20 Things the Summer Taught Me 2015

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This summer has been all about racking up frequent flyer miles, living out of suitcases and tackling giants by the name of Universal and Disney World in the relentless Florida one-two punch of heat and humidity. Above all, these last couple of months have emphasized the sacrifices we make and the lengths we go to spend time with people we like more than the general population in extraordinary (and sometimes extraordinarily expensive) places.

A few things this summer has taught me:

1. DO NOT ILLEGALLY DOWNLOAD COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL!

Well, that’s a given, right? Always. Just say no, kids. Support the talent that makes your trigger-happy finger tingle on the trackpad. And if you don’t care for supporting the creativity you enjoy consuming then remember, Big Brother is watching!

travel                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The regular line for the airport security checkpoint is never faster than the premier line no matter what TSA Woman tells you! If you have access to the express line, don’t turn it down. As the saying goes, just do it!

3. The newly renovated Honolulu Hawaiian Airlines lounge has a self-serve espresso machine! A single espresso shot may seem tiny, but it goes a long way! (A double shot is asking for #jitters.)

4. Under the Skin is still the best film I’ve seen all year.

It is one of those art films I wish I could re-experience for the first time. It is still so good the third time I watched it. Oh, and watching it on a redeye flight so people stumbling down the narrow airplane walkways can look at you weird just adds to the fun viewing experience.

5. Transferring flights at JFK is never anything less than stressful!

6. There is authentic Filipino food in Orlando, Florida.

It tastes close enough to home and if you ask them to change their TV from TFC (The Filipino Channel) to an NBA playoffs game, they will laugh and say no.

7. Never trust Florida tap (gator) water!

8. Snooooop! Everyone loves a random Snoop Dogg sing along.

(And if you never have, Google “What does Snoop Dogg look like without his braids?” It’s worth it. Trust me.)

9. Summer school isn’t all bad.

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disneydream                                                                                                                                                                                       10. If you wear matching shirts with twelve other people on a cruise ship, strangers will try to read your shirt and subsequently stare at your chest and use it as a conversation starter.

11. Few things compare to the look in a child’s eyes as he shouts, “Mickey Mouse is real, you know! He blew kisses at me!”

12. Nassau, Bahamas is gorgeous.

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Not only are the beaches (and beach bathrooms!) pristine (take notes, Hawaii!), but Nassau also has such a rich history. The very definition of paradise and the perfect spot to look out over the water and write.

13. Inside Out is amazing.

Pixar Post - Inside Out characters closeupInside Out takes a complex, sophisticated concept and doesn’t dumb it down for a younger audience, but tells the story in a way a younger crowd can understand and love. For the nerds (me), it’s a valiant, entertaining attempt at illustrating neuropsychology. Making a movie like this is such a gamble, it’s kind of amazing that Pixar took the risk and I’m glad it paid off with all the rave reviews from critics and audiences and at the box office.

                                                                                                                                                 daycastle                                                                                                                                                              14. Disneyland and Disney World both have their pros and cons. So much so it’s hard to say one is better than the other. The biggest pro for both is the experience and the biggest con for both is the prices.

15. Trying to watch the fireworks from behind Cinderella’s castle means less dealing with the crowds, but missing the projections on the castle and may result in whiplash.

16. Vegas is for rest, recovery and dollar tacos at Tacos Mexico.

17. If you leave your Mickey Mouse ears in a car in 115° Las Vegas heat, your ears will probably (sadly) melt.

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 18. Even when older family members claim to be Facebook savvy, they might be unknowingly using a photo of you from your graduation as their profile picture. If you find yourself in this predicament, change their display picture to a photo of said family member’s beloved chicken.

19. Females are strong as hell! Okay, so I already knew this one, but in this instance, I’m referring to the United States women’s national soccer team. Unlike so many other sports (yes, you, men’s soccer & the NBA), there was no dramatizations, no flopping, just picking yourself up and playing on. Also, I live for penalty kicks.

20. Summers are for family time, which can mean blood family or found family. Getting away from the monotony of everyday life, spending time with people whose presence you genuinely enjoy, who genuinely enjoy your presence, is important and necessary. What else is there to do during the summer?

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