Friday, August 1, 2014

Five Childhood Summertime Memories

Lately I've been recalling certain childhood memories of what it was like growing up during the summer. When I was a kid, summertime was such a BIG deal because it meant two months off from Catholic school; no homework; and not seeing a nun with a ruler in her hand, waiting to crack us over the knuckles if our #2 pencils were not sharpened properly. It was a time of enormous fun and liberté. Yes, I did have chores to do around the house to help out, however, I didn't mind them because I would have even shoveled gravel on the side of a turnpike than go to school.

I cherish my childhood because my parents always made sure we had a great time during our summer break and any holiday. My parents were like kids themselves, enjoying their second childhood through the eyes of their children. I feel blessed to have had the parents I did.

So, today I would like to share five summertime memories that remain near and dear to my heart.

Coppertone Suntan Lotion

The smell of Coppertone Suntan Lotion gives me an immediate summertime flashback. Even to this very day, whenever I get a whiff of it, I am transported to my childhood when my family would go to Wildwood Crest on the Jersey shore and spend a week basking in the sunshine at the hotel pool or on the beach. But even more so, (shhhh...and don't tell anyone this) I always had a secret fantasy of being Annette Funicello in this Coppertone ad, while four tanned lifeguards carried me around the beach on a surfboard in the movie, "How To Stuff A Wild Bikini."

 Homemade Popsicles

I can still remember how excited I got when my mother and I would make homemade popsicles using Kool-Aid powders. I could hardly wait until the popsicles became frozen so that I could take one outside and eat it on a hot summer day. And I loved how my tongue and lips would turn bright red, orange and blue from the food coloring in the powders.

Cracking Open A Fire Hydrant

Growing up in a city we didn't have kiddie pools in our backyards because there were no backyards, just an alleyway between row homes. So every once in awhile the fire department would come into our neighborhood and open the fire hydrants so that we could run through the water and cool off. Fun! Fun! Fun! And man, was that water ever COLD and refreshing.
Lightning Bugs

I was always fascinated with lightning bugs because they made summer nights so magical! My friends and I would capture them in our hands and place them inside a glass jar and watch them blink. Also, (and I know this sounds terribly cruel) but we would sometimes pull the little lights off their butts and place them on our fingers and wear them as glow rings. Oh come on, how many of you did the same thing? Admit it. 

Sleeping Outside In A Tent

After my family moved to the burbs, my parents would let me and my neighborhood friends sleep outside in a homemade tent in the backyard during the summer. And how adventurous that was because it made us feel like real frontiersmen camping in the wilderness, just like Daniel Boone. We would eat potato chips, beer pretzels, popcorn, and drink Coca Cola's. We also had a couple of flashlights so that we could make shadow puppets on the tent walls. However, being the child I was with an overly-active imagination, I never stayed out all night because I thought that I would either be eaten alive by snakes, bears or coyotes, or be killed in my sleep by an axe murderer who happened to be roaming around my neighborhood in the middle of the night.

Yes, I was a VERY DRAMATIC child.

Have a super summertime weekend everyone!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Photo Share: A Favorite Place You’ve Traveled

A Japanese gardener

Traveling. I love it.

I think it’s one of the most educational and eye-opening experiences that one can have. And it’s an experience unlike spending money on something such as a home, a car, clothing, or an expensive piece of jewelry, because when you invest in traveling the experience stays with you forever.

Traveling is such a rich life-experience because you get to see how other people live and open yourself to experience different cultures and customs. And I’m one of those travelers who likes to immerse myself within the places I visit by doing things the way a native would do them, not a tourist. I want to experience a new place wholeheartedly by feeling and tasting it 100%.

I don’t travel as much as I would like to and have only been to maybe a dozen places here in the States, a few countries in Europe, and Japan.

However, I know that many of you have traveled extensively and I really enjoy when you share posts about your travels because it feels as though I’ve traveled with you.

For me, the most favorite place I have ever traveled to was Japan. I was primarily in Kobe (for business), but also had the opportunity to take a day trip to Kyoto. In fact, I wrote a post back in 2008, about an experience I had while in Kyoto that was quite an "awakening."

If any of you ever get the opportunity to visit Japan, please do. Yes, it is a VERY long trip, but so worth it. It’s an amazing country with some of the most polite, kind and gentle people I have ever met. I love the energy in Japan because it's so progressive, yet at the same time humble, basic and simple in many ways. And the manner in which they take care of and respect their elderly citizens is truly inspiring.

Anyhoo, today I thought it would be fun to open the floor to another photo share so that you can share a favorite place you have traveled to. And it can be a place outside your country or state, or even a place within your country and state. It doesn’t have to be some faraway place, just a favorite.

Okay, here are the guidelines (please read carefully):

-Photo shares are open to anyone who reads my blog.
-Submit only one photo.
-If you would like to share more than one photo, please feel free to create a single photo collage like this one:
*I created this over at PicMonkey.  It’s a free and user-friendly online photo editing website.

-Your photo or collage should be no wider than 600px (please resize before sending). You can also resize any photo at PicMonkey.
-Include your name (real name or blogging name) and your blog title and URL, so that I can credit your photo and link it back to you.
-You are more than welcome to share a photo with your watermark on it.
-Also, let me know where the photo is from and a few lines about why it’s a favorite place.
-Deadline for submission is Friday (August 1st) by midnight.

I will post ALL photos and in the order they are received.

You will find my email address on the Contact page below my header.

Feel free to ask any questions in your comments.

I can't wait to see what you send in!

Have a maaaaahvelous Monday, y'all!