Summer has always been my jam. Not so much anymore, but when I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for summer. I’m sure we were all like that, mostly because school was out and we didn’t have to, like, you know…Learn, and stuff.
For me, I loved how the bright sun warmed up the ground, and how it caused fresh cut grass to smell different. I loved how into the evening, when it was still light out, the sun would streak horizontally through the trees. The air still. The sound of crickets calling out in orchestral unison. The red sky opening up like an umbrella over the nearby foothills before fading into a blue and then grey and then black night.
Whenever I think of summer, I’m reminded of the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, when Richard Dreyfuss’ Roy first encounters the alien ships on a lonely stretch of rural Indiana county road during the middle of the night. Didn’t it just feel like a warm summer night?
Our first house in California had a pool. Which, to be honest, my parents probably regretted because once I was in the pool, it was hell trying to get me out. I love to swim. Even today. I’ll swim when it’s hot, I’ll swim when it’s cold. The water is just fun and sporting and therapeutic. Once we moved to our second house, though, I was without said pool.
But living in Southern California, we’re always just that close to the world’s largest pool, the Pacific Ocean. And since I had started to drive, first my testosterone charged mo-ped, then my little red two-seater, I was able to drive myself to now said new pool whenever I wanted. Or whenever mom would let me.
When you’re driving to the beach on a hot summer day, with the sun roof popped and the windows hand-cranked down because you’re old enough to have a car that had to manually do those kinds of things, you need tunes, man. You need tunes.
Cue, the Beach Boys. As a teen, the Beach Boys were considered corny Oldies. This was the emerging age of rap music, the evolution of smooth R & B, the discovery of alternative rock, the birth of grunge. Kids were cool. They were piercing things. Guys I knew had started to wear eyeliner. Punk was still Punk. Nobody in their right mind in Southern California listened to Country music, and only old people listened to the Beach Boys. Old people, and a five foot tall, eighty pound be-speckled watermelon head that could barely reach the clutch.
The Beach Boys were my jam. Popping in the cassette tape, cranking up a little “Help Me, Rhonda” and feeling like summer would last forever. The ocean breeze. The smell of Coppertone. Cruising down PCH earning a sunburn on my left arm.
Sounds of the Week: The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an integral part of Southern California car culture, surf culture, lay back at the beach and have fun culture. Still a favorite of mine, and a never-let-me-down go to when summer rolls around.
Recipe of the Week: Fish Tacos
Summer, right? Southern California is fortunate enough to authentically enjoy the simple delicacies from our neighbors to the South, including this Baja favorite. Nothing says surf trip like an afternoon fiesta with fish tacos. Remind me some time to tell you about the time I had the best fish tacos ever. There are a lot of recipes out there, but all you need to remember is that to be authentic, you only need fish, cabbage, white sauce, cilantro and hot sauce. Maybe next week I’ll share my recipe for salsa, which would actually pair nicely with a plate of fish tacos. Annnnnddddd, now I’m hungry.
Destination of the Week: Coronado, San Diego, California
The world famous Hotel del Coronado sits on the edge of the sand on Coronado beach. Never heard of the Hotel del Coronado? It was a literal co-star in the Marilyn Monroe blockbuster hit, Some Like It Hot, with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Anyway, the hotel opened in 1888, and today remains the ultimate in summer beach luxury accommodations. If you want to feel like movie royalty and be pampered, visit an iconic filming location and enjoy one of the most famous beaches in all of the world, Coronado is a pretty awesome spot.