The rates at chic Scottsdale resorts start to fall out of the stratosphere. Our friends from Canada and the Midwest disappear. You can golf at world-class courses for less than the cost of a meal at Chipotle. You start to hyperventilate when your electric bill arrives.
Yes folks, it is summertime in Phoenix. The only happycampers are liberated school children and families who are actually “camping” in Hart’s Prairie or the beautiful White Mountains.
For many Phoenicians, summer is about endurance. Suffering from heat exhaustion, we stare at the calendar, hoping that winter will come soon. We know that when January comes, the Valley temperatures will be the envy of the nation.
I’m not here to argue that Phoenix isn’t hot. But I am going to propose six strategies for enjoying—not just surviving—summer in the Valley. Here we go:
1. Take a lesson from the Spaniards. Enjoying a late afternoon siesta, people in Spain re-emerge on the streets in the late evening for food, festivities, and community. Muy inteligente? I think so! This adjusted life-schedule could easily revolutionize the rest of your summer. Your late afternoon nap will give you the rest you need to enjoy the cooler evening hours. What to do with newly acquired evening energy? Perhaps you could enjoy a night hike, go bowling, or have a fierce water balloon fight with friends in your backyard!
2. Refuse the temptation of heat “isolation.” If you’re not careful, the toasty Phoenix weather can turn even a socialite into a homebound hermit. Whether on foot, driving, or on mass transit, traveling around the valley in August to meet up with friends can be a sweaty endeavor. However, don’t let this be your excuse to spend your entire weekends alone binging on Netflix. Resign yourself to the warmth and make plans to be out with people. Don’t take a four-month sabbatical from your relationships just because the temperatures are in the triple digits.
3. Cultivate creative mental juices. Mid-summer is probably not the best time to start training for your next triathlon, but it is the perfect time to exercise your mental faculties. Phoenix has plenty of cool and comfortable coffee shops, wine bars, and restaurants with perfect ambiance to stimulate philosophical discussion. You could start a summer book club, discuss classic art, or write a group screenplay. Your creative group could also frequent the many great museums located in the Valley.
4. H20. With the temperatures soaring above 110, this list wouldn’t be complete without some aquatic suggestions. For those looking for the traditional water park experience, there is Big Surf, Sunsplash, and Wet and Wild Water Park. The Waterworks at Arizona Falls is a stylish option for those wanting to enjoy an aquatic experience without getting wet. For the ultimate Valley swimming experience, check out the rooftop pool at Hotel Palomar. The pool is open to guests and visitors and they have regular special events. If you are open to adventure, you can try your skills at Surfing on Central, riding the waves on a boogie board or flowboard.
5. Eyes outward. While the “summer of George” may sound like a good idea at first, take a lesson from the Gospel of Mark and look for opportunities to love your neighbor. It’s amazing how our complaints about the heat diminish when we link arms and work to help people in our community. Contact your local church or favorite non-profit and inquire about how you could get involved in making a difference this summer. Sure, you might break a sweat or have sore muscles, but you’ll love every minute of it!
6. Mix up the menu. As the Valley weather heats up, throw out the old grocery list and shop cool. Rich and heavy foods make the body feel sluggish and heat up the kitchen. Water-rich fruits and veggies are refreshing and keep the oven on pause. Invent new, tasty, and creative salad options. Host a dinner party and challenge your guests to bring their favorite “chilled” appetizer, entrée, or beverage. Everyone will likely go open with a new favorite summer recipe. You could surprise your friends by learning how to make homemade ice cream.
If you have your own ideas on how to make the most of summer in Phoenix, add your thoughts in the comments.
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