Merlino & Gonzalez August 2019

August 2019





Fun Comes in Many Forms

The days when summer was a time of total freedom may be long gone for most of us, but the season is still cause for celebration. Whether you have three months off for school or just a week’s respite from work, you definitely want to make the most of the sunniest days of the year. Everyone enjoys the summertime in their own way, so I want to share some of my personal favorites. Without further ado, here are the sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences that say “summer” to me. FOOD Cooking outdoors and sharing food with loved ones are about as definitive as summer experiences come. We love to invite some folks over, fire up the grill, and eat all day long. When it comes to having a barbecue, we prefer a marathon affair. Usually, we start with burgers and dogs and move onto heartier fare like skirt steak and grilled chicken, with plenty of grilled veggies on the side. On really hot days, we like to serve something cold as a little intermezzo or palate cleanser. Ralph’s Famous Italian Ice, an iconic local treat, works perfectly. SPORTS AND GAMES Summer is peak baseball season, which means there’s plenty to talk about for our divided household. Our family is mainly Yankees fans, including yours truly, but my father-in-law bleeds blue and orange. This year, it’s pretty clear who’s enjoying the season more — no offense, Mets fans. More fun than watching the pros, though, is playing some games for yourself. Ladder ball and bocce are particular favorites. These games are great because people of all ages can play them. In our family, my in-laws, who dub themselves “Team Medicare,” enjoy nothing more than whipping the younger folks at bocce. Even my dad, who’s well into his 90s, can still play well.

MUSIC What’s a great summer party without a killer soundtrack? When you bring together a large group of people, you have to account for different tastes. Luckily, every genre of music has an extensive catalog of songs about the season. We like to move all over the map and from past to present to make sure there’s something for everyone. One minute you’ll be hearing “Summer Wind” by Sinatra, and the next, it’s the latest music from Drake. Crafting a playlist with your family can be a fun activity in and of itself. TRAVEL Sometimes, you just have to get away during the summer. Whether you prefer the Poconos, the Adirondacks, or the Jersey Shore, you don’t have to travel far to feel like you’re in another world entirely. Voyaging farther afield can be just as amazing, but even a short weekend trip can make you feel like a kid again, recalling the days when summer meant one long, uninterrupted vacation. I hope you have a chance to enjoy the summer in the ways that appeal to you. The days are already beginning to get shorter, so the clock is ticking. Here’s to celebrating summer while it’s still here!



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