Jen & Christin’s “Songs of the Summer” Series.

Summer Vacation is just around the corner. Both my kids and Christin’s are in the home stretch. Five days and counting! A shift is taking place. Late nights and lazy mornings will be here before you know it. Trips to the beach, the zoo, and for the one week in Summer when we hit 90 degrees, this is when we hit the mall basking in the glory of air condition. Breakfast at 10:00 am over coffee, juice, and bacon. Late night dinners because no one has to be up early. Each kid hoping that THIS will be a summer to remember. As Christin and I think back to our own Summers, some, not that long ago, we decided what better way to welcome Summer than with our very own playlist. The only rule, there is none. Over the course of the next ten days, we will each share a song with you that envokes a special summer memory. A song that when Christin and I hear it in the middle of October, we start counting down the days to Summer, remembering days long gone. We hope you enjoy this series as much as we enjoyed writing about it.


Hot in Here- Nelly

This song came out in 2002, the summer I went to Mexico. Turns out even if it the locals didn’t know a word of English, they did know every word of this song. Every night we spent in the club dancing, sweating our asses off until late into the night. After leaving the club, we would find the nearest street taco truck and eat the best tacos south of the border.  The streets were filled with people dancing to music I didn’t know the words to. It didn’t matter. The locals were so friendly, I even had a few that tried to teach me some Spanish despite my inability to roll my r’s. A few late-night swims on the white sand covered beaches were the most memorable. Quite different from the ones here on the west coast. On a short trip to a nearby city, we sat in the back of a truck singing at the top of our lungs…

“I got secrets can’t leave Cancun
So take it off like your home alone
You know dance in front your mirror while you’re on the phone
Checking your reflection and telling your best friend
Like “Girl I think my butt getting big!”

It’s getting hot in here, so hot, so take off all your clothes
I am, getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off
It’s getting hot in here, so hot, so take off all your clothes
I am, getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off”

That was a great trip. It was the last summer that I would be uncommitted to anyone or anything. I was living in the moment, doing what most 22-year-olds do, not thinking about tomorrow. I didn’t know it then, but that would be the last of many things for me. About a week after coming home, I got really sick. At first, I thought it was all those street tacos I consumed or maybe the excessive amounts of Corona. Turns out this would be the last summer that I would be wild and free. I found out I was pregnant with my daughter following a very short relationship with a local military soldier. I would be faced with being a single mom, which changed my life in only good ways. You see, everything happens for a reason. 16 years later when this song comes on, you will find my free-spirited daughter and I with the windows rolled down, warm air on our faces, singing at the top of our lungs.

“It’s getting hot in here, so hot, so take off all your clothes
I am, getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off
It’s getting hot in here, so hot, so take off all your clothes
I am, getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off”



Sofia was in the third grade. I was an active parent volunteer at her school. It was the last day of school. While the students were in their respective classrooms, doing final clean up touches on empty desks and bare walls, you could hear their excitement. Summer vacation was finally here.

Some fellow parent volunteers and I were in the school workroom cleaning it up, making sure everything was in place for when we all returned in September. Cookie ovens unplugged, a clean bulletin board waiting to see what next year’s theme will be, a coffee pot along with stale creamer packed up for the summer.

One of the parent volunteers had some “music” playing on her phone. I use the word “music” very loosely. It was not music. It was fingernails on a chalkboard kind of music, and she was singing along to every cringe-worthy lyric.

I opened the back door to the workroom to get some fresh air in there. There was a burst of cool breeze that kinda pushed the door out further than I had originally intended. A storm was coming. The sky was turning a deep shade of blue, you could hear thunder in the distance, and smell the rain that would probably be here at any moment. It was a nice change. Not your typical “Welcome to Summer vacation” weather, but my kind of weather.

As the three of us we standing there, chilly from the quick change of a mild muggy heat to a chilly fall breeze, the song changed on her phone. As soon as I heard the very first line, the other’s made their way to the phone to switch it.

“Don’t you dare change it, this is a classic!”

Here comes the jesters, one, two three
It’s all part of my fantasy
I love the music and I love to see the crowd
Dancin’ In the aisles and singin’ out loud

Both of them looked at me, then at each other. “What song is this? I don’t think I know it?”

I was dumbfounded.

Ignoring them, I walked outside, just as it was starting to sprinkle. I could still hear the music playing.

Here comes the dancers one by one
Your mama’s callin’ but you’re havin’ fun
You find you’re dancin’ on a number nine cloud
Put your hands together now and sing It out loud

“Yeah, that’s the point!”


I opened up my arms, welcoming the rain. Standing there, on the playground of a school that has at least five hundred students and staff,  I had not a care in the world. This was the last day of school. With open arms, I welcomed the rain. This was a perfect start to my summer.

Only when the song finished, did I make my way back inside. Hair damp with the first rain of the season, makeup borderline smudged, clothes, slightly wet. Perhaps I did not think this out fully. There was still the end of the year assembly to attend, and I looked like a wet skunk, but I will tell you, standing on the empty playground, taking in the rain as a sign from up above “You’re going to have a hot summer, but I will give you this.” it just set the mood. “Let’s go summer, show me whatcha got!”

And to this day, every time I hear Bad Company’s “Rock N Roll Fantasy” it takes me back to that day in the rain. And no matter where I am, I will be..

Dancin’ In the aisles and singin’ out loud






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