Choose your ultimate summer adventure

Freedom of choice

SN&R Illustration By Jason Crosby

It’s summertime again, and this year you swear it’s going to be different. This time, there’ll be no looking back at the summer that could have been, the summer that wasn’t. This year you’re playing hard and going large, looking for the ultimate summer adventure. And guess what? You’ve come to the right place.

Within these pages, there’s magic of a sort. What do you want to do this summer? Who do you want to do it with? Your wish is our command. Maybe you’re a spirited individualist in search of enlightenment. So let it be written! Perhaps you’d like to take your relationship to new heights. So let it be done! Or maybe it’s time to go totally Brady Bunch on your family, taking them on the sort of wild journey that only occurs in movies and sitcoms. Within these pages, anything is possible. There’s only one thing that we ask. It’s simple, really.

All you have to do is choose.

What follows is a series of choices—gateways to adventure, if you will. You must choose between door No. 1 and door No. 2 or however many doors are presented. Each door opens upon at least two others until you reach your eventual destination. Choose wisely, and you just might wind up having the adventure of your dreams. But remember: No adventure is without risk. Choose wrongly, and your journey could end in an unforeseen calamity. Or Elk Grove.

There. Simple enough, no? Let the adventure begin!


Who are you? Whoops! These questions are supposed to be easy. Let’s start again. Who do you want to be? That’s a little easier. For your ultimate summer adventure, there are essentially just three choices.

A. You are you, you and only you. See No. 2.
B. You are joined at the hip with your significant other. See No. 3.
C. It’s a family affair for you. See No. 4.


You are you, you and only you. Perhaps you’re perfectly content with this state of affairs, and are ready to embark on a summer journey to the center of your soul. On the other hand, a little human companionship might be just the ticket to kickstart your summer adventure.

A. To go it alone, see No. 5.
B. To hook up with that special someone, see No. 6.


You are joined at the hip with your significant other. This is a good thing, and you can’t think of a better way to spend the summer than cementing the bond between you and your lover. Then again, if a Siamese twin wasn’t exactly what you had in mind for a companion, a little emergency surgery may be in order.

A. To take your relationship to new heights, see No. 7.
B. To call the whole thing off, see No. 8.


It’s a family affair, and whether you like it or not, you’re all going on an adventure. Not necessarily together, mind you. Fully functional families appreciate the chance to spend quality time together now that school’s out for summer. But, really, how many fully functional families do you know? If yours isn’t hitting on all eight, summer offers a chance to enjoy precious moments apart from the kids and, let’s face it, is just about your only decent shot at maintaining any semblance of sanity.

A. If you’re one big happy family, see No. 9.
B. To ditch the kids, see No. 10.


You’re going it alone, and this summer really will be different. Honestly. “I’ll be slowing down and enjoying the lazy days like I did when I was a kid,” you tell yourself. “I’m going to eat fresh strawberries in the sun. I will not allow the selfish desires of others eclipse my own wants and needs!” No more splashing around in the dating pool or working overtime hoping your boss pats you on the head. This summer, it’s all about you and your dreams.

Now, what were they again?

Getting to the bottom of it all is going to take some doing. Weeks of deep, personal introspection via various Eastern and Western meditation methods might do the trick. Then again, hoisting a few brewskies at the local pub never hurt anyone, either. Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker, as they say. Times a-wasting. What’s it going to be?

A. To quietly meditate on the perfect summer, see No. 11, Recreation.
B. To reconnect with your desires over a beer, see No. 12, Entertainment.


Ah, the single life: hot times, summer in the city. The clothes come off, the hormones switch on and the enticing thought of making what a certain Bard called “the beast with two backs” is always on your mind. Now, summer in Sacramento may not be springtime in Paris (or Lake Perris, for that matter), but it does have its charms, and they’re working on you. Lately, it seems that those charms are walking around everywhere you look, and you’re starting to say loopy things and act strangely. And you’re not even the commander in chief! Nope, there’s no doubt about it: It’s time to shake some action.

But wait.

There’s a reason you’re not already hooked up. Things just haven’t been the same since what you euphemistically call “the frying pan incident.” That relationship is history and you’re on the rebound, but your noggin’s still a tad tender. You think you’re ready to take the plunge. Then again, you think, rubbing the still-receding bump on your forehead, maybe you should stick your big toe in the water first, just to make sure you don’t get scalded again.

A. To take the plunge, see No. 13, Entertainment.
B. To slowly ease back in, see No. 14, Food&Drink.


You’re ready to take your relationship to new heights! After your last relationship crashed and burned, you vowed to never let it happen again. “I’ll become celibate,” you promised yourself. Then you spotted your sweetie and it was love at first sight. Hey, promises were meant to be broken, right? You burned your copy of “It’s Called a Breakup Because it’s Broken” and threw caution to the wind. Good call, considering things between you and schnookums are going swimmingly. Now if you can just keep it interesting, you’ve got a red hot summer adventure on your hands.

Problem is, you’ve got issues. No. 1, you’re a scandalously undernourished sex machine who’s been known to forego food for fornication. No. 2, you’ve developed a reputation for being more than a little insensitive. Have you wised up and realized nothing good ever comes on an empty stomach? Or is it time to show schnookums just how much you care?

A. To fuel up before fooling around, see No. 15, Food&Drink.
B. To offer a token of your gratitude, see No. 16, Home&Garden.


You have come to a realization: You just can’t make a go of your relationship anymore. Who knows how it happened? You got lost in your sweetheart, or you simply lost the spark. For whatever reason, you just couldn’t meet each other’s needs. Sure, you’ve had some good times together, but history suggests—if you really see it for what it is—that the two of you are simply incompatible. In any case, it’s time to call the whole thing off.

Extricating yourself from this quagmire won’t be easy, though. You don’t want to come off like a jerk. You’ve got a reputation to protect, especially in a town this small. Do you want to step up, be direct and just snap it off cleanly, right now? Or does that seem too harsh? Do you prefer to seek a gentler, more compassionate and less painful way, one that might provide a friends-with-benefits options later, in case you get lonely and desperate?

A. To make a clean break, see No. 17, Entertainment.
B. To pull out slowly, see No. 18, Home&Garden.


You’re one big happy family. School’s out and your kids are free as birds all summer long. That, of course, means they’re hanging around the house squawking that they’re bored, starting minor fires and making each other eat snails dissolved in salt … unless you, the parents, plan a fabulous summer adventure to distract them. You, the kids and the dog are going to have the summer of your lives! As in real estate, there’s really only one thing that matters: Location, location, location. Is it time to blow the hellish valley heat and chill on a cool summer road trip? Or do you and the fam sweat it out here in good ole Sacramento?

A. To hit the road, see No. 19, Travel.
B. To keep it real and local, see No. 20, Food&Drink.


You don’t need Al Gore to tell you it’s going to be a long, hot summer. The season means just one thing to you, and there’s really no nice way to put it: It’s time to ditch the kids. Technically, they’re old enough to entertain themselves, but you know if you leave them to their own devices, you’ll regret it—especially when the watch commander calls. After all, it hasn’t been long since you and your spouse split for Tahoe and the kids’ innocent “Great Sleepover of Spring Break 2007” turned into a backyard Burning Man festival, which still has the neighbors fuming. So to keep your kids, as well as the neighborhood, safe, some extra-residential activities are in order. If they get some exercise or learn something, cool—but at this stage, you’ll settle for keeping them out of trouble and out of your business.

A. To physically exhaust your future juvenile delinquents, see No. 21, Recreation.
B. To culturally brainwash the little punks, see No. 22, Family Fun.


The SN&R Summer Guide 2007 Crew
Writers: Becca Costello, Edward Dunn, Jackson Griffith, Jonathan Kiefer, Kel Munger, Erin Sierchio, Kate Washington
Web: Kelsey Falle
Art Director: David Jayne
Summer Guide Editor: R.V. “call me Sunny” Scheide
Photography: Larry Dalton and Anne Stokes
Illustrations: Jason Crosby
Cobwebbers: Kitty Chestnut and Boogie Elmar