Luxuries of an Augusta Summer
I always look forward to the onset of summer with a sense of mixed emotions. When my daughter was younger, these hot sultry months represented a relaxing of the schedule. A few minutes of extra sleep in the morning, a suspension of the afternoon carpool frenzy. Late afternoons that extended into unhurried evenings without the worry of homework, sports schedules and early-to-bed dinners. And though my daily routine no longer includes carpool or homework or eight o’clock school bells, I still relish unhurried weekday opportunities to work in the yard or grill out with friends, thanks to the long daylight hours. Such are the luxuries of an Augusta summer.
The flip side of these luxuries is the often brutal heat of an Augusta summer—dashing from car to air-conditioned building, attempting to salvage flowers planted with such optimism in April, gazing into the closet each morning and trying to decide how few clothes I can put on and still present a professional presence. Such are the trials of an Augusta summer.
Of course, many Augustans pack up and go to the mountains for a couple of weeks during the worst of the heat. And a lucky few spend most of their summer at higher altitudes. But the rest of us are destined to pass those long sweltering days right here in town. The good news for those of us in the latter category can be found in the pages of this issue. It’s filled with great things to do during the summer, most of which are a short distance from home and sure to make the summer memorable. Start with the “Calendar” on page 86, which is filled with fun activities for the whole family—many of which are free. For example, there are four outdoor music series offering everything from jazz to bluegrass and that doesn’t include the Augusta Canal sunset music cruises, which are an outstanding way for you and a group of friends to spend an evening. Take a picnic, your favorite libations and settle into one of the coolest spots in town on a hot summer night.
You can also take in a movie at the Morris, the Evans library or outdoors at the Columbia County Amphitheater, Reed Creek Park and, believe or not, from your boat at Wildwood Park. Or plan a trip to the Dupont Planetarium in Aiken where you can gaze at the stars in air-conditioned comfort.
For an extended adventure join the thousands of people from around the country who flock to Lake Thurmond each year to camp, fish, hike, boat, bike or just relax. Lucy Adams’s story beginning on page 58, penned in Lucy’s uniquely witty style, is sure to inspire you to pack up the kids, head to the lake and take advantage of this recreational treasure right in our own backyard.
Speaking of camping, if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t know where to start, turn to page 18 of “Short Takes” and find out about Camping 101, a program offered by the Georgia State Parks that is sure to transform you and your family into avid campers. They even provide the equipment.
So if you’re like me, with little chance of a mountain getaway, don’t fret. There are plenty of excellent things to do right here at home.