My Favorite Memory Essay

What’s your favorite summer memory? Ice cream? Fireflies? Camping? Swimming at the lake? Let us know by commenting on this article. And if you need a little inspiration to get you started, here are favorite summer memories from other Shutterfly members.

Favorite summer memories

As a child, I loved spending the entire day outside playing softball, riding bikes, going to the neighborhood swimming pool, and chasing the ice cream truck for bomb pops every day. We would stay outside until the crickets started chirping and then knew it was time to go inside. The feel of the sun on my face, ice cream dripping down my chin, and a refreshing dip in the pool represent the very best of summer to me.

My cherished summer memories as a young girl include spending long days and nights with my cousin at her house in the country. She had many horses and a great big barn…for climbing, for running, for jumping in hay bales, for sleep overs, and for just being girls! For cleaning tack rooms, and picnic lunches and mostly importantly riding horses! My fondest memory was when I was sitting on the rickety old wooden fence along the pasture waiting for my turn to ride. Those were the good ol’e days!!

As a child in Rochester, New York, I would get excited seeing the patio furniture being displayed in the stores near Memorial Day knowing the summer season would be here soon. Summer was a big deal in Rochester every year after surviving such cold winters. I would love the fact I could go bare foot soon and enjoy the smell of Zweigles white hots on the grill. My aunts, uncles and cousins would get together on Sundays, pool side, and we would enjoy each other’s company all day long. At night tiki torches would come live to keep the bugs away and I would swim as long as I could before the kids were told to get out of the pool.

Two words… WATER FIGHT! We had some of the best neighborhood-wide water fights growing up. It would be about four houses involved in a court setting. Hoses, buckets, water balloons. Big kids. Little kids. Adults. Nobody was safe. It is definitely one of my fondest childhood summer memories.

My dad was an avid Amateur Radio (aka “Ham Radio”) hobbyist. He had a large triangular tower going up the side of our house ~ well above the roof line. When our small Minnesota town had its annual city celebration in August, there were always modest fireworks. One year, with my dad’s sense of adventure high, he came up with a unique “viewing opportunity” for my three sisters and myself. He invited us to climb up the tall tower to the roof and we sat up there with snacks and had the best fireworks experience of our lives! The show itself might have been modest, but the experience was larger than life! It became a beloved annual tradition!

When we were little kids we would rent a cabin for two weeks at Pickerel Lake, MN. We loved swimming, going for bike rides and of course going to the candy store. We would just put whatever we bought on our parents’ bill! I loved the pop that came out of the machines back then as they were the classic bottles. It was a great time.  As we got older, our parents bought a trailer on Ten Mile Lake. I think now my favorite memory is just waiting for our long winter to be over and finally being able to enjoy our summers. It’s a lot of fun watching my nieces and nephews having a great time and I try to capture those memories on camera. Summer time is worth the long wait!

I loved going camping with my grandparents when I was a kid. Camping with them never felt like roughing it, but instead it seemed like everything took on an almost magical quality. Food tasted better, the air smelled sweeter and even hanging out with my annoying big brother suddenly became more bearable. I spent my days skipping rocks with my brother, reading Judy Blume books under a tree, fishing with my grandpa, playing endless games of gin-rummy, or floating down the river in an innertube while listening to my grandma tell me stories from her childhood. These trips with my grandparents taught me to appreciate the simple things and when I take my own kids camping now, I only hope we’re creating the same kind of wonderful memories.

Annual family beach vacations, away from the demands of the big city where I grew up, are some of the best summer memories I have. I remember the excitement rising with each mile as my family took the 8-hour drive to the coast. I remember the exhilaration of the first whiff of salty air & the first glimpse of the blue waters as we approached the shore. But everything paled in comparison to ditching our bags the moment we arrived, running out to the beach & standing in the waters of the Black Sea at sunset with my mom & dad, getting rocked back and forth by the waves while they talked and marveled how it felt just like being embraced by a higher power.

I’m on a single-speed bicycle riding through the center of Stockholm, Sweden and it’s still very light at 11 p.m. It’s part of a 25-mile ride my friend, Ivar, had arranged for me and my wife, Diane. What fun it was to be doing this in July and having it still so bright outside. Ivar, in planning the ride, had us go up a very steep hill (remember the bike was a single speed) and I knew he knew we could only go so far and would have to walk the bike up to the top of the hill. It still is a great memory

My favorite memory of summer HAS to be the fireflies! It wasn’t really summer till the first night of firefly watching. My siblings and I would all get into our pajamas and sit out on the front porch, just waiting for the darkness to happen. Then, low to the ground, the first twinkles would appear, just a few at first. As the dark deepened, we’d see more and more twinkles, till it seemed there were HUNDREDS of them! We’d run off the porch and let them light on us, and watch in fascination as their lights winked on and off. I never tired of their magical display. And many years later, my son and I enjoyed the magic together.

I grew up in a small town and my house was the gathering place for all my friends. All my friends would come over and we would swim the day away, jump on the trampoline, have water fights with the water hose and “borrow” some grapes from the neighbor’s grapes that were growing on the fence that separated her yard from ours. Those grapes tasted amazing, better than any grapes I have ever bought from a store. My mom would then fix all of us lunch, and sometimes dinner, and we would sit on the deck by the pool and just be kids with not a care in the world.

When my sister and I were younger we would take sailing lessons with our cousins and after our lessons we would visit with my Aunt and their house and have lunch. After lunch we would wait the standard 45 minutes after eating before swimming which of course is a myth. I remember sitting on the diving board and dangling my feet into the pool and staring at the ripples in the water anxiously awaiting, counting down the minutes and seconds until we could jump in the refreshing cool water. Of course once we did we could spend all day in the pool and when it was time to leave we would whine and cry that it just wasn’t enough time.

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I’ve had many wonderful holidays, but my favorite memory is that of a few summer weeks spent in Italy when I was about 13. My mom had to go to a clinic there for treatment (nothing severe or worrisome in any way, thankfully), and we all went together as a family and took the opportunity to have a beautiful vacation as well. Why this is my favorite holiday memory is because, besides the fact that it was the first time abroad for me, it was a vacation that has broadened my perspective, taught me a lot, and helped shape a bit of who I am today.

Although we did visit many famous places in northern Italy, we stayed mostly in a little town where some friends of my parents lived. While all the renowned attractions in the country were, indeed, marvelous, nothing immersed me in the Italian culture and nothing helped me understand the locals’ Latin spirit better than my stay in this picturesque, almost magical town that many haven’t even heard of.

At 13, I was quite a shallow girl who was interested mostly in having fun with the girls – and not much else. Thanks to the holiday spent in Italy, I also discovered my passion for music, which stayed alive in me to this day and will probably stay forever. My parents’ friends had a son, Ricardo, who was a pianist. While dad had repeatedly but unsuccessfully tried to make me study an instrument (and stick to it), when I heard Ricardo play, I instantly fell in love with music and felt a great desire to learn it. Ricardo taught me the first song I ever played on the piano, a silly, playful little tune that I still know by heart. Oh, and he was my first crush, too.

Another reason why I will never forget my holiday in Italy is the short trip we took to the Italian Alps at some point. I had never seen such majestic beauty before! The snow-covered peaks, the intimidating rocks, the fresh, harsh air – what an experience! And what I remember impressed me the most was the fact that, although this was a popular touristic area, the region was incredibly clean, still “natural”, with places that seemed to never have been touched by humans. Then, the shallow teen that I was learned what a real treasure nature is and how important it is to protect it.

Finally, there’s one peculiar memory from this vacation that stuck with me for reasons that I can’t say I grasp. It’s a pineapple & cheese sandwich that they sold at the clinic my mom went to for treatment. What a simple and ingenious mix of flavors – a sheer joy for the taste buds! I think it was the first time I tasted a mix of “regular food” and exotic fruit all in one, and I believe this is what triggered in me the pleasure I know have for experimenting with flavors in my cooking and coming up with unusual dishes. Looking back on it, this simple sandwich can also be a good metaphor for how you shouldn’t overcomplicate things in life – sometimes, the simplest solution and a bit of flair or courage can bring astonishing results.

My trip to Italy helped me understand more about other cultures, allowed me to find my passion (and let’s not forget about my first crush), taught me to cherish nature and do my best to protect it, and – maybe – inspired in me the courage to experiment (or, at least, it gave me the opportunity to discover that I adore pineapple & cheese sandwiches). This is why it is my favorite holiday memory.

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