As is often the case, I'm inspired by recent events in my life. With some vacation days to enjoy, I've been able to slot in extra visits, meaning time with family, good food and the beautiful outdoors. These have been, and will be, memories created. They will exemplify everything that's perfect about summer — loved ones together to party in the sunshine with copious amounts drink and good food, music and games.
The first bit of fun earlier this week eased us in to party mode. It was our annual birthday tradition with our firstborn. A craft beer afficionada, each year around July 2, he tours us around the city to new and favourite breweries. There the purpose is simple. We sample and savour — the flavours a rare afternoon together.
This time we found ourselves at one of the newer brew houses, located right in the heart of downtown, where we parked ourselves by the inviting sunlight streaming into the large front window. From here, after tantalizing our taste buds with a couple of offerings on the menu, we enjoyed a walk of some distance to an eatery, known for his plethora of cocktails. With the windowed facade rolled up we enjoyed fresh air and a patio vibe. Sixties tunes, always a great summer feeling, floated across the room at just the right volume to not inhibit conversation.
After a simple but delectable meal, we headed off to the patio of a local coffee house for dessert where we soaked up more of the summer in the city energy and continued discussions on everything from music to politics. Then delightfully sated we decided to stride off some of those calories with a walk through a local park before heading to a pub to listen to tunes.
While this was a leisurely bit of socializing on an intimate level, an event set for this weekend is all about excess — more family, more food, more fun. Sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, parents, children and grandchildren are converging for our annual picnic. We are a small but raucous bunch and in keeping with our German genetics create an atmosphere of Gemütlichkeit.
What the point of all this has been is to reflect on the aspect of summer life that is defined by time spent outside with the people we want to be with. Whether we gather at picnics or parties, whether our gatherings are spent in quiet conversation or boisterous adventures, there is nothing nicer than when those times include the people, whether they be family by blood or intimacy, who know us best. These moments, like summer, are sunshine, laughter and music.
So in celebration of special occasions and of sharing them with our loved ones, I've put together this terrific collection of photos from iPHOTOS.com Whether it's time at the beach, the cottage, the garden or partying you can find it all in this collection of 85 Family/Friends Summer Fun Photos from iPHOTOS.com