Our feelings toward the summer heat can change just as abruptly as our body temperature does after leaving an air-conditioned car and planting our feet on the sizzling cement.
To quote Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
All year long we anticipate the summertime, daydreaming about its endless possibilities, from a much needed vacation, to a chance to regain familiarity with the other half of our wardrobe hidden in the back of the closet, to spending countless days lounging at the river.
Not the Petaluma River, our beloved but mostly un-swimmable tidal slough.
The Russian River.
Sonoma County’s not-so-hidden gem, the Russian River acts as many Petaluman’s main source of relief from the sweltering heat. It provides us a welcome opportunity to become submerged in the water, a luxury usually unavailable at, say, Bodega Bay, due to its choppy water, danger of rocks and, of course, the fear of what is lurking underneath.
The opportunity for a classic summer day is always in the palm of our hand, whether it be floating down the river with a stash of beer and bluetooth speakers, or simply buying an inflatable Orca whale from the local Rite Aid and floating stagnant in the shallow end.
The ingredients for a good time are easily attainable, as long as you don’t forget the necessities - SPF 50 and water-friendly shoes to protect your feet from the rocky terrain.
We often forget about the little things, especially during a heat wave.
Here are some other hot-weather pastimes this summer that may have slipped your mind.
MOVIES IN THE PARK - HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS
Thursday, July 26, after sunset (space open at 6 p.m.)
Of course, another way to beat the heat is to go to the movies, or (starting soon in Petaluma, to just wait for sunset and watch a movie under the evening sky. Movies in the Park will be kicking off with the 1989 adventure comedy, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” Wayne Szalinski, played by Rick Moranis, is a family man and aspiring inventor who unintentionally shrinks his four children down to the size of an ant when they go searching for a missing baseball in his lab. Upon returning home, Szalinski throws his not-so-faulty shrink ray in the garbage can across the backyard. In an effort to be made kid-sized again, the children now must make the perilous journey through jungle-like grass, harsh rainstorms set off by sprinklers, and escape from giant predators in the form of backyard critters. Free Admission.
CAR(E) SHOW FUNDRAISER
Saturday, July 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Casa Grande High School
See gorgeous classic cars of all kinds, plus all manner of family fun, from bounce houses a live music to raffles, food and shaved ice. A benefit for the Salvation Army’s local Back to School drive, to distribute school supplies to kids in the community who need them. The event is free. If you’d like to show of your car, there’s a $25 entry fee.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? Call 707-769-0716 or write Mitham.Clement@usw.salvationaaaarmy.org.
SONOMA COUNTY FAIR
Thursday, August 2 – Sunday, August 12, gates open 11 a.m.