July is almost over, and therefore, summer, as I know it and define, is also coming to an end.
The month of July signifies summer to me because it is the month my family gets together at a house on the beach in Mitiwanga Park, in Huron, Ohio. Although many things happen at the beach house that can and do happen elsewhere during the rest of the summer months, it’s the memories of playing in the sand and waves, sitting and reading in the sun, and watching the world pass by from the front porch that look and smell like summer.
Here’s a list of 14 ways to describe summer:
- Sunsets over Lake Erie
From the hill that leads down to the beach is the most spectacular spot to watch a sunset. It is never the same and always beautiful.
- The beach
Even though my family and I actually sit on a pier rather than the beach, I still am fiercely loyal to one section of the beach and prefer to be there than any other section.
Conveniently, July includes Independence Day, so fireworks are easy to come by. The video below is of Findlay’s fireworks and Mitiwanga Park’s fireworks.
- Ice cream
My favorite ice cream joint, the Pied Piper, is in Huron and therefore, I visit it only in July. My favorite treat is a Reese’s sundae with chocolate ice cream, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup pieces and chocolate and peanut butter sauces.
Fresh and juicy, and also just picked from the tree make a wonderful snack and dessert. Home-grown peaches are easy to come by in Huron and the vicinity and not so easily found where I live the rest of the time, which made my July peaches all the more sweeter.
- Corn on the cob
Freshly picked that morning by the farmer who sells it is always the best.
- Baked beans
The stickier the better.
- Sleepy towns
Vermilion, Ohio, has a sleepy, little downtown area with some stores that have been there forever and others that change every few years. There’s good ice cream to be had at the Dairy Dock and Granny Joe’s (formerly Edna Mae’s), but the best dessert comes from Papa Joe’s Pizza and Pies.
Walking out the mile-long pier to the Huron Lighthouse is another essential part of summer. The Marblehead Lighthouse also makes a great area stop.
- Sitting on the front porch watching the world go by
There isn’t much world to watch in Mitiwanga Park, but there is a porch and it’s a nightly activity for my family.
- Root beer floats
The foam, the root beer, the ice cream — all are delicious. Always made in a plastic cup at the beach house, they are perfectly portable to the front porch or down the street to watch the sunset.
- Cedar Point
A trip to the Point always happens while we are already close (it’s about a 20-minute drive to the park in Sandusky from the east side of Huron), so that we can arrive earlier and stay later without needing a hotel.
An Indians game in Cleveland or a Scrappers (Single-A affiliates of the Indians; CC Sabathia got his start there!) game in Niles are both on my summer list as well, but July will be over and I won’t have made it to a ballpark to cheer and boo and hear the crack of the bat on the ball (and to grimace at all the people who don’t sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” correctly — it’s “buy me some peanuts and CRACKER JACK”).
- Lawn concerts
Sitting on the lawn on a blanket listening to any type of music or even watching a movie is my final summer point. It could be a concert at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, or the Metropolitan Opera singing at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., or the Packard Band playing in Warren, Ohio.