Summer sizzles in
By Shavonne Potts and Kierra Perry
Each year in July, Jennifer Studer and her best girlfriends head to Myrtle Beach for vacation.
It’s something the women look forward to and have been doing for about eight years now.
“I’m ready for summer to start,” Studer said.
Today marks the start of summer, and Rowan residents are making plans to enjoy the season.
Michael Puckhaber and his three children — Hunter, 10, Makayla, 9, and Hannah, 5 — will go backpacking through the state.
“It’s relaxing,” Puckhaber said.
The adventure will be a weekend getaway, he said.
Makayla said she’s looking forward to seeing some animals on the trip, while Hunter, who is a Boy Scout, will get to use some of the skills he’s already learned.
Ada Hardwick of Oakboro, said she and her family will head to Carolina Beach as they’ve done since her children were small.
“It’s the first beach he ever went to,” she said of her son, Joseph Graves.
Graves just joined the Army. Hardwick recalled that when Joseph and daughter Kelly were younger they would go to the aquarium.
“We started going to the beach because of the aquarium,” Hardwick said.
Niki Swartz, a barista at Starbucks, said other than visiting with relatives this summer, she and her children will do what they can to stay cool.
Swartz will pick blackberries in the family’s Lexington backyard. She has 7-year-old twins, Ciera and Christopher, and 17-month-old Alex.
They will also stay cool by staying close to the family’s pool and having water balloon fights, she said.
Chad Grout and his family moved to the Harrisburg area from Buffalo, N.Y. The family will return to New York to visit with relatives and let the children ride the subway.
A ride on the subway is something they are looking forward to, Grout said.
The family will also travel to Washington, D.C. to sightsee.
His children are home schooled and this trip will also be a bit educational.
JeJe and Steven Thurston, mother and son, plan to travel to Tennessee to visit family.
“Steven is part of his junior league baseball team, and they will be traveling this summer,” JeJe said. “We will probably go swimming as well. I have no other plans this summer, just going to keep it simple.”
Cameron Russell, who recently moved to Salisbury, said she is taking her nieces to Myrtle Beach for their birthday this summer.
She plans to keep her 3-year-old son in day care and her 6-year-old son enrolled in camp at the Salisbury YMCA.
The temperatures are guaranteed to be quite warm this summer and remaining cool is important.
Russell makes sure that when her children are outdoors, they stay cool.
“I’ll make sure my children eat cool foods such as fruit and dress in cool clothing this summer,” Russell said. “I try to take them swimming at the YMCA at least twice a week, provide them with an ice cream day during the week and have water gun fights with them.”
Brothers Zachary and Matthew Trexler plan to audition at the Meroney Theater this summer.
Zachary, who recently graduated from Carson High School, said he loves to act and acting is what he plans to do this summer before he attends Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in the fall.
Younger brother Matthew, who is a rising freshman at Carson, said he plans to follow in his big brother’s footsteps and will audition at the theater as well.
Matthew said he also plans to visit Dan Nicholas Park this summer.
In between working at Sweet Frog and Tinseltown Movie Theater, Brittany Allen has planned a beach trip to Hilton Head with some friends.
Each summer the friends pick a new place to travel. Last year, they went to Cedar Point in Ohio, Allen said.
Bailie Hoover, a Sweet Frog employee, already has summer plans and will visit Charlotte this weekend for a comic book convention.
Hoover is looking forward to this convention because she goes at least once a year to the Charlotte event and she gets to see people dressed up as her favorite comic characters.
“There will be characters from Star Wars and characters such as Batman and Superman,” Hoover said.
Hoover also plans to apply for graduate school.
In previous years, the city of Salisbury provided free bus rides to residents on ozone action days. According to the city, grant funding is no longer available for the program.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.