This issue is dedicated to helping you make the most out of the summer months.
The thermometer is climbing, the humidity is returning and the inevitable shift is occurring: Folks, summer is here.
We ignored it as long as we could, but whether we like it or not, the heat is back. With the kids out of school, that means a lot of days with a lot of time to fill.
When I grew up, summer break was a time of heading out on my bike to explore the neighborhood. My sister and I would set out on two wheels, freed from the confines of the house and out to find trouble. As a city-dweller in a suburb of Denver, that meant hitting the local park, where activities ranged from chasing geese around the lake to creating make-believe towns within the tunnels of thick lilac bushes.
Several hours and scrapes later, we’d return home, dirty, tired and hungry. Sometimes we’d refuel and head back out, other times we’d collapse in a sweaty heap on the couch.
We were young, careless and free — and it was wonderful.
When I look out over the new parks Lakewood Ranch has added to its large network of existing ones, I see it as I would when I was a kid (although these parks are way cooler). It makes me long for my bike, a group of friends to go exploring with and several months of downtime where your only care is making it home by the time the street lights come on.
There’s magic in these summer months, and this issue is dedicated to helping you make the most of them.
If you’re looking for a way to both kill some time and beat the heat, check out Managing Editor Heidi Kurpiela’s feature on four natural springs a daytrip away, where the water stays aquamarine blue and a cool 72 degrees all year.
Or, live vicariously through outdoor adventurer Doug Hay, who, unlike most of us, seeks out snakes rather than avoiding them. You may be as dismayed as I was to learn what species he found right in his Summerfield neighborhood.
If you’re more into shopping than snake charming, treat yourself to a summery bag and invest in this season’s style trend: pompoms.
Lastly, for you parents out there who aren’t as happy as your kids are about two months with no school, columnist Jess McIntyre has some tips for you to have fun — sans kids. Consider it your official permission slip to have some fun of your own.
So we know it’s hot, but get out there and enjoy every magical moment — it will be gone before you know it.