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The Joys of Summer

By Susanne Pacher

For me there is no better time of year than late spring, early summer. From about the middle of May to the middle of July I am totally in my element. It's finally warm, the weather gets better, the days are really long. The summer solstice for me is a magical time, you're out until 9:45 pm and there is still light on the horizon.

Well, it's finally warmed up in Toronto. After a long winter (isn't winter always long here?) and a patch of rain and cool weather in May, June has brought the "3 H's" to Toronto: hot, hazy and humid. As a matter of fact, I don't mind at all. I love being outside at night when it's 25 degrees (above 80 Fahrenheit) and I don't even need a sweater to protect myself against the nightly chills.

The last few days have been fabulous. Starting on Wednesday, I took a nice little walk downtown with my sister-in-law and we walked down Church Street, heart of the Gay Village, where everybody was getting ready for the big Pride Parade and the other events associated with Pride Week.

We then crossed over to Yonge Street, past Dundas Square, and we both commented on how this area is starting to increasingly remind us of Times Square in New York City. There are so many stores, flashing neon signs, outdoor musicians on the square, thousands of people walking and window shopping.

The week kept getting better. Last weekend was our 5th wedding anniversary and my husband and I had a weekend long of celebrations. It's amazing, we now know each other for 10 years and we've been married for 5, and we still get along......;) As a matter of fact, my husband's solid, rational temperament is the perfect counterpoint to my mercurial, always curious, easily excited nature. When I get too up or too down, he safely brings me back to earth.

We started off on Friday, where I came out to watch him play tennis and then we had a lovely dinner on the outdoor patio at Spacco's, a place where all the young, chic people congregate before they hit the club scene. Quite frankly, I felt a little out of place, I haven't been to a dance club probably for about 10 years. But the food was great and the people were interesting to watch.

We continued our celebration with a fabulous outdoor picnic in Burlington on Lake Ontario on Saturday. I love the water and we had picked a beautiful shady spot right next to the lake in a public park and spent a few leisurely hours sheltered from the sun before we headed off for a golf game at Chippawa Creek just outside Hamilton, Ontario.

Ontario is a real haven for golf enthusiasts, with many hundreds of golf courses close to Toronto and many of them very affordable. We played a round for C$38 each including cart and with a score of 104 on a full-size course, I had one of my better rounds. I am really more of a hacker in golf, but I do enjoy being outside with the birds and the bees....

Sunday I had a little spin on my bike, again down to the waterfront, where I ended up chatting to a fellow who was coaching a group of rowers in different types of boats, racing kayaks, canoes and similar vessels. Their club is also preparing for the upcoming dragon boat races in Toronto, always an exciting event.

After a competitive tennis match in the sweltering afternoon sun I headed home yesterday for a snooze on the balcony and after my husband's baseball game we capped off our weekend of celebrations with a tasty barbeque in the backyard.

As I said a couple of months ago when I came back from Cuba, I was going to try to reduce my working hours and spend more meaningful time with my husband, as well as spending more time with friends and family and doing sports. So far I've managed to restore a little bit of that balance, and I have to say it's fabulous. I enjoy and appreciate every moment that I get to go outside to soak in this fabulous time of the year.

About The Author

Susanne Pacher is the publisher of a website called Travel and Transitions (http://www.travelandtransitions.com). Travel and Transitions deals with unconventional travel and is chock full of advice, tips, real life travel experiences, interviews with travellers and travel experts, insights and reflections, cross-cultural issues, contests and many other features. You will also find stories about life and the transitions that we face as we go through our own personal life-long journeys.

Submit your own travel stories in our first travel story contest (http://www.travelandtransitions.com/contests.htm) and have a chance to win an amazing adventure cruise on the Amazon River.

"Life is a Journey Explore New Horizons".

The story with photos is published at Travel and Transitions - Insights and Reflections

(http://www.travelandtransitions.com/insights/joys_of_summer.htm).


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