After a grueling winter, it felt like summer was reluctant to appear. A couple weeks of chilly rain, interrupted by a couple of random 90 degree-plus days was hardly what I had been waiting for for six months. Finally, as if sensing a holiday weekend approaching, the skies opened up and bestowed a soft warm glow upon Manhattan joined by a cool breeze to whisk away all of those delightful city smells and leave only a rustling of trees in its wake. That laid-back summer feeling I had been so desperately longing for is here at last. I’ve been allowing myself to drift in and out of daydreams of my childhood summers, that beautifully undisturbed time in my memory when everything was at it should be. Languorous days spend at the pool topped by Papa John’s pizza and a steamy afternoon thunderstorm provided a perfect excuse for a movie night with friends and a bottomless bucket of chilled watermelon to drip down my chin. Sun-induced naps in the hammock with a book splayed across my freckled chest, it all just felt so easy, like life would always be like this. While summers in the city are definitely different than the Floridian summers of my childhood, they are no less special. The crisp, lush smell of trees in Central Park, evenings spent on rooftops with friends, and just the sheer anticipation of the mere hope of summer makes this season feel like an annual months-long festival where everyone is invited. And of course, one of the best things about New York in summer is the chance to get away. Day trips to the Hudson, afternoons at the Rockaways, weekends in the Hamptons; most people love New York City summer because it means they won’t be in New York. Though I generally prefer weekends spent in the city, ambling through West Village and generally exploring, weekend, Rob and I decided to hop out of town just for an afternoon to New Canaan, Connecticut. Funny how our idea of a getaway is a no-frills suburb where most people who live there commute into Manhattan. But the uber-preppy interior design shops, Colonial-style homes, and a gelato shop to satisfy my sweet tooth was just what I wanted on a sunny day. Four hours in, though, and we were happy to be heading home. I’m finding that maintaining a balance of getting out and seeing new things really does make coming home that much sweeter. Yesterday, though, I couldn’t have been happier to enjoy an overcast, cool day listening to classical music, reading books and baking my favorite strawberry tart for the day’s 4th of July festivities. A recipe found on one of my favorite cooking sites, it’s super easy and makes a lovely presentation for a neighborhood barbecue. Hope everyone made some wonderful summer memories this 4th of July!