It’s officially summertime in the Northern Hemisphere. The June gloom clouds have finally parted to unveil beautiful, clear blue skies. The nights are warmer and heavy blankets are no longer needed to keep you comfortable. Songs of surfing and summer romance begin to pop up on the radio. It’s a great time of year to get outside, enjoy some barbecue cookouts, and soak up some sun. Provided you are wearing SPF of course.
It’s also time for the June edition of the Wonderland Registry. So without further ado…
For the Admiration:
Ever since Prince William made Kate Middleton his bride, I have been completely fascinated with the Royal Family. This month was particularly rewarding because of the Diamond Jubilee. The Royals were out in abundance riding on barges, in horse-drawn carriages, and making appearances at concerts celebrating the Queen’s sixty years on the throne.
Regardless of the criticism that comes with the distinction of “Your Majesty,” serving one’s country for six decades is pretty darn amazing. At the young age of 25 and with her husband and two small children in tow, Princess Elizabeth ascended to the throne after the passing of her father, King George VI. Could you possibly imagine becoming the sovereign ruler over dozens of countries before the age of thirty? It’s really quite impressive.
To celebrate this accomplishment and to learn a little more about the United Kingdom’s second-longest-serving monarch (after Queen Victoria), I picked up Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith.
It’s a very interesting biography and includes insights into royal protocol, the upbringing of future king Prince Charles, and how devoted Queen Elizabeth is to her country and its people. She truly is a remarkable woman and the nearly 700-page book is worth the read.
For the Experience:
Why not take advantage of the warmer weather and enjoy some local activities? Festival fever kicks up into full gear during the summer and plenty of towns hold fests themed around strawberries, food trucks, salsa, music, oranges, books, beer, film, cherry blossoms, Shakespeare, wine, science, pineapple, dance, sports, you name it. There are usually a ton of booths ranging from food to crafts, live entertainment, and maybe some carnival rides for children of any age. These are great opportunities to get introduced to local businesses while getting to know your neighbors.
Outdoor concerts are also a great way to get out of the house on a summer evening. Nothing like uniting a crowd with a giant sing-along. I am personally a big fan of the Hollywood Bowl venue.
Last summer, I had the privilege of attending two of the Hollywood Bowl events: the 4th of July spectacular featuring Hall & Oates and a viewing of West Side Story accompanied by the L.A. Philharmonic. Every time I have been to the Hollywood Bowl, I have had a great time. You can bring your own food and beverages so you’re not stuck paying for a limited selection of over-priced snacks and watered-down cocktails. Plus, there is an abundance of American spirit as each event opens with a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and the entire crowd rises to its feet.
Next week, I’ll once again be heading out to the Bowl for the 4th of July celebrations. It’s sure to be a fabulous time and I hope that if any of the Wonderlings make it to Southern California in the summer, you check out a performance. You won’t be sorry.
For the Taste Buds:
When I was in Firenze (aka Florence), Italy, I saw a ton of advertisements for Magnum ice cream. I was surprised that a frozen treat would have the same name as a well-known gold foil-covered prophylactic. Even more surprising was the famous face pimping out the product.
As most popular products from Europe eventually do, it wasn’t long before I started seeing Magnum ice cream bars in my grocer’s freezer section. I never bothered to try them until one of my gal pals at work decided to perk up her afternoon by buying a box to share. It was the Double Caramel flavor and man, was it delicious.
With two layers of chocolate sandwiching ooey-gooey caramel, this was probably the best ice cream bar that I’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring. It was of higher quality than the typical bars I’ve had before and I was definitely glad that there were no more treats in the box. Otherwise, I may have gone back for seconds.
For the Soul:
There’s something about summer that seems to be all about the kiddos. They wait all year for that last day of school when their days are filled with camp, swimming, family vacations, and sleeping in. Oh, to be a munchkin again. The next best thing of course is to surround yourself with these little half-pints. I am a very blessed auntie with one niece, two nephews, and another nephew on the way (just found out today — talk about great news to start the weekend with!).
Spending time with my “practice babies” always fills me with joy. They keep me on my toes and force me to enjoy the lighter side of life and just play. I’m thrilled to watch them grow into the people they were born to be. They change so fast, but I find that my love for them grows each and every time I see them. I am very excited to get to spend some quality time with my oldest nephew when my sister and her husband come to visit from the East Coast next month.
Be sure to hang out with some kids this summer. You won’t be sorry. Tired, but definitely not sorry.
Now, go get yourself some ice cream.