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broodings from the burrow

May 18, 2011

ten on tuesday: outside
posted by soe 1:49 am

Today’s Ten on Tuesday topic is Ten Favorite Things to Do Outside. I’m sticking to summer activities, since that was implied, but I could come up with another ten for the colder months:

  1. Go to the beach. IMG_5784 Bring a book. Bring a bathing suit. Bring a parka. Bring a grape soda and some chips. Doesn’t matter the season. Doesn’t matter the weather. Rainy, sunny, snowy, windy, hot, cold, idyllic. It’s all good. Honestly, life is just always better after you spend some time at the ocean.
  2. Sit at a cafe. IMG_6827Admittedly, this is probably the domain of those of us urban dwellers without access to a backyard, but it’s still lovely in the evening after work to plunk down at a table with a drink, a book, a knitting project, an iPod, and a crossword. Or another person. That’s even better.
  3. Picnic and barbecue. Be it lunch up at Mitchell Park on a Saturday or a weekend evening picnic with the gang, hummus and cheese and cold salads just scream summertime. And, just this past Sunday, we broke out the grill for burgers cooked on the stoop. You can bet we’ll be repeating that and we’re even talking about inviting the rest of the building’s residents to partake one evening in an effort to be more neighborly.
  4. Reconnect with the earth. Growth SpurtSummer is the time for berry picking. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries. Doesn’t really matter. I love them all and coming home with a flat of them after a day at a farm makes every mouthful that much sweeter.

    It’s also the time to get out to the garden and grow some things of my own. It’s a really cool feeling to watch things you’ve planted from seed or seedling or kitchen waste grow into legitimate food items. I mean, we grow peanuts and potatoes and strawberries and lettuce! How crazy is that?

  5. Get artsy. Impromptu JazzFrom Jazz in the Sculpture Garden to Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and from big name performers at formal concert sites to local church brass ensembles putting on a street corner show in the Circle, music is another thing that only gains from outdoor exposure.

    And while I know that it is not necessary to view the Bard’s work outdoors, I find myself really only interested in attending performances al fresco. Unfortunately, D.C. has gotten rid of that option, but last year Rudi and I saw a great performance back at Conn in the Arbo and the year before we watched an abridged (I know!) version up in Olney. I can’t really countenance such adaptation, so I’m going to have to hunt around to see what some of the other local ‘burbs can offer me.

  6. Attend festivals. Although the season technically starts in early spring with the Cherry Blossom Festival and the Kite Festival, the traditional start of the season is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in early May. It’s anchored in early summer by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and goes through the end of September and the National Book Festival (two days this year instead of just one!). You just never know what you’re going to learn or see!
  7. Ride my bike. You can't see meDon’t tell Rudi, but I actually enjoy tooling around on my bike quite a bit. I’ll never be the cyclist he is, but there is something cool about knowing you can propel yourself 20 miles in an afternoon. And I’d never see some of the places I’ve visited or the wildlife I’ve spotted if I’d had to go on foot or by car or public transit.
  8. Drink daiquiris. My dad makes the best virgin strawberry daiquiris in the world. I hear his full octane ones are also pretty good.
  9. Watch baseball. Nationals ParkWe’re part of a group that goes in on season tickets to the Nationals, so Rudi and I catch ten or so games of major league ball each year. While I’m particularly fond of a Mets-Nationals match-up, I’m happy anytime I can get to the ball park. The crack of the bat is just a summertime sound. And a ballpark at twilight is just a magical place.
  10. Lie in a hammock. Because after all that gardening, festival going, gardening, and bike riding, sometimes you just need a nap.

I can’t figure out what to delete from the above group to fit in camping, but know if this were a list of eleven, my love of campfires and stargazing would shoot this onto the list. And if it were an even dozen, dancing in a torrential July downpour would probably round out the twelve.

Check out the other participants’ lists at Carole’s blog. And feel free to share your own favorite warm-weather outdoor activities in the comments.

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