Hot fun in the summertime
By E. Adam Porter
Editor in Chief, News of Sun City Center

As a native of the Sunshine State, I always laugh when transplants and seasonal residents ask why we “don’t have seasons” in Florida. We do, I assure them. We have four just like everyone else, but they are different. We don’t have “spring, summer, fall and winter”. We have Comfortable, Hot, Hot & Wet, and Stay Inside.

Nothing captures that Stay Inside season quite like mid August, when the mercury tops three digits by lunchtime and thunder boomers fill the afternoons. It’s that time of year when a trip to the mailbox ends with having to change your shirt.

When it comes to Stay Inside season, Florida has at least two things going for it. First, we’re not Kuwait or Iraq, where the temps just hit 129F, hottest recorded temperature in the Eastern Hemisphere … or Death Valley, which saw 134F way back in 1913.  

Second, we’re surrounded by water, which means cool comfort and sea breezes are always less than an hour’s drive away. And, when the beaches get too hot and the Gulf and Bay feel like bathwater, there’s always the fresh and clear spring lakes dotted all over the state.

Growing up in east Hillsborough, we beat the heat of two-a-day August football practices with a midday trip out to Lithia Springs. The water is lower than it was then, but it’s every bit as cool and refreshing in Stay Inside season. And, if you really want to immerse yourself in chilly bliss, the twin delights of Rainbow Springs State Park and Silver Springs State Park are less than two hours north on I-75 near Ocala.

Closer to home, this community boasts terrific pool complexes. Indoor and outdoor options for folks who like the shade or want to bask in the sun. Plus, if you hang out around the pool you’re likely to meet folks, make new friends and catch up on the latest community gossip. Just remember, take it with a grain of salt. Get your gossip in a lounge chair around the pool, but get your local news from us.

And, when you want to find some air-conditioned fun, you can always come by for Monday Movies, Entertainment Series selections or a show with any of the local community theaters. Look for dates and times in this issue. Find the perfect summer read at the SCC library or attend an interesting and entertaining adult program at the SouthShore library.

Cruise down to the outlet mall in Ellenton, stroll down shady sidewalks and peek into the cool comfort of the shops. Find something nice for yourself, or pick up a back to school gift to send the grandkids. After shopping, you may want to stop off at Anna Maria Oyster Bar for lunch (and a free margarita, coupon in this issue).

In every issue of the News, there are pages and pages of opportunity, from dances to shows to club meetings. Sports and crafts and intellectual, spiritual or cultural options to add to your itinerary. If you ever hear someone say, “what’s there to do around here”, kindly hand them a copy of the News and pour yourself a tall glass of lemonade or crack open a beer, because they’re going to be a while.

And, if you’re feeling adventurous check out Kai Rambow’s excellent travel stories in every issue of News of Sun City Center. Kai not only tells you where to go and what to do when you get there, but he gives you the skinny on what you need and what to avoid as well.

When it comes down to it, “Stay Inside” might feel like the right idea in August, but there’s so many ways to beat the heat, a savvy resident of the Sunshine State knows “Stay Inside” just means find your favorite spot to cool off … and don’t tell a soul.