Ah, summer vacations… Most of my family vacations started with an 18-hour car trip. Both of my little brothers and I sat, scrunched in the back of the car, with various books, action figures, and other entertaining items. Mom was the keeper of the snacks and the mediator of back-seat squabbles. This was before the high-tech days of built-in movie screens. Dad would bungee-cord a 10-inch T.V with a built-in VCR on top of the front seat center console. Each family member had their favorite road-trip movie. No 18-hour car trip was complete without the sounds of my brothers’ favorite, “Welcome to Goodburger, home of the Goodburger, may I take your order?”. To this day, I’ll never know if they actually liked that movie, or if they played it just to annoy me.
We’d drive over the Rocky Mountains by day, and through the barren deserts of Utah and Nevada into the night. Earphones snug around my head, I’d press my cheek against the cool backseat window and watch the silhouetted landscape zoom by, letting my mind wander to a soundtrack of my choosing. In my adolescent years, nighttime brought Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, or sappy romantic songs by Boyz II Men. During the day, we’d listen to books on tape like Jurassic Park, or to music everyone could agree on, such as Harry Connick Jr. or a mixed cd compiled by my little brother Greg, who has always had a talent for finding great music.
Now I’m getting ready to go on a big trip of my own. When you’re a kid, you just have to worry about packing your own suitcase, sitting in the car, and minding your manners. Grown-up trips take a lot more preparation! The past few days have been filled mostly with gardening (I may have gotten a bit carried away this season), cleaning, and running errands.
Plane instead of car, ipod instead of discman. Soundtrack? Some old, some new. Dad’s holding down the fort here at home, and the Mister and I are leaving for Spain, and then to Morocco to romp around with our dear friends who have been living in Casablanca for the past two years. I’ll surely regale you with tales of my adventures, food-related and otherwise, when I return later in June. Until then, start your summer as I like to do, with a proper beverage in hand.
Blueberry-Agave Lemonade is just the sort of drink to enjoy on the back patio after a long day of work, or while reading a good book by the pool. Use this recipe as a guideline, and adapt to taste depending on how sweet or tart you like your lemonade.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup agave nectar (to taste)
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup ice, plus additional for serving
- 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
Place all ingredients in a pitcher, and stir to combine. Serve over ice.