this year and and a little piece I wrote about it while I was on vacation. My favorite thing to do there is sit on the beach under a tree and do a watercolor or pastel drawing which I don't get to do at home too often because I am the mom of five kids, age 5-16.

Good luck finding a spot to go!

My dh also has some fantastic photos from our trip on his 365 blog if you really want to see more (look for peaks island tags)

Alexandra S said...

What are you talking about??? YOu just had a five day stretch at my parents! I'm reporting to Guiseppe and Lisa immediately. Anyway, doesn't that count? the photo shoot, the tootytot sushi? the giant cupcake pan adventure (which you have apparently lost now-by this time next week I hope to be able to formally declare myself as victor so please prepare to furnish me with a magic cupcake victor's crown)...the lengthy poolside lounging? the cocaine? the endless stream of marijuana puffing while we hiked? Those five days were all the summer you need Fatty, now get back to work.

chest of drawers said...

When I was a kid we would spend our summer at my parents weekend house on the south coast of New South Wales. On Christmas Day we would head off...long days at the beach...eating fish and chips and Paddle Pops from the local milk bar...cold showers afterwards and evenings around a log fire. I hope you find your "summer place".

deirdre said...

I've been thinking the same thoughts the past few summers. I'd rent a cottage near the water and a good market. Then I'd go for long walks and read all afternoon. I'd never put on makeup and would wear my hair in a goofy ponytail. Somewhere up near the San Juan Islands would be perfect.

Jennifer said...


The Summer place that you must go to is a place where you don't go during our summer, instead you go in December!

The place is:
Paihia, North Island, New Zealand.

Perfection.It's my second favorite place on earth!

And the flights are cheap-ish too!


Marilyn said...

Oh, Laini, you're a woman after my own heart... Even at my age, I STILL can't get used to working through I feel so blessed to have a school job right now that gives me the month of July off. This year we actually got away on a 'real' vacation and it was wonderful. As far as favorite places, I have a few...but my favoritest remains the Smith River canyon in NW corner of Calif (outside my hometown). Favorite places to camp (Jed Smith park and Panther Flat) and the Smith is such a clean and beautiful river...and the redwoods (sigh). :)