HANG ON, SUMMER: Some people get the feeling early, just after the Fourth of July. Others sense it when co-workers and friends begin to discuss Labor Day Weekend plans. But many people see summer slipping away just about the time the back-to-school ads start popping up. The appearance of backpacks and pencils in our stores coincide with these ads, telling us one thing: Time is fleeting and the warmest season, the one that you kept open, the better to let a little lazy relaxation happen when it will, has a clear exit. What to do?
FULL VS. FLEETING: You can plan a full-on trip, a week-long deal, if you're able, but a fleeting night that feels fully summery can often deliver that getaway feeling. The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Evenings by the Bay can deliver on some of that summeriness, but, given that they happen over weekend nights, a full week off isn't required. The deal? The fishily famous institution stays open later on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer -- two hours later, meaning that you can have a quieter experience with the jellies and the crustaceans and the otters after the bulk of the daytime crowds vamoose.
AND... you can enjoy some wine tasting -- gratis, from Estancia, "while supplies last" -- and jazzy tunes from Monterey Jazz Fest peeps (by the by, that's just ahead, too, from Sept. 20-22, so the coming of Labor Day Weekend isn't such a sad thing after all). Oh, and a no-host bar, too, and snacks and sweets you can purchase. It's kind of like the perfect date night you see in the movies that always looks a little fake. Picture it: You, the jellies, the setting summer sun, some comp wine, some silky jazz, and fewer crowds, all within a world-famous, animal-amazing location. Summer is going, but you still have several more weekends to feel like you truly got away, if only for an evening.