“When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and, like a dream, glides away.” – Sarah Helen Whitman
And just like that, summer is lifeless. Many years past I started keeping daily journals and travel journals. When my memory is no longer what it used to be, I can rely on my written words to soothe me and remind me of summers long ago.
I love reading, and naturally writing followed suit. Remembering my summer moments was not enough. Therefore, I wrote about bars, ethnic food, shopping, meeting locals, nightlife, and all the fascinating clandestine stuff of my summers.
Years Past: Minnetonka And The Twin Cities, The Summer of 2009
Minnetonka, Minnesota, and the surrounding areas are no slacker type landscapes. The expanse of the surrounding cities – the Twin Cities, and their cityscape are fetching. On the ground, they offer great restaurant selections, a healthy culture of sports, and ethnic mundies of all sorts. Some of my best memories were during the summer of 2009 – not scandalous at all. I practically lived in Minnetonka during that summer. It was the best of times and it was the height of my career expansion. As far as I was concerned, I was on my way to be a frequent traveler.
I was an auditor for three years. And I love the time I spent traveling from city to city. And, I was fortunate to be able to have a career that I loved and dreamed of having. With that career came living out of hotels and it often felt like I spent more time in the sky than I did on the ground. Also, I worked with someone who became one of my greatest friends. Our adventures, when we had free time, would become the top talk of weeks that following our trips. Minnesota was the start of our friendship and we would spend at least two weeks over the next three summers in this city. I wanted to remember these times. Not just with pictures and memories, but with words of my journey on written page. Therefore, it only made sense to journal.
The majority of my travel time in Minnetonka made for fascinating tête-à-têtes and stories, which I chronicled. The Ethiopian culture is alive and well in Minnetonka and the surrounding Twin Cities. After work, we would find a local mom and pop restaurant and savored the foods. An evening our weekend out would not be complete with sampling the local beer on tap. The best part about this summer is I relive the detail events when I revisit my journals. Importantly, a summer in Minnetonka and the Twin Cities is not complete without taking in a baseball game. This was the first summer in years that I spent in many cities. But Minnesota was home for a short period of time.
Years Past: San Francisco, The Summer Of 2011
“San Francisco has only one drawback: ’tis hard to leave.” -Rudyard Kipling
In years past, I spent time in San Francisco. Particularly during summer months. Honestly, this city has the coldest summers, but that did not bother me at all. Undoubtedly, San Francisco is my weakness – the entire West Coast. And, when the chance arrives to travel to the City by the Bay, I am ready. I think of myself as a campaigner of why one should always travel to Frisco. For this reason, I typically pull out my 2011 list of all things magnificent about Frisco. My first time in the City by the Bay was the Summer of 2011. I flew in late in the evening, at the rise of twilight. I remembered how the city shimmered and sparkled. My eyes, mesmerized by the expanse of such a lovely place, stopped functioning. I had never seen a more ethereal city.
My best friend could see the childlike joy in my face. She knew once I placed my feet on the ground, getting me back on a flight out five days later would prove to be a challenge. Once I was out-and-about in Frisco, I took a deep breath and digested the air and allowed it to fill up my lungs and arteries and committed it to memory. It traveled through my body and I knew this trip would be gratifying.
Here is what you should know, one cannot go to Frisco and not find something that makes you not want to leave. I discovered long ago that food, art, and local culture is the reason to return to West Coast cities. San Francisco’s social life, street designs, and redwood forest offers so many reasons to stay. In the end, why leave, because of the pleasure one receives of come back after days past.
Years Past: Los Angeles, The Summer Of 2013
“For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home.” -Simon Van Booy, Everything Beautiful Began After
My years past experiences in Los Angeles are pure love. I love cities, and this city did me proud. My summers are always about cities, celebrations, or summer events. The greatest city in the west is Los Angeles or LA. LA is known by a few famous names such as City of Angeles, La-La Land, Shaky Town, the Angels, or Southland. And, whatever nickname you call it is entertaining and sensational. LA’s mountains and the seas are picturesque. Moreover, the skyline from anywhere within LA County is the backdrop on a sky canvas. My second trip to LA occurred during the Summer of 2013. In this place, outside of business, you can be whoever you want. If you want.
My partner in crime was a colleague who loves the city as much as I do – or more. If my previous post was not clear, let me restate, food is the spice of West coast life. Trips to the West Coast are often about play and some work. However, I believe I relax a little more in California than I do in any other state. Los Angeles is land and culture. I am all for taste. Moreover, it is a place where you can discover that you have multiple sides to yourself. I discovered that I like the bright lights and parties. More importantly, I like meeting new people who has something different to offer. And, Southland did that for me.
I believe that there is something new for each person that visits LA. It is for me, each time I visit I come back anew. My 2013 summer trip to the City of Angels taught me something about myself. No matter how much I love the East Coast, California alone has the same equal pull on my spirit.