The Coast News Group

Northbound: North County, welcome to summer?

The weather here just throws me off left and right. Part of it is a what-to-wear conundrum; the other is part is a how-do-I-plan-on-spending-my-day issue. It’s tough to not feel like you chose poorly when it’s 70 degrees out and clear skies, and you’re doing multiple loads of laundry at home.

Ditto the feeling when you’ve packed a fleece sweater for work, and you’re sweating in the office.

I’m not, by nature, a spontaneous, seat-of-your-pants kind of guy, although I’ve written in prior columns about the need to live in the moment, and all the benefits that brings.

Perhaps the variable weather patterns we have here are trying to jump start spontaneity in all of us. Just a thought.

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I will say the clear, delineated seasons instilled in me the sense of joy that summer is coming.

I relished in the anticipation — how would I spend these few precious months? Attending summer camp, I had great memories with friends, trips to parks, beaches, public pools, and roller rinks. Summer was a celebration of fun.

In North County, fun, and active lifestyles are year round, save for a few dismal weeks in the winter.

The beach is our front porch, and my fellow craft beer enthusiasts know that unmistakable feeling of sipping a great beer on a patio and wearing flip-flops, all under the kiss of the sun.

We’re all just a little happier here, aren’t we? The weather and the opportunities that brings certainly plays a big part in that.

Perhaps still there’s value in planning out our summer — how would we like to remember our summer months?

Are there goals, activities, milestones we’ve like to accomplish, and reach, by the start of the fall?

Personally, I’d like to get in far better shape. I’ve written recently about getting back in the saddle with running, which I’m happy to say I’ve made some serious progress. Not nearly where I used to be, but thankfully no muscle cramps, and my fairly new running shoes (purchased in December) have been fantastic to get me where I need to go, literally.

I’ve also given some thought to a vegetable garden. I’ve been eating more salads at work this year, to cut down on my weight, and I’ve really enjoyed the tartness of cherry tomatoes. Maybe half a dozen tomato plants? I really enjoy the exotic varietals too; maybe some unique heirlooms this year would be fun. Baby arugula would be fun too, but the quantity I’d have to grow to make salads seems excessive.

I’ve had some friends recently get into home brewing. I’ve never really considered it, as I personally don’t want to have that much beer in my house — 5-gallon standard batches is too much for my tastes — maybe a 1-gallon kit? I’m a big hophead, so I’d love to see (and appreciate more) what it takes to make a great, hoppy IPA.

Whatever your plans are this summer, think them through now. With the next 10 days of great weather projected for North County, you can get a head start on them, like me.

Vince Vasquez is an economist based in Torrey Pines. He is a Carlsbad resident.