Summertime … and the livin’ is easy.
– DuBose Heyward and George Gershwin
If you’re good about introducing your children to different genres and styles of music, you’re to be commended.
My mother was good about that.
She invited me to watch nostalgic old musicals with her on television, announcing it something like this.
“Show Boat is coming on tonight. It’s a really good one, and I think you’d like it.”
She was probably using a little positive psychology of some kind with those remarks, but I didn’t care. She was always right about her musical manifestos. I did like them.
If my mother had not introduced me to Gershwin tunes, I would never have completely fallen in love with this song. Where I was when I first heard it, I just can’t remember. But it struck such a chord within me that whenever I hear it, my eyes immediately close and I try hard to recall why the memory is so sweet.
I’m not talking about the Ella Fitzgerald version. I’m referring to that rendition that’s totally instrumental.
Ahhhh. I just love it.
Thank you, Mom.
(Get this cute original chalkboard print here.)
I love that, too.
The delightful calendar shift when spring gives way to summer, when the temperature begins to rise, and the sun stays longer in the sky.
Although we’re no longer bound to the structure of the school district’s days and ways, we empty nesters still look forward to the coming of summer comin’ and the youthful feeling of freedom it brings right along with it.
But, let’s face it.
The livin’ might be easy, and the catfish might be jumpin’ straight out of the water – but goodness, it can be so doggone h-o-t.
7 Cool Ways to Beat the Heat
After the transition comes the drag. Kind of like when your old washer/dryer combo goes out and the shiny new model is installed, but now you have to actually do the laundry. The transition was the fun part, right?
Same with summer.
Cool breezes become blazing winds right about now, and hot dinners are giving way to cold salads. Who wants to cook in this kind of heat?
Here are 7 cool ways to beat the heat, stretch out the season of vacation, and enjoy what’s left of the summertime.
Relax at a Texas Hill Country Resort
Standing here at the Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa pool sort of makes you feel like you’re in Beverly Hills.
Can’t you just see yourself lounging under the shade of a big Texas oak tree, reading a book from your ever-long list, drinking iced tea and vaguely listening to the younger moms talk about life… and school supplies?
Empty nesters be like, oh, I’m so happy we’re not leaving here and heading to Target to buy sacks full of pencils and pens.
Yeah, baby. That ship has sailed, leaving you and I right here, poolside at a Hollywood-style swimming pool.
With so many relaxing resorts to choose from in the Texas hill country, you’re bound to be able to find just the right one that speaks your language of rejuvenation, be it golf, tennis, cool-as-a-cucumber spa treatments, or spending the day in the lap of luxury – poolside at the Omni.
Take Ice-Skating Lessons
Cool off with some lessons at one of Texas’ many indoor ice rinks. Check out the class options for the Galleria Dallas here and for the Galleria Houston location here. From El Paso to Amarillo, Texas has ice.
Barton Springs Pool is on every Austin cool-off list – for good reason – the water is dang cold. Even on the hottest day of the summer, you’ll have to inch yourself in.
If you haven’t ever done this one, now is the best time to do it. There’s no better way to beat the Texas heat than to experience a spring-fed Texas pool. And great Austin pizza afterwards, of course.
Available times and entrance fees for Barton Springs Pool can be found here.
Bake a Blackberry Pie
Put on the Gershwin tunes, bake a blueberry, blackberry or peach pie in the coolest part of the day, and then celebrate summer with Natural Vanilla Bean Blue Bell ice cream on top.
Even better? LEMON ice cream. That’s summer in a bowl, right there.
My daughter and I made this pie for her husband just shortly before he became her boyfriend. The way to a man’s heart, ya’ know.
Want ideas for more summertime desserts? Click here.
Make Orange Juicies
I’ve been making these Orange Juicy drinks for years.
They’re so, so good. So easy. So cold.
Instructions: Blend on the ice crush setting 1/2 can frozen orange juice concentrate, 1 cup water, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp almond extract, and 4 cups ice cubes. Sprinkle a little nutmeg or cinnamon on top if you like.
Pour into your Yeti from Austin’s flagship store, pop in Porgy and Bess on CD, and even a long morning commute will be a breeze.
Take a Tour
Tours of Austin’s historic Capitol Building are FREE and occur often.
Tours of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas are not free ($18.00 / adult), but the tour is amazing, and you can spend a whole hot afternoon inside while experiencing the many interactive exhibits.
Enjoy some air conditioning while you take a break and learn a little something new.
If that’s not enough to quench your summertime thirst for Texas history, add a tour of the Governor’s mansion. Reminder: no backpacks, purses, briefcases, strollers, food, gum or water.
Head to the High Country
Here in Dallas, we’re sitting at 430′ above sea level, whereas in the Panhandle of Texas, Amarillo is situated at 3605′.
While it’s still hot and likely windy by day, Amarillo is always cooled off mighty fine by night. Or morning.
If you haven’t been to Palo Duro Canyon to hike and sit in the amphitheater to watch the outdoor musical Texas!, might as well go now while it’s so hot down south. Hurry for the play, though. August 17 is the last show for this summer.
There’s Still Time
Fall is right around the corner, my friends, but there are still a few hot summer weeks ahead, and I hope you’ve been inspired to enjoy every single sultry second we have left.
Because whether you’re in your lawn chair at home, or throwing a line in a Texas lake, it’s still summertime, and the livin’ is still ever so easy.
Encouraging intentional adventure and an appreciation for the musicality of your own beloved Mom,
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