Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Favorite (Summer) Things

What’s not to love about summer?  Warm weather, weekend getaways, sunsets and fireflies, sleeping late, the lake, the river, and the pool, sandals and tank tops, cold drinks and dinner on the patio… I will admit even though I love my job, summer’s end leans more toward bitter than sweet.  Today marks the last official day of my summer; I'm marking it by sharing a list of my favorite things I’ve discovered this summer.

Ben and Jerry’s Salted Caramel Core ice cream
I’m not even going to try to explain how good it is!  You have to taste it.  I started the summer by stretching one of those little pints over three or four nights. Last week, I realized I accidentally finished the whole thing in two nights.  We won’t even discuss the serving size and calorie count…  But it’s worth it!

Novels by Sarah Addison Allen
My friend, Jackie, gets the credit for this find.  I started the summer with The Girl Who Chased the Moon and ended it with Garden Spells.  I’ve found myself suggesting both to friend after friend, trying to explain this unique style of mostly realistic fiction with just a touch of magic.  The author offers a whimsical, refreshing take on easy to read, romantic yet a little mysterious novels.  I highly recommend!

Amazon Prime Music
If you have Amazon Prime and haven’t checked this out, you need to.  It’s a new feature they added a few months ago where you go online and add playlists, and even some albums, to your library for free and then you can play them from your computer or phone just like Pandora, but without the commercials.  Just a few of my playlists are, “50 Great 2000s Country Songs,” “50 Great 90’s Songs,” “Jason Mraz and More,” and “Kelly Clarkson’s Top Songs.” It’s definitely worth checking out!

Wet ‘N Wild Emerald Pointe Season Passes
This one is thanks to my friend, Lisa.  She texted me the day after Thanksgiving and said the waterpark had season passes for half price on a Black Friday Deal.  Sixty-four dollars and ninety-nine cents later I was signed up for a half a dozen days of water slides and the wave pool with her and her sweet kids.  It really was a great deal, complete with free parking and 20% off food in the park.  We’ll be watching out for another great deal this fall!

This one is for my fellow nerds.  This is a game by Merriam-Webster that you can buy in the app store that quizzes you on vocabulary words through ten increasingly difficult levels with four different games on each level.  The first two levels are free, but I was hooked and bought the remaining levels in the car on our way back from the beach.  I was always able to resist a single Candy Crush purchase, but the word game did me in.

Capriz Italian Feast
Speaking of our trip to the beach, Brent and I went to the beach by ourselves for the first time ever this summer. We had a great time hanging by the ocean and of course, eating out.  Our favorite meal was at a place at Broadway at the Beach called Capriz Italian Feast. It wasn’t very fancy but it was DELICIOUS!  It’s all-you-can-eat for $20 per person.  There’s an amazing salad bar with a lot more than salad, and then the servers bring around every Italian dish you can think of, including steak and chicken dishes.  As an added bonus, the sangria is delicious.  It’s going at the top of our must-do list for Myrtle Beach now!

Hart of Dixie
I saved this one for last because I just discovered it, but last week I decided to pick a new series on Netflix and came across Hart of Dixie.  It only took one episode to hook me!  Well-cast, funny yet touching, with an endearing, sassy flair that makes me feel like I’m watching the movie Sweet Home Alabama transformed into several dozen glorious episodes.  Next time you’re looking for a new show, it’s definitely worth a try.   I’m hooked!

I’m trying to figure out which of my new favorite things I can stretch well into fall.  If you’re looking for me this week at night, I’ll probably be laid out on the couch eating Salted Caramel Core ice cream, watching Hart of Dixie.  We all have our vices, right?

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