I’ve been out of school so long now (10 years as of…jeez, like this very second), summer doesn’t have the same sigh-of-relief feeling it once did. Summer, instead, comes slowly, in a frog-in-a-pot kind of way. Around Easter or so, traffic begins to lessen during my daily commute between Bradenton and downtown Sarasota, and sometime around then I realize the AC has been on for weeks now and won’t be off again until October. I stop dreaming of a cold snap and start wishing for rain, bid adieu to my quiet lunch breaks in Laurel Park and ponder 1 p.m. workouts at the downtown Y—an excuse to take a midday shower. Summer comes with a certain overdue resignation.
And in that vein, when pondering summertime survival in Sarasota, my first instinct is, “STAY INSIDE!”
But sitting in our cool, dark house early on a Saturday afternoon, the relentless, oppressive sunshine mocks me. I get all, “Eff that, Summer, you can’t tell me what to do!” And so instead I aim for summertime Zen: embrace the sweat. Once you get over that initial, unpleasant prickly feeling, it’s really not so bad. As a lifelong athlete, I pair sweat with accomplishment. So sometimes my summertime propensity for getting dewy tricks me into feeling like I’ve been productive, when in reality all I did was go outside to fetch the mail.
Truth be told, there are plenty of outdoor activities around here that won’t result in heat stroke. After all, as it says on one of my favorite T-shirts, Sarasota is “The Air-Conditioned City.” Just stick by the water—there’s plenty of it and, ironically, it’s more accessible in the off-season when we need it most.
Best of all, as we sat oblivious while the weather slowly boiled, the days were kindly lengthening to reveal soothing summer evenings. Where in winter the weekdays seemed to end at 5:30, now the workday hardly intrudes on the evening’s possibilities—an after-work swim at Lido, a walk along the Manatee riverfront or a bike ride around Emerson Point. Plus, co-blogger Beau already furthered my kayak craving (now would be a good time to remind my friends and family of my summer birthday…ahem…).
All these outdoor activities and more (including some sweet, sweet air-conditioned adventures) are on my list for the summer, so stay tuned for details, photos, etc. In the meantime, check out my other blog, GenXtra.