It’s hottttt in here!! I find myself saying that quite a lot these days. I make the statement not as a complaint but more as an observation. Summer 2013 in the Bay Area is truly a gorgeous time of the year. It’s no wonder summer has come to be my favorite season. With the hotter months means lesser clothes, longer days, BBQs & picnics, as well as festivals, fairs, concerts and other outdoor activities. I love it, I love it, I love it. “What exactly are you loving?” you may wonder. A lot of things, to say the least. Below are my absolute favorite 5 things I am loving this summer (in no particular order).
1. Happy Hours
Happy hours are grand for getting a group of people together over drinks, food, and shenanigans all for a happy affordable price. There is never a dull moment at HHs since drinking has a magical way of opening up the shyest of souls.
My drink(s) of choice are red wine (cabernet or merlot) or low sugar cocktails such as vodka tonic or gin & tonic with a splash of lime. Pair it with charcuterie and artisan cheeses to complete the spirit-filled evening. This Summer, I plan to partake in many HH gatherings to hang with old friends and meet new ones. Invitations are welcomed!
2. Hiking Trails
Now I wouldn’t be bold enough to label myself as a back-pack wearing, tent-carrying, map-hoarding, hiking expert. In fact I’m far from it. I usually leave that role up to the people who I go hiking with just out of precaution (somebody has to do it). Nevertheless I enjoy viewing amazing scenery from high up in the mountains. The Bay Area is wonderful for that, offering hundreds of trails within less than a 40 miles radius from my front door. Most trails, I can drive to in just 10 minutes or less. I’m thankful to live in such an environment.
This summer I intend to really get my feet dirty in the trails with friends. And if no one wants to come with me, I’ll just utilize MeetUp to find people in my area with a love for hiking trails.
3. Coffee Shops
Coffee Shops are great for when I don’t really want to do serious work but need to get away from home to change up the scene. They can get a bit loud depending on which shops you visit but I go for the entertainment. It’s my chance to people watch and laugh under my breath at some of the outrageous-ness and cuteness that I witness. It is guaranteed that a conversation will be ignited whether or not I initiate it myself. For some odd reason, people are super friendly at coffee shops. Hmmm, could it be the coffee?
4. Outdoor Running
Giving up my gym membership back in February of this year is probably one of the best things I have done for myself. And I’m not just talking financial reasons either. You see, with my gym membership, I was hooked on hitting the gym 4-6 times a week to get on a machine by myself with my headphones on looking at myself in the mirror for 30-60 minutes. It made me anti-social and full of myself at the same time!
Being active is as important to me as breathing. I NEED it in my life. So I knew that giving up the gym would force me to get creative in how I stayed active. Without the gym I have gotten into running and bikram yoga and I LOVE both. My body proportions and overall figure have changed in such an amazing way – something that weight lifting and cardio machines alone could not achieve for me. Not only that, but running outdoors and yoga are powerful mental (and physical) strengtheners.
From the beginning to end, you are engaged with your inner thoughts; you become the center of focus. I’ve had too many “aha” moments to count…it’s been a blessing. Check out my recap of my See Jane Run Half Marathon Experience here.
A guy’s biggest fear is a single woman who is obsessed with weddings. Lol it’s understood. But weddings are on my top 5 not (only) because it is the perfect atmosphere to find my future love, but also because everyone is so joyous, people are beautifully dressed, music is on and popping, food is bomb.com, drinks are flowing, and it is ALWAYS a good time…for me.
I just visited LA for a friend’s wedding and all of the above was in full effect. It was full of smiles, groovy dancing and hip-shaking Nigerian music.
As far as I know, that is the only wedding on my summer list but boy I wish I were wrong about that.
Check me out at my friend’s Nigerian wedding below. I am wearing the proper attire for the bride’s asoebi – “friends wearing attire made from the same fabric and gather together to celebrate the bride”.
What are some of your favorite things this summer? Share in the comments.
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Chika Obih is a certified holistic nutrition consultant; blogger; and founder of Soul-Wholesome Nutrition based in Oakland, CA and also offers services virtually for those who are not local. Chika is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their own health utilizing the power of wholesome, clean foods and holistic lifestyle solutions. Contact Chika today to set up a free consultation.