One of the worst parts about growing up is the end of Summer Vacation. Summer as an adult is, of course, still wonderful, but the very best parts—the parts with grill smoke and popsicles and fire flies and toes dipped in cold water—get pressed into the margins of day-to-day life. So the Summer Vacation feeling makes only fleeting appearances, during an after-work stroll, say, or a too-brief weekend afternoon spent lakeside.
And that makes it impossible to believe in the Summer Vacation myth that I fell for year after year as a kid: that it’ll never end. That the days will continue to unspool like one Saturday after another for as long as you can imagine. I’d give almost anything to subscribe to that innocent fantasy again.
I’m so grateful that this summer, at least, we got a little taste of it. Within the past month, we spent a long weekend in Chicago, and then almost a week in Minnesota, and in between those trips, we had several house guests and a day off in the middle of the week for the Fourth of July. We still had to squeeze in the real life of work and groceries and such, but it was those mundane tasks that got pressed to the margins, while a full embrace of summer took center stage.
It was such a treat.
These photos are from our time in northern Minnesota, at my friend Molly’s family cabin. Molly and I have known each other for 25 (!) years, and I grew up spending weekends at the lake with her family. On this visit, Molly was with her husband and her 1-year-old son, and I was with Kevin and Avery. It was so special to return to the same waters that we used to splash in as kids, only this time with our own kids.
So I mixed one up at home. The pucker of the lime juice and the zing and fizz of the (very special) ginger beer and the mellow spice of the dark rum, all mingled together in a tall glass with clinking ice cubes, and it tasted like summer would never end.
Dark & Stormy
2 ounces dark rum
4 ounces ginger beer
2 big lime wedges
Fill a tall glass with ice. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the ice and drop into the glass. Top the ice with the rum and then the ginger beer. Give the drink a quick stir and garnish with the remaining lime wedge.