Sleeping outside in a tent in the yard was always a cool thing to do in the summer. There were times when we would start out doing it but it would be too darn hot. Or the mosquitoes would be so bad they would tote you away… but when the weather was right… it was the best!
Actually sleeping outside is a misnomer. We didn’t technically sleep outside. We would just stay up all night outside and then came in once the sun came up and go to bed. And some of these nights we would even stay in the yard through the whole night. But then again, there were “those” nights. The ones where adventures in far off places would be calling our names and we just couldn’t resist the temptation of it all!
One thing we would do is go over to the hospital and go into the concessions area off of the emergency room. The hospital was only about 3 blocks from the house so it was easily walkable or we could ride our bikes. There was something exciting about walking the halls of the hospital at 2:00 in the morning… avoiding the security guard who seemed to have issue with teenage boys just wandering the halls at that time of day.
There also was another major temptation close by. The Vicki Villa Restaurant and Motel had a swimming pool…. it was located right out front on Hwy 17… just calling our names. We just had to climb over the fence, strip down and go skinny dipping. That was so refreshing and liberating… well, at least until the cops would show up…. Nothing more exciting in a young man’s life than to find himself, clothes in hand, completely naked, running down the middle of a major US highway being pursued by the local police. I guess it was a good thing the TV show “Cops” didn’t exist back in the day….