Today I am going old School: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
As a child you eagerly awaited the return of school, to see your old friends you had not seen all summer, and to start a new chapter in your life (i.e. hurry up and graduate so you can go to high school, graduate, move out your parents house and party hard in college, LOL!!). Now you are an adult, and unless you are an educator, you just don’t get summer vacations anymore. But this year I decided to change all that, I reinstated the idea of the Summer Vacation. Why? Because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and the summer heat helps to provide some relief. Provided, there is not too much humidity, which there usually is, but I work with what you have.
Now you may be wondering how I accomplished this minor miracle of a Summer Vacation, well first and foremost, I started to reacquaint myself with the Sunday Newspaper, you know that thing your parents use to read faithfully, but now we just view on our phone. Well, it still exists. In the Life and Entertainment sections they listed lots of events that are taking place all around the city, most importantly, tons and tons of Fabulous and Free events. Yes, I said Free. I was shocked, but I guess that is one upside of being in a bad economy, there are tons of deals around town.
So, this is How I Spent my Summer Vacation:
One event that became my favorite was Movies in the Park. This was wonderful, you can bring your own comfy chair and snacks, it was a great way to reconnect with friends, you neighborhood and most of all get out of the house and enjoy a warm summer night. The movies ranged from Old School Classics such as Spike Lee’s Joint “She’s Gotta Have It” to fun animations such as “Mega Mind”. These weekly events were perfect for a comfortable, inexpensive night out with your friends, that special guy or the family.
Next on my list, which was another find out of the Sunday Newspaper was Jazz in the Park. Now I know Jazz is not for everyone, but what I found was that it wasn’t just Jazz, they had Latin Jazz, Neo Soul, Urban and Rock bands throughout the summer. They had some big names like Common, Kem and Tim Bowman just to name a few. Again, perfect for a night out, sitting in your comfy lawn chair (of course I upgraded to the deluxe edition because us Chronic Babes have to be comfortable while having fun) listening to some great music. Again, for free.
I also attended some events that were not free, for your bigger name artist, Sade. But I found that if you call the event location directly and let them know you require handicap accessible assistance they will guide you on parking, building entrance with ease and seating with limited to no steps required. Also, you can purchase your tickets over the phone and most event centers do not charge the convenience fee associated with Ticketmaster. The seat locations are typically pretty good and reasonable priced in comparison to just selecting any seat. In some instances, better than your average seat.
Now, because dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis requires as much movement as possible, I had to incorporate some exercise into my Summer Vacation. Now, usually I try to do Yoga, but when it is 90 degrees, I am not for being inside a stuffy Yoga Studio. So I opted for walks around my neighborhood. I found a wonderful nature trail that had nice streams and ponds. I did this before the sun beamed down hard or after is settled in for the day. Either way it was a perfect way to begin or end a day. Wonderful scenery, low impact and fresh air, you cannot beat it. You can also check out Tai Chi and Yoga in the park or off the water. Nice!!! Some days I just sat on my balcony and stretched my arms in my chair, hey it still counts. LOL!
One of my favorite things, which is not limited to Summer time, is going out to eat. I love lunching with my girls, dining with a hottie or just sitting in a café reading a good book. But in the summer time I needed to spice it up. So I opted for restaurants that had outside eating areas and HAPPY HOURS!! I downloaded a wonderful app on my phone that listed all the happy hour specials that were happening within a 15-mile radius, Loves It!! I found that more and more places had mid-day and late-night happy hours covering both cocktails and food. So of course I was all over it. It was great, because I am not one for bars as I cannot partake in excess standing nor do I feel ultra comfortable in some club situations. This option allowed me to get nice seating, reasonably priced food and a drink if I so choose.
All these events really made it a wonderful summer. Now of course, there were plenty of days where I was stuck in bed or on the couch due to flare-ups, but on the days I could get out, I did and I tried my best to make them count. It was rejuvenating, I reconnected with my friends, both old and new, in a way I never really experienced. I was also able to stick to a budget; you know medical costs are not cheap. I focused on not only being Fabulous and Sick but also Fabulous and Free, and that is How I Spent my Summer Vacation.