The Idea Specialists™ at The Retreat at Mountain Brook in Birmingham, Alabama, are in a summertime frame of mind—and here to dish on some of their coolest ideas and finds for the hottest time of year!
One of the greatest things about living at The Retreat at Mountain Brook is being able to lounge in luxury on the sundeck by one of the upscale apartment community’s three sparkling resort-style pools.
To do so in comfort, you absolutely have to have the right accessories, first and foremost bathing suits and swim trunks. Forbes breaks it down for the ladies; Men’s Health lists some great options for the gentlemen. Idea Specialist™ favorites are the Hurley Men’s Standard Supersuede One and Only Board Shorts for the fellows, and the Lululemon Waterside Chevron One-Piece for women.
For The Host & Hostess With The Most & Most-est
Even though summer doesn’t technically begin until the Summer Solstice—always on June 21st—most of us here in the Deep South have been attending warm-weather gatherings since late April.
Whether you’re visiting friends for a weekend at their beach place, or planning on going to a co-worker’s Fourth of July cookout, you know you don’t want to show up empty-handed. So the Idea Specialists™ did a little research and came up with some fun and functional gifts for your hosts.
First, flowers—hard to go wrong with those, right? The Spruce features a festive burlap-wrapped bouquet from Farmgirl Flowers in its post on some of the best gifts to give in 2022, and who wouldn’t enjoy seeing such bright and happy loveliness on their breakfast nook table?
Or maybe you want to go the whimsical route, give your college bestie the funny cat hand towels she never realized she wanted, until now….
On the other hand, maybe your college frat brother, as cool as he is with cats, would prefer something a little bit more understated, like this set of monogrammed leather coasters from Food52.
Don’t know what might be appropriate? Well, it’s hard to go wrong with an extremely practical and environmentally friendly bundle of sponge cloths in neutral grays and whites–they replace up to 17 rolls of paper towels!
Ready To Hit The Road?
While the Idea Specialists™ at The Retreat at Mountain Brook are all about cuddling on the couch and finishing up the final season of Better Call Saul (what are we gonna do without some Mike in our lives?), summer is also the right time for hitting the road, and they’ve scoped out some great day trips.
Super-close to home you can take a kayak out for some peaceful time on the Cahaba River.
If you want to venture a little farther out into the wilderness, make plans to cool off on a hot summer day at Cathedral Caverns State Park in Woodville, Alabama. You can explore the stunning underground caves with their unique features, like Goliath, which at 45 feet tall and 243 feet wide is one of the world’s largest stalagmites. The park also offers five miles of hiking trails and, for those who are feeling lucky, gem mining! It’s important to know before you go that cave tour tickets are only available on the same day; call 256-728-8193 to find out about tour availability and make reservations.
Also a little farther away is the state’s capital city, Montgomery, Alabama, an international tourism destination for many reasons, not the least of which is the breathtaking National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a somber, 6-acre site with sculpture, art, and an 11,000-square-foot museum with first-person accounts, videography, and other exhibits detailing the experiences of Black Americans.
A Little More Pool-Side Action
It just wouldn’t be summer if we didn’t sit by the pool and read a good book. So, get a comfy poolside cushion—perfect for keeping your legs safe from that hot Alabama concrete and your swimsuit from those unfortunate snags—and get going on one of most-talked-about reads of 2022, Night of the Living Rez, a set of 12 modern and incendiary stories set in a Native community in Maine.
Be safe, enjoy!