It has been 16 years since the last time I prepared to go back to school. That’s as many years as I actually spent attending school. You’d think that, after all this time, the approaching school year would have no impact on my life whatsoever; I don’t have children, I’m not enrolled in graduate studies, and I work a 9-to-5 job in the corporate world. Yet, somehow, the August deluge of television commercials, school supply sales, and early-morning band camp sounds still gets me down. It’s that ominous time of year when opportunities are slip ‘n sliding away as each day’s sun sets just a little bit earlier. I can’t seem to shake this mindset. I have not yet outgrown the “back to school blues.”
I still haven’t had a barbeque on the new patio!
I still haven’t taken my bike out for a ride!
I still haven’t put on my bathing suit! (and maybe that’s OK…)
So here I am, desperate to soak up every last drop of these fleeting summer days (and unusually cold summer nights? What’s wrong with you lately, Pittsburgh weather? I digress…). Recognizing that I likely am not alone in these feelings, I have developed a short bucket list of things I want to do before leaves start changing. This list includes some of my favorite quintessential Pittsburgh summer offerings, and lucky for me, they are still out there and available, like a late-summer crush at the shore. Tell me more, tell me more…
- Use the grill (finally). My husband and I bought a new grill. We had a patio built where this new grill lives. We like food. These seem like pretty good reasons to fire it up. I’m so totally not going to feel like running outside in November to sizzle some shish kabobs. Meat. Good. Now. Recipe here. Mmm.
- HHHH. This stands for Heinz Hall Happy Hour. Yes, you can enjoy a cocktail and food from Common Plea in the gorgeous outdoor Garden Café at Heinz Hall while sitting next to that spectacular fountain. Why I still have not made it downtown on a Wednesday after work for this yet, I do not know. Check Common Plea’s Facebook page for updates on cancellations due to weather.
- Play horseshoes. I don’t know about you, but every time I drive by Dormont Park and see folks playing horseshoes under the lights at night, I think “That seems about as summery a summer-time pastime as you can possibly get.” I want to play. Can someone lend me a horse?
- Rent a boat. Boat Pittsburgh makes it easy to (slowly) cruise the three rivers on a buoyant pontoon. For more of a mini-trip, head to Moraine State Park to rent a pontoon, runabout or tiller at Crescent Bay Marine LLC.
Obviously, this list contains my preferences; opportunities I always try my darndest to take advantage of each summer. It certainly is not definitive. Have your own ideas?