Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ten things you should do at least once this summer

By S. Derrickson Moore

We may be having a tough time enduring the hot, muggy (for high-desert country) weather and it may seem that school is just around the corner, but don’t lose sight of some crucial summer pleasures that can be the best part of this season.
Here’s my personal list of 10 things you should do at least once this summer.
•Grill dinner.
Don’t have an outdoor grill, or feel like it’s too hot to contemplate the whole process? Invest in a grill pan and put those impressive grill marks on anything from a steak and chicken to fruits and veggies.
•Walk on the beach. Hurry, quick, while there are still a few more days before they turn off the Rio Grande. 
Or plan a day trip to Elephant Butte.
Or stroll our state’s most famous beach: White Sands. In the sizzling season, it’s best in early morning and by moonlight. Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and next Full Moon Night programs will be at 8:30 p.m. July 22 and Aug. 21. Info: 575-479-6124 or e-mail
Fun fact from WSNM: “Only the top few inches of the gypsum dunes are made of loose sand. Rainwater falling on the dunes dissolves some of the gypsum and cements the sand grains together, creating a crude form of plaster of Paris. This makes the white sand dunes easy to walk on.”
And, of course, our whole state is pretty much beach, and if what we hear about the ancient inland sea is correct, most of it was oceanfront once upon a time.
Take off those flip-flops and get ready to feel the sand in your toes and build a castle or two. Wear something summery: a gaudy, tropical print shirt, a new bathing suit and stylish beach cover-up. And don’t forget the silly hat and sunscreen.
•Mix a summer cocktail. Invent your own mai tai or margarita. Add green chile or jalapeƱos to your favorite beer. Make virgin versions for teetotalers. How about a Virgin Galactic cocktail in honor of the Spaceport? Let me know if you come up with a great concoction.
•Take a cool summer dip. Not a swimmer? Join a water aerobics class, or take cool showers. And you’re never too old to run through the sprinkler or have a squirt gun fight.
•See a blockbuster movie. The sillier, the more special effects, the better. Sneak away during the hottest part of the day to a theater with the coldest A/C you can find.
•Read a beach book. Again, the sillier, the steamier, the better. Or reread a favorite mystery, novel or book from your childhood.
•Find a summer love — or, to recycle a key theme from that iconic ultimate summer festival, Woodstock, love the one you’re with.
 If you’re single, consider tracking down one of your first summer loves online. If he or she is single, too, and you can’t remember why you broke up/drifted apart, set up a reunion.
•Take a siesta, at the hottest time of the day. There’s a reason behind the custom.
•Have a picnic. It can be as simple as a brown bag solo lunch on a park bench or as elaborate as a basket packed with linen,  glassware, wine and gourmet goodies for a romantic brunch or sunset feast at your favorite scenic spot.
•Throw a party. Invite the whole neighborhood and go all out with a Tiki bar, umbrella drinks, leis and grass skirts.
Or have a small, impromptu, intimate soiree for one or two, based on any of the other nine items on this list.
Or not. If your favorite summer pleasure is not on this list, make your own. Happy summer!

S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at 575-541-5450. Follow her on Twitter @DerricksonMoore

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