Pass out under the warm Valle de Guadalupe sun? Wine not!
Photo by Melissa Sweet

Despite the awful heat-induced headaches and eczema-related rash flare-ups that sweating inflicts on my body, summer is my most favorite time of year. I might be itchy, sun stroked and wary of the effects the blazing sun has on my increasingly aging face (seriously though, fuck you, sunspots), but those glorious months full of picnics, pool days and night walks make it great. I'm aware that weeks in, when I'm tossing and turning at 2 a.m. in my un-air-conditioned apartment, I'll be cursing the wretched heat and begging for cooler weather.

I'm a June baby, so that might add to my summer love. Every year I go big on my birthday. This year being birthday number 32 doesn't have much significance in terms of age milestones. It's not 21 or 30, or 69, which if I don't die in a tragic yet awesome drowning in the FC Barcelona team Jacuzzi among its tautest, most cheesily faux hawked players, I plan on blowing out in a ridiculously immature rager. No, 32 is usually nothing to write home about, but I'll be celebrating bigger than ever because I'm hitting some major personal and professional milestones.

For proof of this, make sure you watch Unherd, a rad new music and pop culture news show I'll be hosting on ABC10 every Saturday at 11:45 pm starting May 21! Ya girl's on TV, ya'll!

So how does a soon-to-be regional television personality celebrate a summer of slayage? Well, I'm not sure. All I know is that staying cool is going to be priority number one, considering how last summer felt like we were living inside Satan's stank belly button. Last year I slept spooning a chilled metal ice bucket most nights, which is embarrassing but highly recommendable. I do have a few ideas for a fun and cool summer.

First off, I'm dedicating a chunk of my summer to Hot Tub Cruisin. I wrote about this turducken of chillness a bit in the water section of this issue's Summer Guide, but to recap, it's awesome. A hot tub. On a pontoon boat. Floating on Mission Bay. What a world we live in. What brilliance lives in the minds of these great Jacuzzin' men and women who sought to push the boundaries of water-based relaxation.

I recently spent a Tuesday evening stewing in a hot tub with some good friends, watching the sun set and drinking canned rosé wine. My hair was wrapped up in a colorful turban, and from my earlobes dangled heavily big plastic costume earrings I inherited from my mother's '80s collection. Always dress the part.

Magical doesn't even begin to describe this activity. Chill as fuck gets a little bit closer. Maybe it was the canned wine, followed by the boxed wine swishing in our bellies; maybe it was the expertly crafted Yacht Rock playlist we created, churning out Sade, Bobby Caldwell and, of course, "Brandy" by Looking Glass; maybe it was just being among some really lovely ladies and a willing fellow to captain our pleasure pontoon while we soaked like swimsuit clad lobsters.

I'm thinking, though, it was the combination of it all. At various points, we all had a moment where we would look around and say "This is perfect." And it was. We've already decided to invest our money in a hot tub boat for our early retirement, 'cuzzin' off into the sun until our wrinkly bodies drift into heaven. Do these things float to Barcelona?

In the past, brokeness or a crazy work schedule got in the way of making fun weekenders, which sucks considering how close San Diego is to so many awesome places. Valle de Guadalupe is a must. I wrote a bit about Cuatro Cuartos in the Summer Guide land section, but let me make it clear that the whole Baja wine country rules so hard. It's beautifully scenic, has some of the best gourmet food in all of Southern California and Baja California, it's only an hour and a half away and it has an endless supply of that sweet Dionysian nectar that makes life come into Technicolor. Plus, you meet interesting people living out their passions, working with their hands to craft wines from grapes they've sowed. Inspirational stuff! I recommend you download the Ruta del Vino app and plan a trip. Some favorites of mine include Tras Lomita, Tres Mujeres, Baron Balche; and really just go because it's incredible.

A few years ago, I shared a little guide on where to drink legally in San Diego's parks, which is by far my all time favorite summer pastime. While my drinking days have majorly mellowed out, I can't go any summer without picnicking with my favorite people and enjoying some homemade cocktails poured from a purse that doubles as a cooler that my mom got me from TJ Maxx. My mom just gets me. I'll be revisiting that old list and will make sure to hit up all those field tested drankin' parks I love so much.

Sunny days, and blistering hot days as we should probably be expecting, call for cocktails. My homemade go-to is muddling cucumber and basil, adding Tito's Vodka and Trader Joe's Sparkling Limeade with a splash of soda water. It pairs perfectly with sitting in your underwear in front of your window praying for a breeze, another one of my favorite summer pastimes that will likely be nightly routine. Stay cool, guys!

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