Although there are six more weeks of summer, the vacation season, particularly for local children, is coming to a close with the early start of the school year. We didn’t wait until after Labor Day to start when I was growing up, but it was always the last week of August. Typically we’d start midweek just before Labor Day, and get our schedules, learn our way around, and get all the paperwork out of the way. Then, on the Tuesday following the holiday, we could hit the ground running. I actually feel sorry for kids today. I realize things have to change, but I don’t always have to like it.

The Coastal Illustrated feature will allow you to keep summer around just a little longer. In it we highlight some of the best desserts in the Golden Isles. There’s something for everyone – from delightfully boozy to tantalizingly tart, and everywhere in between. Come join us for trips to Palmer’s Village Café, Bennie’s Red Barn, Frosty’s Griddle & Shake, Sago at Sea Palms and Georgia Sea Grill for some super sweet treats. Dig into the issue and then go get your just desserts!

In Shore Things, Cheri Leavy takes us “Under the Sea” to explore that enchanted underwater world through clothing, books, textiles, food, jewelry, pottery, and lots of other marine-influenced merch.

Food and beverage columnist Jim Henderson runs with the theme and pontificates about pairings of desserts and drinks. It’s not easy, and the proper balance must be achieved. But my goodness, when you hit that sweet spot, it’s like nothing else.

Literary columnist Cary Knapp takes readers on a rollicking Hollywood romp when reviewing “Malibu Rising,” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. At its heart “Malibu Rising” is a family-centric story, but the choices the parents of the central characters made when they were young have residual effects on their grown children. There’s lots of lust, power and greed in these pages, which makes it a perfect beach read.

We make the rounds in Captured by visiting both the Summer Art Walk and the Alzheimer’s Walk Kick-Off. And, since I was out of town for both of those events, I’m very thankful for Rebecca Parmelee and Golden Isles Magazine Editor Lindsey Adkison for capturing the moments.

Frank Solana, the director of pickleball and tennis at Frederica Golf Club, on St. Simons Island, is in the Local Q+A spotlight. The newlywed has been married to wife Mandy for six months, and the couple has a Labrador Retriever named Odin. While he loves tennis, he’s a huge advocate for pickleball because of its suitability for people in a wide range of age and fitness levels. He and Mandy also enjoy exploring Cumberland Island when they’re off, along with checking out the St. Simons restaurant scene.

In our Coastal Home feature, we are all about the newest trends in kitchens. Mike Mills, designer and sales manager at Decorum Kitchens and Floors, in Brunswick, talks about the latest “must-haves,” and cures for cluttered counters. The big takeaway? “Matchy-matchy” is no longer a thing.

In our Realtor Q+A we meet Colleen Martin, a wife and mother of two active boys. Colleen is a Golden Isles native and loves the sense of community here. Her family likes to spend Saturdays bike riding around St. Simons Island. They also enjoy dining at local restaurants, like Palmer’s Village Café for breakfast and Fiddler’s @ 410 Arnold for dinner.

Lynn Davidson, an interior designer at Taylor House Interiors is the focus of our Designer Q+A. Lynn enjoys blending traditional and eclectic styles and loves working on remodeling projects, because she has a background in the building supply business. Off-the-clock she can usually be found on the water.

Real estate reporter Gordon Jackson explores the allure of condos. Once thought of as the province of the retired, condos are attracting residents of all demographics, including families. We get feedback from local Realtors.

Anne Ditmer, our horticulture columnist, goes outside her garden and into the community at large to address the continual struggle between humans and trees. An advocate for protecting the St. Simons Island tree canopy, Anne suggests several tips for protecting trees, and encourages people to follow-up with a certified arborist.

As usual, compiling this issue has been a blast. We are turning our sights toward fall and all the social events on the calendar during the upcoming months. We have our fingers crossed that this latest surge of COVID can be squashed and that we’ll be able to gather for the things we all look forward to during the autumn months – football, oyster roasts and a plethora of special events.

In the meantime (and I haven’t had to say this in a while), keep your distance and wash your hands. We want to see everyone out and about! Enjoy the issue.