Saturday, August 31, 2013

10 Tips to a Fantastic Summer

First off, find a few good friends to enjoy your summer with. Being a loner is fine by me, I am an introvert by nature, but to really have the summer of your dreams, you'll need a few partners in crime. Once you have those partners in crime, follow the following steps to really do the summer right.

Step One: Graduate from high school. Congratulations to the class of 2013, you are all done with high school forever and therefore, your summers are now more awesome than those kids who HAVE to go back to school. Also, graduating is a big accomplishment for anybody, especially my sister, Alexa Marie Beckett-Gee who was the last one of our group to graduate. Congrats, Lex you've joined the ranks of your rapidly aging friends. Love you!!

Step Two: Learn a New Skill. This summer we took Shandara (we being my grandma and I) to Panda Express for the first time and taught her to eat with chopsticks. Have you ever seen an 11 year old try to eat with chopsticks? It's a bucket full of cute. Like, really freaking cute. Summer is the perfect time to learn a new skill because you have three months to practice it before you go and show off to your friends back at school what you can now do. What did I learn? How to do a front flip into a pool. Oh, and also how to carry three plates at one time without dropping anything. Waitress life is the best life, yo.

Step Three: Catch a sunset. Take pictures. Taking photos with your friends is fun. Taking photos of the sunset is really awesome. Doing both simultaneously is just plain magical. The photo of the summer for me is to the left. I love you two! See what I mean when I say you need friends to REALLY enjoy the summer? I mean, this photo with just me in it would be cute, but it would also be sad.

Step Four: Catch a show at the local theatre. Last summer I went and saw Rent and Les Miserables. Never will I forget them. This summer I went and watched many people that I know and love take part in OVOC's production of Spamalot. It was so funny! I mean, I love Monty Python and the Holy Grail, so there was really no way I wouldn't have liked this, unless they botched it horribly. And they did not. Afterwards, me and my wifey got married again and our child was present! Ah, inside jokes. Going to watch shows at the community theatre not only gives you a chance to discover the wonderful world of theatre but also a chance to support people who work really hard to do something they love for your enjoyment. And I can dig that.

Step Five: Grow a Mustache. One of the great things about going back to school is having the chance to show all of your friends the wonderful mustache you worked three months to achieve. I mean, how could would it be to have a handle bar mustache? I can say from experience, it's pretty freaking cool. People are jealous of your fabulous facial hair and ask for tips on growing it out. The snickers are purely out of jealousy, I'm sure. And in case you're wondering, yes, Shandara and I did indeed go out in public with those bad boys. AND WHY WOULDN'T WE?

Step Six: Pay it forward. If you've ever had anyone help you with anything ever, you should probably help someone with something. For instance, fundraising for Parker's Place, which is a camp for families who have lost a child to a terminal or chronic illness to be with other families and work through their grief and learn to adjust. This year was my second year of being Pocahontas at the Princess (& Pirate!) Party which raises money for Parker's Place. The party is a blast, it's a dream come true for the little girls involved and for the girls playing princesses we've wanted to be all of our lives. If there is a place for you to donate your time, take advantage of that. Giving back and paying it forward feels good. Trust me.

Step Seven: Get stranded somewhere. Once upon a time I went on a shopping trip to Wenatchee with my three best friends. On the way back Nadia's car started acting up and we ended up having to stop in Chelan and have her parents pick us up. In the hour that it took them to get there from Omak we created many a memory. First we were rocking out to dance music on this veranda thing next to the water and gathered a crowd that watched us from afar. Then we took the dance party on the road and started dancing down the street. There was also a chicken suit, a large bug and a spontaneous Hill sighting at Safeway. Getting stranded isn't awful if you're with the right people in the right place. I can only hope my next time getting stranded turns out as good as this last time.

Step Eight: Shamelessly rock out to your summer time guilty pleasure songs. It's okay, your hairbrush and bedroom walls won't tell anyone. Unless your friend takes a picture of it. Then you're dead meat. Just kidding. Who am I to judge if you suddenly fall in love with We Won't Stop by Miley Cyrus? I can't judge you because ever since Best Song Ever (1D) came out I've been dancing all night to the best song ever and I am not ashamed. At all. And you can't make me. Someone has to enjoy the song besides me. And when you all start singing along to Come and Get It in the car with your friends, then maybe you won't be so embarrassed for still liking Selena Gomez.

Step Nine: Catch a summer storm. If you're not insane, you'll hope for a thunderstorm or something. Not a tornado like Omak got yesterday (8/29/13). Summer storms are amazing, I mean, the way that lightening illuminates everything around it for miles, and the sound rain makes hitting the window and the way the Earth smells when its gone...the whole experience is worth taking part in. I have spent five or six evenings this summer on my patio watching the storms, sitting quietly, in awe of Mother Nature. The tornado was a different story. I was actually at work and we were running around frantically trying to make sure we wouldn't get flooded or lose power. However, I survived a scene straight out of The Wizard of Oz, so there is that.

Step Ten: Go back to school, you hooligan!! If you've recently graduated, its off to college or trade school, whatever you've decided to do to make your life your own. The summer is over, you've had your fun, you've weathered many a sunburn and come out with a hopefully even tan and now its time to go back to sitting in class, but this time its classes you choose for something you hopefully love.

Here's to the best summer ever, ladies. I love you!!

Alexis Olmstead is a part time waitress/hostess/Pocahontas. In her spare time she randomly raps the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme and procrastinates cleaning. Alexis really loves summer time, but prefers fall because she has fifteen sweaters that need to be worn.