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8 tell-tale signs Summer has made it to L.A.

Posted in Style & Travel

vacancyOne might argue that living in Southern California, weather wise, is an endless sequence of the same blue sky and 70 degrees sunny days. And one would be wrong. We might not have the falling of the leaves or the gently falling snow, nor does the light change in any dramatic fashion, but there are clues that Spring has finally stepped aside to let Summer in, while we were too busy to notice.

  1. The days start gloomy and foggy, bearing a striking resemblance to any November morning in Milan – minus the freezing temperatures and the clanging of the tram. Heated seats in our cars are a waste of options but fog lights do come in handy this time of the year. On most days, the fog will recede to let the sun through but those four or five hours of June gloom – always stretching into July – are just glorious.
  2. With every single school finally closed, and day camps starting later in the day, the morning commute is approaching bearable levels. In the absence of any sig alerts, one can actually leave the house hoping to breeze through to work.
  3. Going to the beach on week-ends, anywhere from Ventura to the South Bay, is out of the question – unless you want to contend with European tourists, families with too many children, highway robbery parking rates and gridlock traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway. Better to take a few days off work early in the week and venture out to any Malibu beach for unobstructed views of the surfers and of the lifeguards ensconced in their baby blue Baywatch-style cabins.

    Paradise Cove
    Paradise Cove – Never this empty in the Summer 
  4. Planning to shop on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, any day or night of the week, cannot be done until September. In addition to the European tourists and families with too many children, you will also have to contend with throngs of Asian tourists (who don’t go to the beach) and packs of out of school and bored teenagers.
  5. The reservations usually start pouring in between January and March but plans don’t get firmed up until late Spring. At that point, I will have a calendar of who is coming to stay when, one of the pleasures (and drawbacks) of living in a vacation destination. This Summer, at Pensione Cevenini (as my husband calls our house – it’s invariably my family and friends who come to visit) we are fully booked for the season. I am mulling the purchase of one of those No Vacancy neon signs to hang on the front gate.
  6. Plans for evacuation and different stages of preparation for humans and animals in case of fire are updated and revised. Once the June gloom gives way to the hot and dry winds, any day is a good day for your house to burn down.

    Rattlesnake
    Come dusk, we have to share the outside space
  7. Rattlesnakes spend the central part of the day holed up in “air-conditioned” or otherwise dark corners of the yard, and then come out to enjoy the cool when the sun goes down and I take out the grill. Every Summer we have to negotiate a truce on who stations where, while the dogs are kept tucked inside.
  8. The families of mice who set up camp around the house during the winter, slowly start to disappear over the Summer, preyed upon by snakes and hawks. It’s a bit like having the Animal Channel outside the kitchen window when, while washing up, I will spot a hawk perform a swift landing and fast take-off in my yard, with four little legs wiggling from his talons. It’s never a good Summer for the mice.

Wherever you are in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy your Summer. If you are in L.A., look me up but, unless I experience an unexpected string of cancellations, don’t bother trying to book at this Pensione.

No vacancy” image found in the public domain. Others, copyright of C&S

 

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10 Comments

  1. Hmmm…not digging the sound of LA, as I sprawl here sweltering on my NYC couch.
    One tell-tale sign summer has made it to NYC?
    I stop functioning. No productivity, I slide from seat to sofa,and just lie there spilling out all over the place like the stinking garbage spilling all over the roach-infested streets.
    I’d trade a rattler for a roach any day, maybe…I think…

    July 6, 2014
    |Reply
    • Well, the rattler won’t go for your food but way harder to squish…doesn’t NY summer remind you of Milan?

      July 7, 2014
      |Reply
  2. Why do I have the sneaky feeling you don’t miss it?? I lived in San Diego for three years and I disliked every minute.

    July 6, 2014
    |Reply
  3. Haha! I lived in Orange County and San Diego for 22 years. You’ve described it exactly.

    July 6, 2014
    |Reply
  4. winston moreton
    winston moreton

    Reminded me of my word for the day. “Estivate”

    July 4, 2014
    |Reply
    • You got me stumped. I figured the etymology was from the Latin from Summer but had to look it up. Do you have one of those apps that gives you a new word every day? Or do you scour the dictionary?

      July 4, 2014
      |Reply
      • winston moreton
        winston moreton

        Dictionary. com push a brain teaser once a day to my email. I had to look at the answer. But like you I could see summer in there.

        July 4, 2014
        |Reply
  5. Wow. Very interesting to read what it’s like there. Not exactly carefree, is it? (Which is what I picture when I think of it)
    We are having unusual weather here because of a tropical storm pushing warm air up the east coast. 33 celsius here today, and muggy!

    July 3, 2014
    |Reply
    • Storm Arthur, you mean? Let me just clarify I live up on a canyon – anyone living in more urban LA doesn’t have to worry about wildlife or fires.

      July 4, 2014
      |Reply
      • Yes. Gorgeous tropical sunny weather again today, but heavy rain and high winds are forecast for Sunday. Not a hurricane by the time it reaches us, but a storm nonetheless.
        I hope you don’t have to contend with any fires this summer; that obviously has to be the worst thing of all. And the rattlers, yikes!

        July 4, 2014
        |Reply

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