Summer Adventures

When it comes to summer vacation, all I can think of is relaxing, traveling, lots of road trips, and just couple of months without having to worry about anything school related. Summer is a time to go out and have fun with family and friends. It’s to go explore and go on some adventures. I am one of those people who can’t just stay in my house during the summer. I love to go on adventures and to explore and see the some of the wonders of the world we live in. And of course with every adventure comes in food. I love to taste different types of food each country has to offer.

One of the best summer vacation that I’ve been to is going to Mexico. Recently for my birthday my parents gifted me a cruise to Mexico. Though the cruise was only there for less than 8 hours. We got to go explore different places and book an excursion in Mexico. It was the BEST! And the excursion that we book involves food. Actually it is all you do all day your Mexico. We get to try different authentic food from Mexico and explore at the same time. And of course we also get to buy souvenirs to bring home to remember the trip. Once back on cruise, again all you mostly do in a cruise is eat! For 4 days straight I had no chores, nothing to worry, other than to eat and have fun by enjoying all the cruise has to offer! Food in the cruise I was in was amazing. Especially “Guys Burger.” And then comes the disembarking process. The process I’m pretty sure a lot of people hate the most. Don’t you just hate it when vacation is over and you get back to normal? Yeah well me too!

Another best vacation that I’ve been to is traveling around Europe for 2 weeks. Me and my mom love to travel. It’s out goal to travel all the countries someday. When we went to Europe first thing we landed on London. There we visited family and we got to go around London. Funny thing is we actually got to see some of the Royal family because it was when HRH Kate and William were visiting a local hospital/charity where my godmother works. We didn’t get to meet then but we saw them. And next to our trip was Paris. It was short one because we tried to fit 5 different places/4 countries in the span of 9 days. We explored the city of Paris and got some yummy croissant and the best hot chocolate for breakfast. Then our next stop Brussels, Belgium. Where again we explored for a days and went to Amsterdam the next day. In Amsterdam we get to explore the city and the history of Anne Frank.

Up next was our trip to Italy. First up was Milan. In Milan we got treated with an amazing homemade Italian pasta. The pasta is made in front of you and it was amazing. Then next to our trip was Lake Como. In Lake Como we got to see the beautiful Lake and its beautiful view by taking a boat around it. Ended the night with an amazing street pizza. Yes it was pizza that they sell on the streets with their little cart. It was delicious. We have a family in Milan that told us about this trick. We spent not even half of the price you pay in a restaurant and the pizza was so much more delicious. And last to out our trip was Rome. We climbed up to the top of the St. Peters Basilica for a total of 551 steps.

Our Europe trip is definitely an adventurous one. I was hoping someday to visit all these places with a little more time than usual. And explore it more. I advised if your an adventures type of person is to go to Europe and explore the cities. Because in every corner especially in Italy you see something different. Most likely something exciting. With awestruck views. And the food. We cannot forget about food. The food that I really enjoyed the most was in Italy and London. And if your a cheese lover Amsterdam has a lot of really great and delicious cheese. It was a really good experience.

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself”-Danny Kaye

-Marielle E.

Soundtrack for Summer: I Ain’t Worried by OneRepublic

Introduced by the movie Top Gun: Maverick, this song really got me excited for summer. The song in the movie featured Maverick using a beach football scene as a team-building exercise, which was an amazing scene overall and contributed well to the movie. The scene itself is a callback to the classic volleyball scene in the original Top Gun, but the song adds to the overall feel of the scene. It gave a feeling of joy and friendship, two values promoted over summer when people enjoy time off from school/work and spend time with friends and family.

To me, I felt this joy when first hearing the song, and decided to give it some more listens. After about 2-3 listens, I decided to add it to my personal summer playlist and I definitely have more of a feel/excitement for summer every time it plays. Even though all parts of the song were great for the movie and for summer, I found the idea from OneRepublic to incorporate whistling into the song as a genius move since it contributed to the feel of relaxation and creation of memories during the summer. I believe that plenty of people would enjoy this song, especially during the summer. It also promoted releasing stress that many could feel in life from work, school, or other parts of one’s life in a peaceful manner and simply living in the present and seeing the good over the bad while summer lasts.

However, even though I am a fan of OneRepublic, I have not paid much attention to their recent activity prior to this song. I listen to their past songs of Good Life and All the Right Moves frequently since I heard them on the radio almost every day when I was younger and in 1st-5th grade and it brings back memories from that time. Even though time and life move fast at times, it helps to listen to these kinds of songs to remember the good times and to enjoy life and the people around you while you still can. But this song proved that even though some past songs are amazing and at times better than the current songs of a band, there can still be some amazing present songs that can make up part of memories a few years from now.

Overall, the song was amazing and I believe that it has the potential to be a classic hit this year. OneRepublic has made plenty of songs that I enjoy, from songs such as Good Life, Secrets, All the Right Moves, and Love Runs Out. Even though I have admittedly listened to most of OneRepublic’s past songs before, it brought my attention towards OneRepublic and their recent activity and as a fan of the band, it was a pleasure to revisit something as good as this band. It really brought back some nostalgic memories from this summer and past summers, and I believe that anyone can enjoy this song and get hooked to this enjoyable summer tune.

My Top Five Crochet Blanket Patterns

I find in summer that I have a lot more time to sit back and relax, and I spend that time crocheting. I enjoy making blankets, either to be donated or to be used as Christmas presents, so here are my top five favorite patterns.

5. Tesselated Hearts

Tesselated Hearts (Fiber Spider)

This is a very simple tesselated hearts filet pattern that I enjoyed making very much. I chose a gray yarn to make this pattern with, and it’s working up well. The only thing I don’t like about this pattern is that it is worked in rows, not rounds, and I don’t much enjoy working in rows.

Fiber Spider’s tutorial (Part 1): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRAujqZFvS4

4. Bavarian Stitch

Bavarian Stitch Blanket (The Spruce Crafts)

The Bavarian Stitch Blanket is a great blanket to make. It involves post stitches, which creates lovely texture. However, it is a bit more challenging than some other blankets.

I used Hooked by Robin’s tutorial to learn how to crochet this blanket: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I1KbQWtdBU

3. Star Blankets

12-Point Star Blanket (The Loophole Fox)

There are two different star blankets that I’m thinking of, the 5 point star and the 12 point star. Both are worked in-the-round. I made the 12 point star for my baby brother as his own baby blanket, and it turned out really beautiful with a variegated teal yarn. (I used Red Heart Super Saver Ombre in the color Deep Teal) The only downside is that it’s not a round or square blanket, it’s star-shaped.

Bella Coco has tutorials for both types of stars: https://youtu.be/2PXxA9CVOjo and https://youtu.be/nExlllN6NGw

2. Virus Blanket

Virus Blanket (Christine Pennylegion)

The first I made the Virus Blanket was for my mom, and I used a really bright variegated yarn pattern (Lion Brand Yarn Cupcakes in the color Clown Car). It turned out absolutely amazing. The only downside is that there are a few holes, but other than that, it’s a great in-the-round blanket.

There are so many different tutorials on this blanket, but the one that I used was Bella Coco’s: https://youtu.be/Rlf7em4OhZc

1. Lotus Blanket

Lotus Blanket (Hooked by Robin)

This is my absolute favorite blanket pattern. Ever. I made this for my aunt for Christmas, and it was so stunning. The only thing is it’s just a bit complicated, but you get rewarded with such a pretty design! Find Hooked by Robin’s tutorial (Part 1) here: https://youtu.be/L–tTTLAi5A

So, there’s a list of my top five blanket patterns, and if you crochet I hope you make an amazing blanket you enjoy. If you don’t crochet, maybe it’s time to pick up a hook and a new hobby! (You’ll definitely never run out of Christmas ideas too!)

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever made any of these blankets. 🙂
~ Kailyn L.

We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

*this review contains spoilers*

This book being the third of a trilogy series, The Summer I Turned Pretty focuses on the summer adventures of Isabel Conklin otherwise known as Belly to those close to her. Since this is the third book, I do recommend reading the first two to truly get a grasp of this book. Conrad and Jeremiah have grown up with Belly their whole lives seeing how their moms are best friends. However, the summer that Belly starts to mature, interest in Belly peaks and decisions for which boy will best suit her come into play.

Conrad, being the older of the two Fisher boys has always thought of Belly to be his younger sister and never thought himself to be anything with Belly. On the other hand, Jeremiah and Belly have always remained close and with Belly’s newfound beauty he sees her for more than being a best friend. Belly in the end chooses to be with Conrad who eventually realizes he’s been hiding how he truly feels about Belly and doesn’t want her to marry Jeremiah.

This was such a great summer read especially since the majority of this book is revolved around the fact it is summer. It helped me embrace there is so much more than just school but also appreciating the time spent with those you love during the summer. I might not struggle with the same boy problems Belly does throughout the book but for the most part it was an interesting journey to follow. I feel as if I’ve evolved with the characters and might even feel emotionally attached.

There’s not much else to say about the book besides that I HIGHLY recommend everyone to read it especially if you enjoy teen romance, love triangles, and coming of age books. If you do decide to give it a read let me know which team you’re on…#teamjeremiah or #teamconrad. Also, this trilogy has an amazon prime series releasing on June 17th for those who are interested in watching!

-Madison C.

We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han is available to checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download for free from Libby.

What you Should do During Summer Break

School’s out means for those of us still receiving an education summer break starts. Summer break is the most amount of time a student is gonna get. Many of us especially before we’ve graduated high school don’t know what to do over the long summer break. Many have trouble being productive or finding something to do. With fewer responsibilities, you are given more chances to work on yourself. Summer is the best time to deal with all the personal problems you’ve been dealing with.

You can always try and get a job. If you are old enough getting can help you get real-world experience and spending money that you can use while you are out with your friends. Though it’s also the time that you can spend time on your hobbies without worrying about wasting time. One great way to spend your time over summer break is to volunteer. Without any responsibilities from school, you can spend your time volunteering for programs you care about and want to help. Not only will it help your college aps but also makes you feel better about yourself when you know you did something good for your community.

Another activity you can spend your time on is learning a new language. This goes especially for those of us kids that have one or two parents that can speak the language, you can’t. Like when you are at a family gathering but your aunts and uncles speak a different language. Or when you live in an area that has a lot of speakers of a different language. Even if you relate to none of what I just said, learning a new language is still a great way to spend your time. You’re still learning without doing something super academic. Also, learning a new skill set can not only help you or save you time in the future, but also gives you a sense of achievement.

The last thing that is great to learn over the summer is to learn how to cook. For those of us that don’t know how to cook, you’ll most likely eventually find times in your life that you have to cook for yourself. However, by the time that happens some us still can’t make a home-made meal for ourselves. We all know that home-made meal are cheaper and sometimes tastier than eating out. When you’re a broke college student living in an apartment, we’ll all learn to appreciate the skill.

These are my suggestions of what to do if you’re having trouble figuring out how to spend your summer break. However, you don’t have to do any of what I suggested- it is your summer. Though, you’ll probably not regret learning new skills over the summer.

-Luke G.