Plan Ahead For Your Best Summer So Far

Author Kathleen Pendoley Cape Cod beach and sunset

What are your favorite go-to’s for the summer season?

Like most folks, you may think of the beach, the lake, and the pool. All excellent choices. But after being water-logged for a period, one might ask,

“Is there anything else? Something besides soggy suits, sandy bottoms, and sunburned skin?”

The answer: so much more!

Unfortunately,  too many choices can lead to overwhelm, inertia, and the failure to plan ahead, so below are a few ideas beyond the regular wet ‘em up, dry ‘em off sun-season paradigm.

1. Take a hike.

If me mentioning this outing first comes as a surprise, then perhaps you haven’t read my first novel, Trail of the Heart. No problem.

Queue Shameless Plug

Click on Books and add Trail of the Heart to your summer reading.

Now, back to planning.

  • Use your favorite map app and choose a destination. Near or far, it hardly matters. Pick it for one reason only: you’ve never been there before.
  • Pack some snacks and a meal, plenty of water, sunscreen, bug spray, and a map.
  • To cover emergencies that may arise, let someone not joining you know your plans, when you start and plan to finish, and what path you’ll take.
  • If the hike involves elevation, bring trekking poles. Don’t be a hero and blow out your knees. Only newbies go it alone. Seasoned hikers travel with sticks.
Kathleen Pendoley - take a hike on your summer break

2. Take in some history.

History needn’t be boring, and you don’t have to travel far as most cities and towns have a dedicated district. Maybe you have a nearby park with a large fountain or a small museum with relics of past residents who walked the same streets and avenues while working jobs that sound interesting because they’re obsolete, like blacksmith, lamplighter, or leech collector.

Sure, anyone can brag about seeing the Washington Monument or exploring Alcatraz Island. But how many of us have walked the North End Streets of Boston where the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 took place or seen The Capone Cherry Tree gifted to Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, by the notorious gangster?


3. Act like a kid again.

This idea might be my favorite. Just the words “Summer vacation” evoke memories of time eternal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches eaten by a murky, shallow pond, and spending hours catching tiny frogs, hoping to keep them as pets. (Never happened. Parents have no imagination.)

What were your favorite memories from summer break? Sleeping in and staying up late? Catching fireflies? Riding your bike to the corner store for candy?

Take a day and relive your top pastimes. Wake up and munch on sugary, non-nutritive cereal while watching cartoons before hopping on your bike. Stop at the convenience store for a lunch filled with Hostess desserts and candy bars, and find a watering hole no one knows about.

After eating, lie down on the cool grass and watch the passing clouds for any recognizable shapes. Play kickball before dinner and flashlight tag as the sun sets.

Do what you wish, whatever your inner child dreamed, if only for one day.


If you have any suggestions on fun or unique things for summer, please send me an e-mail and share.

Happy Summer!



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