Ahhh, summertime is finally upon us. With Memorial Day already gone, summer is now in full swing. Unofficially as it may be according to the calendar (summer solstice is June 20), last weekend began the summer season and all that it entails.
As a hot weather baby myself, this is my most favorite season of the year. Throughout the endless, frigid days of winter, I have to reassure myself that if I can just hold on for a few more months, I will be rewarded with the joy of my beloved hot weather.
Where do I begin? How do I love thee summer? Let me count the ways. First, as the kids have finished up the school year this week, we are all anticipating those lazy summer days of sleeping in and having nowhere to be (at least on my days off). Some parents would rather not deal with their kids all day every day throughout the summer months, but for us, it's a great time for our family to get out and make some lifetime memories together.
Some of our fondest memories are of beach trips taken with extended family and friends. As North Carolina residents, we visited Myrtle Beach at least twice a year, if only for a quick overnight jaunt away from home. If we were lucky, we'd get to spend an entire week sunning, relaxing and enjoying the company of loved ones on the oceanfront. Now that's my idea of a great time.
Rather than ocean beaches, Ohio is rich with beautiful lakes and swimming beaches. We recently drove out to my favorite, Lake Milton, off of state Route 534 just past Newton Falls. Its amenities include a beautiful sandy swimming beach, fishing, clean restrooms, a playground, boat launching ramps, picnic tables and grills and lots of parking. In my opinion, it is the most enjoyable lake in the area. I have yet to make a trip to Lake Erie since relocating back to Warren but keep hearing Presque Isle is the place to go. Maybe I'll add that to my list of this summer must-do's.
Another great summer activity is visiting a nearby farm to pick-your-own produce. I recently found a blueberry farm in Burton and am eagerly anticipating the start of the picking season in July. By doing a little research into the particular type of produce you are interested in picking, you can enjoy fresh-from-the-field goodness. I, however, enjoy the hard work and benefits of planting my own garden when I can. This year, I am excited to experiment with some new veggies like eggplant and collard greens as well as some cilantro and lavender plants I found at a nearby garden store.
If gardening isn't your thing, there is a plethora of other activities to choose from to occupy those long summer days. Our area is fortunate to have two great places to watch baseball. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers, a Class A short-season affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, will host their first home game on June 20. With a world class ball park located behind Eastwood Mall in Niles and ticket prices being reasonable, a Scrappers game is an enjoyable and affordable way to spend a beautiful summer day.
Why does summertime seemingly take forever to get here and then is gone in a blink? Maybe because we (at least I) anticipate it all year and try to pack in as much fun as we possibly can in a very short three-month period. If only winter went by so quickly.
Don't forget to include all the traditional area summertime activities available like festivals, camping and the Trumbull County Fair in July. Summertime will be gone before you know it, so get out there and enjoy it.
Weatherman is a Trumbull County resident.