One of the strangest things about life after school for me is how the workdays flow ever onwards with really no standardized break* to, well, break time up a bit. I mean sure there are the holidays and weekends too, if we want to stretch it, but it just hasn't been the same. I swear that this is a culprit for how 2016's racing by: without the anticipation of and counting down towards summer break, the days have slipped away so very quietly, without fanfare. That's how little old me, finally wrapping her mind around June gloom, is all "wait what do you mean it's August?!"
(Also, that famous San Francisco Indian summer chill hasn't helped. It feels like frickin November.)
But even so, every now and then, I take pause and catch a whiff of summer in the air. It's triggered by an upbeat playlist, or an atypically hot day, or our Friday BBQ's at work, or colorful, sugary popsicles dripping on sticky fingers. And most notably:
// hiking up to Bernal Heights (in heels!!) for the most jaw-dropping view of San Francisco in all of her glory. We huddled against the strong gusts of wind, our hair whipping every which way, and admiring the city from the Golden Gate to the Bay Bridge. Something about that blue sky just screams summer to me.
// baseball games, complete with garlic fries and Irish Coffees because isn't that in itself a synonym for "quintessential All-American summer"?
// ice cream for breakfast, ice cream for lunch, ice cream for dinner. Lest you think I'm kidding, I'm not. I've done all three. Recently.
// four of us sprinting to the BART metro station, cackling away madly all the while, in an effort to pick up Cassandra and her eight million bags all because the Bay Bridge was shut down. Rewarding ourselves with copious drinks PLUS extra mozzarella on the pizza we snarfed down at Delarosa. Unforgettable!
// burritos + TV / movie nights where laptops are put away.
// and some college throwback drinks too to go along with all that. I'm talkin' Smirnoff ices, PBRs, and Malibu & Diet Cokes all in the house.
// happy hours. Oh, gimme all the happy hours. There've been plenty–with coworkers, with friends, and best of all, with half-price carafes of sangria at Spark Social SF, a new food truck park close to where I live. Which is how Cassandra and I made the executive decision to grab three carafes (hey, there were three flavors: watermelon, peach, and blackberry, can YOU say no to that?!), and lots of pupusas to share, for four of us and it all went fuzzy beyond that.
// reunions with dear, dear friends from last summer. We spent entire meals reminiscing about the waters of Croatia and planning all that's to come in September.
// dinners al fresco, with twinkly lights strung overhead, and double-fisting frozen Greek yogurts (sour cherry! baklava! again, could YOU say no to all that?!) wishing for a third fist with which to manage the wine glass.
// graduation, and new beginnings. Always brings about the nostalgia.
// s'mores! But, of course.
// Smelling the bacon sandwiches being freshly prepared in the cafe downstairs. Last September when I had first moved into my apartment and was job-hunting, I was home all day long and could of course smell the bacon fryin' up downstairs through the open windows. That, and the constant buzz of city traffic, will always shift my mind towards new beginnings and summery vibes.
// day trips: to camping in Pescadero, to Napa, Santa Cruz.
// um, cat cafes. Mainly because summer = joy, and cats = joy, so therefore summer = cats. Right?
// but most of all, there was one evening that absolutely became the epitome of summer for me. There's this darling French family who we as a foursome have befriended over the years: a hilarious couple, an au pair, and four kids under the age of 10. When Cassandra was in town, they invited us all over to their newly renovated house. We blasted Top 40 music on Spotify, dug into cheesy pizza, and then played tag, running around the yard until Cassandra was dripping in sweat and the rest of us were laughing too hard to breathe. We played with hula hoops, then danced a bit barefoot, then those over the age of 10 polished off glasses of wine, and then we all plopped down on the green grass for popsicles which the kids kept on wanting to "cheers!" to. Dusk fell, the air became chilly, and we retreated back into the house to watch some TV.
Summer in a nutshell.