Summer pleasures

By Caitlin Kelly

Cold slices of watermelon

Juicy peaches dripping down your chin

Eating in a restaurant’s backyard patio; here’s a list of Toronto’s best

Almost anything grilled



Corn on the cob — round food!

Eating dinner in your (wet) bathing suit


Making sand castles at the beach

Sleeping in a tent and waking up to sunshine poking through the mesh

Air-conditioning on the most of humid of days, a gently-whirring fan for the rest

A temperate climate — while friends in the desert are baking, and not in a good way

Showing off your fresh pedicure


Swinging in the hammock

Teaching your kids to swim

Driving a convertible


My handsome hubby, Jose
My handsome hubby, Jose

A seersucker suit, preferably with white suede bucks

Teaching your sweetie to swim/kayak/canoe/sail

Plunging into a secluded swimming hole

Making pina colada kulfi popsicles; recipe here

Watching fireflies spark the landscape at dusk

The call of a loon across still waters

Running through the sprinkler

The gurgle of a paddle pushing cold lake water

The clang of a halyard against a metal mast

Plucking gorgeous flowers or sun-warmed vegetables and herbs from your garden

A frosty cold beer


Fresh gimlets, (possibly accompanied by very good potato chips)

Snoozing in the sun

Going Garbo-esque behind fab sunglasses

Sitting in a crowded beer garden or outdoor movie or concert, surrounded by hundreds of happy strangers

Playing with your pals until sunset — as late as 10:30 p.m. or later for lucky people in the North

When getting dressed takes five minutes and one layer

Sexy sandals (see: fresh pedicure)

Wearing crisp summer fragrances like L’Eau de L’Artisan, Cristalle, O de Lancome or White Linen, classics all; for men, Eau Sauvage or Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet

What are some of yours?


51 thoughts on “Summer pleasures

  1. Kulfi popsicles? I think you’ve shared the perfect antidote to the beastly hot days the weatherdudes are promising for here in Virginia. Now to scrounge up some yogurt cups for freezing. Thanks for the delicious summer inspiration!

      1. Kulfi pops are freezing as I type … and I think they will be happiness on ice! Oh, and put my perfect summer pleasure down as a baseball game in the sunshine … a bag of peanuts, my ever-messy scorecard, and my guys turning a double play like outdoor ballet. (Rerun this post in the dead of winter please, so we all can be reminded of these moments!)

      2. How fun!

        I play softball with a gang of guys and girls ages 20-something to 70. I usually play second. Such a fun way to spend time.

        Will try to remember… πŸ™‚

  2. A perfect, crisp sparkling rose wine on the deck with a warm summer breeze on my arms, key lime pie, sweet tea with plenty of ice, the smell of hyssop wafting up from the garden, the feel of the soil as I plant, the smell of the coast. Ahhhh . . .

  3. a crisp gin and tonic with a fresh slice of lime, the moment when you get into a hot car and you feel the ‘sauna effect’ just for a moment, digging in the dirt while listening to the buzz of nature around me, toes in the water, and laying on raft, floating beneath the sun.

  4. “Getting dressed takes one layer” Now that is a huge contrast from what the other half of your year has been like. My favorite…sitting in a Biergarten all afternoon, eating bites of this and that, and enjoying the laughter of good conversation.

  5. themodernidiot

    Sitting after the yard work’s all done, admiring the manicured lines and weeded beds, and the smell of the freshly cut grass. Favorite.

      1. themodernidiot

        No way!!! Wonder if someone out there still has a bottle. Probably selling it on EBay haha.

  6. Two days ago: Lying on a blanket in a park in the glorious sun, next to a castle, bottle of wine, someone to laugh and love with.

    Ahhhh amor en el verano πŸ˜‰

  7. emm…my new favourite thing this summer – sitting in my new little secret garden, sipping an ice coffee reading my ebook.

    Your a good Canadian Caitlin…gotta include that beer πŸ™‚ and wonderful choices too.

    1. Thanks, Paula! Good to hear from you again. Ice coffee is lovely. I’ve been drinking more of it this summer, too.

      I hope you noticed that one of the two beers was Canadian, a favorite of mine we can only find when we are in Quebec.

      1. Wonderful. That’s where I saw it before. I had the most lovely cider from just outside Montreal when I was there a few years ago.

        Ice Coffee is my new fav. I make it in my Keurig actually. I had my first one though way back in the stone age, when I was 19. I’d travelled to Australia and it was all the rage back then…prob around ’87 or so…it’s taken me though all these years to acquire a taste for it.

      2. Nice! Since I work at home, I just take the morning cold coffee, add some ice and half and half. Yum!

        I suspect Canadian women are more into beer than Americans…you know the joke about why American beer is like sex in a canoe? Becs it’s fucking close to water….

      3. LOL…oh yes. Americans even water it down when they import our beer …guess Canadians just have too strong a character for their soft palates.

  8. Spontaneous Sunday pool parties and bbq’s with friends at my house.
    Just leaving the giant ice chest out on the patio all summer long.
    Jewelry with nautical/seashore themes.
    Appreciating the relief of an outdoor umbrella when it’s a bright sunny day.
    Tan lines.
    Late sunsets.
    Sleeveless tops.
    Outdoor waterside dining.

    And yes, the sounds of a halyard on the mast–I love sailing, too! The SF Bay is a gorgeous place to sail.

    1. The ice chest on the patio…so true! Ours is out there all the time now. Linen is so delicious, isn’t it?

      Fellow sailor girl, cool! It is indeed a fantastic place for sailing. I’ve yet to do it but wld love to try. Do you own a boat or go out as crew?

      1. I am usually the Cocktail Girl on friends’ boats…and am a member of the yacht club. I’ve learned that’s the best way to do it! πŸ˜‰

        I mean, until I find hidden treasure and can throw endless dollars down my own money-pit.

        Do you ever come to SF?

      2. Smart! I learned how to do several crew positions competently enough to be welcomed into many racing boats. I loved it until I got really sick of spending every weekend, all day long, with boring rich men. I miss racing but not the time-suck.

        I haven’t been out there since April 2012 when the NYT sent me out there to do a story about Google. Dying to come back and spend some time in Marin…also have 3 dear pals in SF.

      3. Boring rich men is right. Unless you are with the rich chicks. Which usually is way better. ahem.

        Would love to meet you if ever possible when you’re here. I can drink beer just as well as any Canadian. Don’t even think of challenging me.

      4. That would be fun!

        In all my years of crewing on Long Island Sound (more than a dozen yacht clubs and probably 20 boats, 25 to 65 feet), I think I met only one female owner. Maybe things are better in SF?! I know my area has plenty of wealthy women — wonder what they do with all their excess $$$$$?

  9. Glad you had that juicy watermelon up top!

    Along with that, O’d put my homemade fresh peach ice cream. I long for the peaches we have in Texas- Fredricksburg is known for the dripping, fragrant, succulent peaches you want to eat, bake, freeze and spoil yourself with all summer. ( who can blame me for sharing?)

    We spent last evening here in Virginia with friends, sitting out on their new porch watching the deer wander through the evening mists settling in at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, fireflies by the hundreds, twinkling across the grasses. It wasn’t quite 10:30 but we managed to enjoy a couple bottles of wine till pretty late. So friends and fireflies go together.

    I bought a them pillow as a housewarming gift, that said “Best Day Ever” in sunny orange felt letters. And, yes, it pretty much was.

      1. Thankfully something good to remember from that heavy research!

        OH! Here’s another summer treasure you just reminded me of. .. the smell of Houston nights, heavy with cedar and pine in humid summer air. (Yes, I may be the only one ever to add Houston to a summer favorite list!)

  10. Coming home from the Sunday morning market with a massive bunch of fragrant basil. Making a fresh tomato, mozzarella, red onion and basil salad for lunch drizzled with olive oil and just a splash of balsamic. Cracking open a chilled bottle of rosΓ© wine (preferably Corsican) to drink with the salad. Crusty baguette and goat’s cheese to follow. Wearing open-toed sandals that show off your pedicure (red-orange and coral nail polish are the colours Parisian women are wearing this summer.) Spritzing yourself with Dior’s Escale Γ  Portofino perfume – the bottle is gorgeous and the fragrance light and fresh. Lining up for Berthillon ice cream on the Ile St Louis (the mango sorbet is out of this world). Jumping on the high-speed train and heading to the Atlantic Coast for a long weekend to drink white wine and eat oysters or a huge platter of fruits de mer (Arcachon, La Rochelle, Biarritz, Bayonne…it’s all good.) Or, alternatively, head south to the Rivieria to sunbathe topless on a private beach and pay a lot of money for your own sun lounger. Lunch and drinks are brought to you. I’m actually heading north this weekend to the wide, windy beach of Dunkirk to run and fly kites with the kids. We’ll then cross the border into Belgium and check out the beaches there; the coastline is supposed to be awesome. Belgian beer is also awesome.

    1. OMG. We wear the same fragrance! I LOVE Escale a Portofino. πŸ™‚

      And, natch, my new nail color this month is that exact shade of orange, which is so chic and so fun. And Berthillon (the apt we rented twice was literally across the street from them.)

      Love all of these, and merci beaucoup!

      One of my favorite food memories, anywhere, is from my visit to Concarneau…tiny, hot sausages eaten after very cold oysters and a glass of Muscadet. YUM!

      I will be in Paris for 2 weeks, starting Dec. 20, so maybe we can trade notes then.

      1. Lucky you. Have been to Brussels only (so far) and am eager to visit Antwerp for the Jugendstil (art nouveau) architecture there and to Bruges.

        Will trade coordonees as we get closer.

      2. Oh, you must visit Bruges in December! It’s like stumbling into a Flemish fairy tale with the snow, the stunning architecture and the famous Christmas Market! Chocolate shops on every corner, gorgeous little shops…but the Christmas Market is famous. If you want, I can inform you how to book your train tickets from Paris (in advance so it’ll be cheaper.)

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