June. July. August. What prettier words are there? Well, maybe sunshine. Swimming. Watermelon. Warmth.
Summer is very much my favorite season, yet every year I feel like I end up in a “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” situation (and not just because I tend to listen to “Big Yellow Taxi” a lot when it’s hot out). In the warmer months I spend my time inside feeling bad about not going outside, and my time outside feeling like…why don’t I do this more often?
No one has said it better than Bravo’s own Kyle Cooke when he shouted “SUMMER SHOULD BE FUN!” during the famed ninth episode of Summer House season two.
He was right. Summer should be fun, but sometimes it feels like it has to be fun. That’s where the problem lies.
Have you ever noticed how feeling like you have to do something sucks a lot of the enjoyment out of that thing? Forced relaxation is not relaxing. Sometimes in the summer, it’s simply too hot to go outside! Sometimes you want to sit in the air conditioning and do absolutely nothing. That’s okay, and perfectly summery too.
To remedy this feeling of needing-to-soak-it-all-in-at-all-times, I want to craft a summer list that does just that…but in a different way. Not the summer list, because that’s too stressful…and summer should be fun! *A* summer list. A list of summer produce to eat, songs to listen to, activities to do. Little things that let you really soak in the summer for all it’s worth—even if you want to do absolutely nothing.
Ultimately, the best way to soak in the summer is to just…live in the summer. And you’re doing that already! Close your eyes, feel the sun on your skin, and enjoy it.
But if you want to go a little deeper (in the dirt! You need worms for fishing!) when it comes to summer enjoyment, let me, a June baby through and through, be your guide. The only rules? Stay cool (sometimes), wear sunscreen (always), and have fun (when you feel like it).
1. Wake up Early
In the summer, sunrise is very early. But if you can catch it, it’s worth it. Enjoy the early mornings, before the world is awake and the sun is too hot. Go for a walk, do your journaling, or practice what we talked about earlier: stay still and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
2. Go to Bed Late
Stay out, keep the fire warm, and tell scary stories. (However, please choose only one of the above for any given day. Getting your rest is so important.)
3. Eat Stone Fruit
With cream, from the freezer, and on its own with no napkins around because it’s SUMMER!
4. …and Watermelon
Every single day.
5. …and Ice Cream
The lines are worth it.
6. …and Tomatoes
Local if possible!
7. …and a Really, Really Good Salad Full of Summer Produce
And burrata, maybe.
8. Drink Iced Tea
That’s been sitting in the sun brewing allllll day.
9. …and White Wine on Ice
Anything on ice!
10. …and Coke with Peanuts
Like the Ya-Yas. This brings me to…
Some excellent summer recommendations: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (and all its prequels/sequels), Geek Love, and your favorite book from sixth-grade summer vacation.
12. Go Swimming
Any chance you have.
13. Turn on the Sprinklers
When the swimming chances are looking grim.
14. Apply SPF Hourly
I’ll say it again! A sunburn will strongly hinder your summer enjoyment.
15. Listen to “Solar Power” by Lorde on Repeat
This is the song of the summer. I don’t make the rules, but I stand by them.
16. Go Off-Grid
To quote our wise song of the summer artiste: “Can you reach me?” “No, you can’t!”
17. Look at the Moon
The June full moon is called the strawberry moon. July is buck, and August is sturgeon. Look at the moon every night, but especially when it’s full. And especially, especially when there’s an eclipse.
18. Go on a Walk
Pick a flower or two.
19. Cuddle in the Air Conditioning
Under your favorite blanket, ideally.
20. Open the Windows
The birds are singing to you!
21. Watch a Summer Blockbuster
‘Tis seriously the season!
22. Sing Karaoke
It’s not specifically a summer activity, but it’s fun.
23. Wear Linen
So cool, so chic, so summer-y.
24. Wear a Nap Dress
In MERMAID print! Thank you, Nell Diamond.
25. Wear White
There are no rules, but it does look great after a little sun.
26. Go Fishing
With your grandpa, ideally. Someone who knows how to soak it all in.
Sophie Vilensky (@sophiavilensky on Instagram and Twitter or if you met her in second grade) is a Real Housewives scholar and naturopath’s daughter. At this point in time these things are very important to her.
BY Sophie Vilensky - June 20, 2021
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.