In honor of the unofficial start of summer this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, I am making a fun blog post about why summer is the best season of them all. Others may not agree with me, and I hope that I can convince those of you winter folks that summer is really where it’s at by the end of this article.
- Stronger sunlight is great for all of us who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Although I do not tan or lay outside without sunscreen on (skin cancer!), summer is also great because my skin is not as ghost-like white as it is during the winter.
- Summer clothing is more fun to wear than winter clothing.
Better, brighter colors, lighter fabrics, and sundresses and sandals are generally easier to wear than wool coats, scarves, and gloves.
- With the start of the summer season comes the start of the summer cookout and picnic season.
Cookouts are not only fun social occasions, but the food at them is also incredibly delicious. Grilling is also lots of fun. And who doesn’t like hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, or steak? It is also not difficult to accommodate vegetarians at a barbeque. Simply add a black bean or veggie burger to the grill and they will be just as satisfied with the offerings as any of the carnivores at your party. If the barbeque is part of a pool party, then you will hopefully have burned some calories swimming so you can worry less about eating junk food.
- The water (whether it’s the ocean, outdoor pool, lake, or river) is now warm enough for swimming.
For those of us who live somewhere that drops below freezing during the winter, this is a great treat. Swimming is a lot of fun, and it’s a great form of exercise. Even if the water is still not very warm, it’s still usually warm enough for a quick swim. And there are all sorts of sports that you can do such as kayaking, rowing, paddle boarding, surfing, boogie boarding, tubing, sailing, and jet skiing, that would be hypothermia-inducing if you were to try to do them during the winter. There is the polar bear plunge, but I would much prefer swimming when the water is warmer than 40 degrees.
- It’s also nice enough weather to partake in outdoor exercise activities.
Biking, roller blading, tennis, and hiking are all more fun when it’s warm and sunny outside. Sometimes the weather does get too hot during the summer for outdoor exercise, but when the weather is not too muggy, exercising outdoors cannot be beat.
- Summer produce is great.
Many chefs cannot wait to get their hands on some locally sourced fruits and vegetables every summer. Whether it is the beginning of summer when the strawberries are perfectly ripe, or later on when the summer squash and corn are at their peak, summer produce is infinitely better than during the winter. Sure, butternut squash and apples are delicious to eat during the fall, but the variety and quality of the produce is at its peak during the summer.
Having spent time in Poland, where the winters are harsh (and filled with lots of potatoes, onions, and cabbage), it was a relief to see the first batch of fresh produce that was not grown in Spain or in a greenhouse in Germany. The quality and quantity of the produce available during the summer in Poland was amazing. When I was there I became a fan of some vegetables that I did not previously enjoy because I had been eating poor quality versions of those foods. The difference between a good tomato grown locally each summer, and a mediocre tomato that you buy during the winter, is significant enough to make you think that they did not come from the same species.
Also, growing your own fruits and vegetables in your own garden is a lot of work, but it is also a lot of fun. Gardens are inherently seasonal. Imagine trying to grow green peppers during the winter! It is possible if you have a greenhouse, but
- Summer vacations and long weekends are a nice break from the grind that is our regular work and school schedules.
It seems so much more satisfying to have a vacation when it’s warm enough to spend the majority of that time at the beach or the pool than when it’s cold and snowy outside. Skiing is great, but sunbathing on the beach and having picnics are even better!
Some workplaces let their workers have condensed work schedules in order to have part or all of the day on Fridays off during the summer. Perfect for going to the beach for a long weekend!
- Rooftop bars are only open during the summer-and they are awesome.
Summery drinks are refreshing and more carefree than the heavier drinks that are served during the fall and winter. Drinking them on a rooftop bar underneath the stars or while dining alfresco is a great way to spend a summer afternoon or evening. Gin and tonics, frozen margaritas, Pimm’s cups, and punches are summery drinks that are not quite as satisfying during the dead of winter. Even beer tastes better when served at an outdoor beer garden.