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AND THE LIVING IS DREAMY
When I got older, my family got a pass to the town pool, and I’d go every day with my friends. It’s funny — I’m still in contact with some of the friends I went to that pool with. Some of them still live near where we grew up, and now I see pictures pop up on Facebook of the same pool we went to when we were kids. It takes me back. As an adult, I’ve come to enjoy other aspects of summer. I still love the warm weather, and summer is my favorite season. I’m a golfer, and I do my best to fit that into my crazy schedule. These days the pool is right in our backyard. It’s mostly for the kids — I look at it more often than I actually get in it. My girls like to have friends over and hang out there. Summer is also the ideal time for getting out of town. Recently, Valeria, Leyla, and I had an awesome vacation in Florida. It was a bit of a dilemma deciding where to go. Do you go to your favorite places that you visit time after time, or do you visit somewhere you’ve never been before? There are so many places to see in the world! This year Leyla made our decision easy — she’s focused on her wrestling career and is wrestling quite a bit these days, so she didn’t want to take time off. She was totally committed to giving up vacation until the option of going to Florida came up. That’s because there is one place Leyla is willing to miss a wrestling match for: the Monkey Jungle in Miami. After wrestling, monkeys are her next greatest passion — perhaps she would be a primatologist if she hadn’t found wrestling. She’s obsessed with monkeys, so the Monkey Jungle is paradise to her. It’s worth going just to see how excited she gets. As a photography major, Valeria was excited to photograph the monkeys, and she got some spectacular shots. The above photo is one of her shots! Although we fit in quite a bit on this trip, including a short trek to Key West, the Monkey Jungle was really the highlight for all of us. It’s truly a place to get up close and personal with the most adorable primates. Near or far, I’m always grateful that I get to travel. Our vacation was relaxing and just what we all needed to reset our focus. Now I’m back and ready to jump into summer in New Jersey, working, relaxing on the weekends, and dreaming about childhood summers.
Here is one of the shots Valeria took at the Monkey Jungle.
When summer comes, the world slows down a little bit — or does it? As a child, summer seemed like the longest time of the year. There was not a care in the world, nothing that had to be done. Now, summer seems to fly by. As soon as the patio furniture comes out, it seems like we have to start putting it away again. But there is something about the scents — flowers, sunscreen, sprinklers, and freshly mowed lawns — that brings me back to my childhood, to a place of nostalgia. Summer was the best time as a kid, mostly because I was out of school, and it equated to hours of play time every day. I grew up about an hour from the Jersey shore in your typical suburban town. We frequently went to the beach, but then we became members at a swim club, and I went to day camp there. For a child, it was a dream. We swam every day, did arts and crafts, and put on shows for our parents. Most of the memories from my childhood come from that place.
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