The summer is here, it’s getting hot and like most people you want to head to your local beach, whether it’s by a lake or by the sea, to relax and cool off. I find one real problem with that idea; it’s everyone else’s idea too. You have to fight traffic to get there, the beach is crowded, and you’ll spend the day listening to that kid, you know that kid, the one who kicks sand, throws tantrums, washing away any relaxation like footprints in the sand. With that in mind, I bring you some cool ideas – other than beach getaways – you can share with your partner.
I always suggest white water rafting as a way to get wet and have some fun. There’s a lot to love: the thrill of the cool splashing water, the physical activity of paddling, and more often than not a “no kids under 12” rule. The higher the rapids (classified from 1-6), the slimmer the chance you’ll have a kid on board. If you’ve never been rafting before don’t worry, in most cases the guided trips for adults are on rapids from class 2-4. I was a whitewater guide in a previous life, so believe me a guide will never let you on a river it he thinks it’s too dangerous. I suggest a half-day adventure for your first trip. You’ll spend the morning riding down the rapids then eat lunch on the river or back at the guide house. I guarantee that you’ll be talking about the journey with all your friends for weeks to come.
My next suggestion might seem a little yuppie, but it’s still something cool and adult-friendly: a multi-vineyard tour. You may have noticed that where you find one vineyard there are usually more. Get together with your friends and hire a van, or assign a designated driver and hop in a large multi-passenger car and hit the road. You’ll find yourself immersed in grape vines and surrounded by enthusiastic vintners ready to tell you all about their grapes and sell you their wines. You’ll often have the chance to cool off in the cave where the wine is aging and taste flight after flight of wine in a comfortable lounge. The level of intoxication is up to you. At the end of the line you’ll definitely have a bottle or two to take home that you can open for guests and impress them with your wine-making knowledge.
The times are definitely changing and, as opposed to 20 years ago when Atlantic City and Vegas were the only places available to gamble away some time (and money), chances are you’re probably not too far from a casino today. I don’t really gamble, but I’ve been on casino floors many times and there is something infectious about it. The feeling you get when you put your chips down on the green felt at the roulette table and will the bouncing ball to fall on black 12. You feel like a high roller placing a 20 dollar bet on the table as you hold the dice in your hands. The clicking noise of a slot machine as it tosses up lemons or the clank, clank, clank sound of it as it pays out make you feel like you’re in an Ian Fleming spy novel. You can get lost in the cool air conditioned room and waste away hours. And, if you don’t go overboard, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose; you still get your drinks for free.
Your summer options are as endless and varied as you can imagine (although I’ll admit the beach is a great destination – we typically wait and go in September when the kids are back in school).
What’s your favorite summer adventure scenario?