Quintessential summer activities provide time to slow down, relax


    The Fourth of July marks the halfway point of the summer and unfortunately, that means the time for fun and relaxation will be the time for books and studying again before we know it.

    There are several activities I try to do every summer, but as I grow older, my time seems to be cluttered with responsibilities and jobs I must finish before I have fun.

    First, I usually try to get a tan on my pale, boyish frame. This usually results in my body turning bright red from too much sun and not enough sunblock.

    The next item on my summer list of activities is attending a Kansas City Royals baseball game. I know it is never fun to watch a division’s last-place team, but the atmosphere and food always make this trip worthwhile.

    Also, the Royals have been in the cellar of the American League Central for so long that their cellar dwelling should not bother anyone anymore.

    I also try to squeeze in a classic road trip every summer. Gather some friends or that special someone, then pick a direction and just go. Don’t set a destination or have a plan — just drive wherever the pavement takes you. Heading out onto the open road liberates the soul even as soaring gas prices empty the wallet. With careful planning and sharing of costs, money should not deter you from taking a fantastic voyage, since the memories made will always be priceless.

    The last activity I try to accomplish every year is going camping, whether for a day or a weekend. The point of this is to get away from everything: no cell phones, no computers, and above all, no worries or responsibilities.

    A camping trip is easy to plan and extremely affordable. All it takes is a tent, a lantern, a sleeping bag and some matches to light a fire. There is no greater feeling than catching your own fish or cooking your own meal over an open flame, and I defy anyone to find a better dessert then a s’more that has been cooked over a campfire.

    Nighttime at the campsite consists of stories around the fire and assorted misadventures. In this low-stress atmosphere, it becomes easy to let the nature serenade you as you slip into a peaceful slumber under the stars.

    Before summer slips away, I want to encourage everyone to get out of the house, put the TV remote down and step away from the computer. Go get some fresh air, enjoy the last remaining days of summer and don’t forget the toilet paper.