I know it’s summer when my bougainvillea bushes take over the backyard.
Every year, I’m sad to see our city’s lovely jacarandas end their soft-purple show, but my bougainvillea — which my husband bought in 2020 as two puny sticks — are not sad at all.
It’s our turn, they shout. Their fuchsia-colored petals shower the ground. They grab the rays of the sun and shine like Hollywood celebrities. They demand attention — and interaction. To get to the door of my backyard studio, I have to sweep back hearty vines that drape over my entryway.
I don’t mind. It’s summer — when every single living thing should run wild and free.
I know it’s summer when my son, who likes to don thick hoodies no matter the season, peels off his sweatshirt and his undershirt, too, to go shirtless, bouncing his basketball outside my studio window.
I know it’s summer when, every week, my family and I crave the thick, creamy smoothies from Simply Wholesome down the street or New Orleans-style snoballs from The SnoBall Shop, which sits just across from Simply Wholesome.
What annual signs signal to you that it’s summer — not only on the calendar, but as a mindset?
As we headed into summer, I was so inspired by our Digital Editor Nina Harada’s Instagram-reel series, where she documented every day of June. These captured moments of her days remind us that there is beauty all around, even in the smallest, most ordinary things.
If you’re traveling this summer, please join our family travel social media campaign. Tag us at @LAParentMag and #LAParentTravels on Instagram, and we may feature your family’s travels.
Even if you aren’t going out of town, be a “tourist” in your own city. Your own neighborhood. Your own backyard. Hit the record button. Capture the light while it lasts.
This issue offers a kaleidoscope of ways — locally and regionally — for you and your family to run footloose and fancy-free this summer. Check out what’s new at our theme parks and the San Diego Zoo. Jump in the car and road trip to a nearby mountain or beach town. Take a mouthwatering tour of favorite mom-and-pop eateries. Make strawberry sorbet with the kids. Get creative with your littles after reading Danielle Davis’ new picture book, “To Make.”
And when the heat starts to get to you, don’t retreat to the couch. Instead, find respite in our “10 Cool Ways to Summer Fun” feature.
Wishing you a wild and bougainvillea-filled summer!
Cassandra Lane is Editor in Chief of L.A. Parent.