Feeling nostalgic over the weekend and doing a little brainstorming led me to think of how much more awesome summer was as a kid compared to now. So, I decided I’d make a list of some of the best parts of my summers growing up. The 90’s were pretty darn cool. If they weren’t, there wouldn’t be so many Tumblrs dedicated to them and Nickelodeon wouldn’t have brought back all the classics to Teen Nick nightly. Seriously, Hey Dude was so TERRIBLE! How did we actually like that? Let’s take a sweet look back at my childhood summers…
Growing up in a house full of clean freaks has pros and cons. The pro is I’m used to cleaning up after myself in a timely, efficient manner. The con is my sister and I were never allowed to play with anything messy including chalk! We were allowed to have chalk one time, but it practically gave my grandfather a nervous breakdown and so the chalk disappeared never to be seen again. Thank goodness for playtime at friend’s houses where chalk was allowed. Who could give up the opportunity to draw an entire world on concrete capable of giving any Arizona child a 3rd degree burn? We drew everything from office buildings to road type obstacle courses made for rollerblading on. We were creative children. None of this absurd three dimensional chalk that is out now. Seriously just stop with the 3d already!
Heavyweights is one of my all time favorite movies ever. It’s one of the best movies ever made in the history of the world. What isn’t amazing about a fat camp being taken over and ran by a man trying to create a new weight loss program? If anything it taught me a great lesson: Don’t put Twinkies on pizza.
Going to the park during the summer in Arizona is a finely planned event. Too late in the day and the playground equipment is scorching. Too early in the day and there is a risk of too many small children screaming. One thing I do know for sure is we never had the fake, puffy sand parks and playgrounds have now. Children need to stop acting so fragile. Skin your knees and feel the burn of the sand. You won’t die. We didn’t. In fact, we had some of the unsafest playground equipment imaginable. I made a visit to my old elementary school playground a couple years ago only to discover the majority of old equipment had been removed after being deemed unsafe. Only after a ton of us hit our heads doing flips and broke our arms climbing it. Way to go, school districts.
Finding an ice cream truck in summer here is rare. To keep ice cream from melting, we see ice cream trucks in winter instead. On the rare occasion there was one daring ice cream truck driver, we could get lucky enough to receive a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ice cream bar. I decided to do a bit of research on these bars and apparently they are still available for purchase in some stores. No large chains here, but small tiny shops I’d never go to in a million years. Sad since the quality of these ice cream bars is delicious. Where else could I buy a TMNT ice cream pop, a snow cone, and an alien ring all in one place? (Image via Google)
One of the best parts about having hardworking parents is getting to spend the day at my friends house. We used to have unlimited hours of fun with Super Nintendo. More importantly: Mario Kart. There’s nothing like getting into disagreements about whose cheating and then someone sliding the reset in the middle of a race.
Like I mentioned above, I spent my summers with friends. In between swimming for hours and trading our worldly possessions, much to our parents dismay, we used to watch and play Power Rangers. Yeah, apparently beating each other up is a wise use of time as a child.
Kool-Aid was a summer only drink for my sister and I. We would make it into homemade popsicles or slushies. Get as many uses out of it as we could since it was a seasonal drink in our house.
I wasn’t really sure what to label this one as so I went with summer movie festivals. Every summer the local movie theaters would offer special deals every weekday allowing children and guardians or children and organizations discounted tickets to a selection of movies. The deals were usually for an entire week, a month or just the day and included the movie, popcorn and a soda. We did this a couple of times each summer. Where else could I get to see such quality movies as Fly Away Home and The Lion King (for the 800th time) and eat the smallest portion of popcorn known to man at the same time? These still exist today but show movies not quite up to par with the classics.
I got a slip and slide for my 9th birthday. I only used it once. My friends bought one when we were in our late teens. I didn’t use it. Why am I mentioning it? It couldn’t be a summer post without it. I mean, just the thought of getting cuts and scrapes while sliding along a water filled piece of plastic just screams fun, doesn’t it?
Obviously the picture above isn’t of traditional Otter Pops, but I thought it looked visually pleasing enough to use. Summer always brought us sugar fueled treats. We always bought Popsicle brand popsicles, but after we left a freezer full of banana flavored popsicles my mother decided these were a better, cheaper option until we learned the error of our ways. We never learned the error of our ways and at the end of every summer for as long as I can remember we had a freezer full of banana popsicles, haha.
Most things I remember from the summers of my childhood are sweet treats and pool parties. There were a couple fun things like watching the 4th of July fireworks from a baseball field as a monsoon rolled in, and the end of school year party where my aunt made us non-alcoholic daiquiris.
What are some of your favorite things from your childhood summers?