Welcome Beverly, it is great to have you with us today!
Beverly Allen’s Summer Bucket List
When Shelley asked me for a guest post, I asked her if she wanted anything in particular. She said maybe something summery. Well, this summer has been a little hampered by a busy schedule: I barely recovered from my daughter’s wedding before being confronted by two simultaneous deadlines ---including the galleys for For Whom the Bluebell Tolls (http://www.amazon.com/Bluebell-Tolls-Bridal-Bouquet-Mystery/dp/042526498X/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1406464356&sr=8-1) and a doozy of a summer cold.
But our glorious summer is the season that makes Buffalo, NY a suitable place to live, so here’s my summer bucket list: those things I must do to ensure that I feel that I’ve not missed the season completely.
Sweet Corn: Grilled or boiled, sweet corn is one of the joys of summer. For the treat of a lifetime, if you can grow it or find it at a nice farm stand, cook it the same day it was picked; it’s almost heaven.
Shakespeare in Delaware Park: (http://shakespeareindelawarepark.org/) This is a twice-in-the-summer event for us. Each year the troupe puts on two of the bard’s plays, generally a historical and a comedy, but sometimes with a unique twist--contemporary settings, an all male (or female cast), and occasionally even as a musical. We bring a picnic and snacks so we can get our lawn chairs on the hill early. It’s free (although donations are happily collected at intermission). Lovely, historic park.
Lake Ontario (and Byes Popcorn): On a hot day, shady Krull Park (http://www.niagaracounty.com/parks/KrullPark.aspx) on the shores of Lake Ontario is heaven. We grab a bench facing the lake--or bring our own lawn chairs or blankets and stretch out with a good
book. The lake cools the air: nature’s air conditioning. On the way is a required stop at a local roadside popcorn stand that has been in operation since 1923. (http://www.yelp.com/biz/byes-popcorn-olcott)
Erie County Fair: Leave it to an area starved for summer to have the third largest county fair in the country. The fair has been going strong now for 175 years, and is a tradition worth continuing. Yes, there’s exhibits, contests, shows, but there’s also fair food. Favorite last year: red velvet funnel cake with cream cheese icing. Also high marks for the maple exhibit (maple butter, maple cotton candy).Yum! (https://www.ecfair.org/)
Perry’s Ice Cream: Made locally in Western NY, Perry’s, whether in cartons from the grocery store, or frozen custard, or specialty flavors sold only in many of the area’s ice cream stands, Perry’s is one of the flavors of summer. (http://www.perrysicecream.com/find-your-flavor-match/)
Niagara River (Old Man River and Mississippi Muds): One of the secrets of Western New York is the amount of water in the area. Along the shores of the Niagara River, in Tonawanda, NY, are two hot dog stands that are a summer staple. Get the Sahlen’s hot dog, the sweet potato fries (with honey and butter), and finish with ice cream at Mississippi Muds (Perry’s of course, in a waffle cone made fresh on the premises.) All with a view of the river.
Deck time: After being stuck inside all year, any temperate day might find me on my deck. I’ve even been known to camp out there with my laptop when on deadline.
S’mores: No better way to end a summer’s day than with a fire--once the air has cooled down, that is. Haven’t managed a s’more yet this summer. It’s either been too hot, too cold, or too wet. One s’more is really all the chocolate I want, but if you don’t take the bag of marshmallows away from me,
I’ll toast them all night. Did you know that marshmallows are only 25 calories each? Yeah, pure sugar, but one of the joys of summer.
What’s on your summer bucket list?
Bio: Barbara Early, who writes as Beverly Allen, grew up buried in the snowy suburbs of Buffalo, NY, where she developed a love for all things sedentary: reading, writing, classic movies, and Scrabble. She holds a degree in engineering, but her creative streak caused her to run away screaming from the pocket-protector set. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, crafts, home-improvement projects, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and four naughty, but adorable cats.
She cooks up cozy mysteries with a healthy dose of comedy and sometimes a splash of romance. Bloom and Doom, the first book in the Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery series, released from Berkley Prime Crime in April and was her debut novel. The second in the series, For Whom the Bluebell Tolls, is scheduled for release in January, 2015.