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Win a Labor Day Bag of Gotta Haves

UPDATE: Congratulations to Birdie in Southern California for being comment #1838, which was randomly selected to win the Labor Day Gotta Haves. Thanks to everyone for sharing the great memories. We hope every has a memorable Labor Day this year!

What's on your "Gotta Have" list for Labor Day festivities? Here's ours:

To celebrate the end of summer, we're giving away a bag filled with all of the ingredients needed for these "gotta haves" - enough for a Labor Day party for 8 to 10. Fun! We're also throwing in a $50 gift card so you can load up on your favorite condiments — think ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickles, relish — and any other gotta haves for a perfect end-of-summer party. To enter, simply share a little about your most memorable summer. Maybe it was the summer you learned to drive, or the year you took that sightseeing road trip with the family. Maybe it was a summer spent as an exchange student or the summer consumed with learning about young love. Share the year if you dare date yourself! Whatever it was, let us know in the comments below by August 31st and we'll choose one lucky commenter at random to receive a blowout Labor Day Gotta Haves package. One catch: since many of these items are perishable (like awesome grass-fed ground beef!), to be eligible for the prize you must be able to pick up your winnings from one of our stores. We'll notify the winner by email on September 1st, and you can pick up your prize from September 2nd through the 5th at your local Whole Foods Market store. So, let's hear it! What was your most memorable summer?

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2470 comments

Comments

Jane H says …

My most memorable summer was the year that we adopted our foster children. They were 2 yrs old at the time and loved doing picnics anywhere we went. We would pack lunches and go to the zoo, go hiking at state parks. Every summer thereafter has been quite a blessing to us all and we still do our picnics. They are now 4 1/2 and fill our days with memories each and every day.

Jes says …

My most memorable summer was the first summer I spent in Colorado...outdoor adventures, delectable food, and friends!

Christine says …

My most memorable summer was 2007, the year my husband and I got married. We spent two weeks on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta enjoying each others company, drinking and eating lots. Those memories will always be something we talk about.

Evan Thomas says …

My most memorable Summer was the Summer of 06 after my freshman year of high school. We went to Rome! It was the first time out of the country with my family besides Canada, and my first European vacation. It was so much fun to explore a new culture with new language, and now I'm even majoring in Classical Roman and Greek. The best part of the trip was when someone from my class recognized me at the center of the vatican because of a shirt I was wearing; we had NO clue either of us were on an Italian vacation and yet somehow we ran into one another.

Jenn Burka says …

My most memorable summer was this past one - I spent ten weeks in Vietnam doing community service work. I helped renovate a school, build two houses for two poor families, and teach at a summer camp for local children in rural Vietnam. I also got to explore central and south Vietnam, immersed in the culture and especially in the food. I tried duck embryo and dog and weasel and wild boar and pigs ears and beef intestine and basically anything that was put in front of me!

Lisa says …

It would have to be nearly every summer of my childhood. Days spent at the pool, nights spent catching fireflies and everything in-between - attempting to learn to dive every summer and never mastering it, trips to the fireworks tent on the outskirts of town every July 3rd, and of course, the week long cross-country family road trip. Summers just don't have quite the same meaning as an adult.

Donna Vabulas says …

This has been my most memorable summer! I left my job after seven years, for ethical reasons. I wanted to pursue my dream of selling at a Farmers Market, and I am a vendor at Grafton Farmers Market here in Massachusetts. I sell eggs from chickens that I feed organically and veggies that I grow without chemicals. I have happy hens and happy customers! It is very satisfying,even though I don't make a lot of money. However, my husband recently broke his arm (devastating for a musician!) and now we are pretty strapped. He gets out of the hospital tomorrow and is also out of work for several weeks. I would LOVE to win this and have a cook-out for our friends, it would be lovely to entertain at home and still pay the mortgage! Life's a Garden, Dig It!

Teri says …

This summer has been my most memorable. My precious niece turned 1 just a few days ago and in June her little brother was born. These sweeties will be going with their Auntie to Whole Foods cooking classes as soon as they are old enough!!

Jennifer Hyduke says …

My memorable summer was the summer I accompanied my son, as a junior golfer, to the PGA Spa and Resort in FL. We met great people, shared great food and it is a time we will always remember together!

Portia says …

My most memorable summer was actually the summer of this year. I attended a family reunion and was able to spend time with family members I have not seen in a very long time and some that I had not met at all. It reminds you that the simple things, food, friends and family mean everything.

Laila says …

Went on my very first cruise out in the West Carribean. Had a chance to swim with the dolphins and even got a kiss. It was such an exciting trip. I hope to do it again.

Kathy Watson says …

One of my most memorable summers was when my son was born. It was in the heat of August, so that summer I sweated a lot, but learned to slow down, enjoy the moment and our new family member. (who is now 17 years old by the way!)

Theresa says …

The summer I moved out of my parents house to go off to school. Very memorable. I really grew and became self-reliant.

Ray says …

The summer I got married was very memorable.

CW Gillihan says …

Given my age - 20 - it may come as little surprise that this has been my most memorable summer to date. The memories begin in Venezuela, where I visited my girlfriend and her family. Between the dancing and the beaches I ate some of the best food I've ever encountered. Queso blanco, plantains, yuca, arepas, avocado, wine (no se preocupa - the drinking age is 18 there)...amazing, no doubt. Then it was off to San Francisco, where I spent the summer interning at a non-profit and living with my older brother. Again, the food draws me in, as San Francisco is filled with farmers markets and artisan food products. Finally, I ended the summer working on a farm in Northern California, where everyday my dinner consisted of whatever I decided to pick off the vine (or tree, or bush) that evening. A summer for foodies, indeed!

megan says …

my most memorable summer thur far was in 2006, I graduated from college and planned my wedding to my wonderful husband!

Katie says …

One of my most memorable summers was 2006. I studied abroad in Argentina and in addition to brushing up on my Spanish, I also had the opportunity to eat a lot of grass-fed delicious beef. My boyfriend at the time didn't believe me when I told him how good it was....until he came down to visit me and completely agreed. Along with eating amazing food I had the opportunity to travel around the country seeing the waterfalls at Iguazu Falls, the Andes Mountains in Bariloche, the Perito Moreno glacier in Patagonia, the tip of South America in Ushuaia and even a day trip over to Uruguay!

Donna Wiegert says …

My most memorable would have been the year my aunt got a swimming pool and my cousin would come pick me up every day to help babysit my younger cousins but we would spend the entire day in the pool. We only got out to make lunch for them. Had a great tan that year.

Colleen says …

My most memorable summer was in 2004 just before I got pregnant. My parents took me and my husband along with my brother and his wife to Hawaii. We were there for 14 days, and it was amazing. We stayed on Oahu for eight days and the Big Island for 6 days. It's one of the few places in the world to have all five climate zones. Without a doubt one of the most relaxing, stimulating, and care-free vacations of my life. I had spent the year before losing a lot of weight, and it was one of the few times in my life I was pleased with how I looked. My husband and I spent so much time together exploring and learning about Hawaii but also about each other. Since then we have gone on to have three kids, two cars, etc. But Hawaii is always a beautiful memory we have to help us reconnect and grow together.

Nancy S says …

My most memorable summer was the year I had jaw surgery and my jaw was wired shut for about 6 weeks. Most of my friends abandoned me because it was hard to understand my speech and I wasn't able to do a lot of the fun things everyone else was enjoying. But one special friend stayed by my side, bringing over movies, taking me to free outdoor concerts, etc... and then out for a great dinner to celebrate when the wires came off! Although I had known him for a while, that was when I really started getting an inkling that there was something extra special about this guy. I was right - and we were married a few years later. :-)

Tami says …

Summer of 1988 - graduated high school then spent the summer in Alaska before heading to college. So many amazing experiences in such a seemingly short time.

Mary Capps says …

I always remember the summers growing up in Boston the best. Every July 4th, we'd have a barbecue with family and neighbors on the tiny grill my father built out of discarded bricks, with hot dogs, hamburgers, and most importantly, watermelon! My friends and I would spit the seeds all over the yard, hoping the seeds would sprout, giving us the joy of summer watermelon all year round (yes, we were idealistic children). Then, as the nip of fall was arriving, every Labor Day, we'd drive to Brockton, about 20 miles south of us, and attend a picnic on the grounds of a local convent with a primarily Lithuanian congregation. Well, they called it a picnic, but it was definitely more of a Lithuanian cultural festival, with food, beverages, music, dancing - just one big party!

Barefoot Liz says …

My most memorable summer was 2009. My son and I went on a short vacation (just one state away). We stayed in a cozy B&B which welcomed children. The grounds were lovely and my son adored playing lawn games. We sat on the porch together while drinking tea and chatted away. It was such a wonderful bonding experience. I long for the day when we can go back to that B&B.

Leslie Chiappetti says …

My most memorable summer was this one, 2010. We lost half our house in a flood a month ago, but we witnessed a town coming together to help each other and try and bring a community back from devastation. After it happened, we all met at the park to cry, helped each other rip out dry wall so the mold wouldn't hurt our families and anyone who still had a working washer and dryer helped their neighbor wash their sewage soaked blankets, clothes and bedding to try and minimize what we all lost. In the end we lost, but we gained stronger friendships and community!

Laura Bushnell says …

I spent my childhood attending summer camp. I would go to the first session in June and then convince my parents to send me again to the final session in August. The summer I was 15 was the last year I attended camp. I remember swimming in the lake, canoeing down the river and log rolling. There were campfires and sing-alongs and great times with friends.

Emily says …

My most memorable summer was the last one I had with my Dad. It was 1974 and we went to DC for vacation.We went to all the normal spots. The Capitol, The White House, etc. When we started home we stopped for the night at the Ramada Inn in Fredericksburg, VA. They had a pancake house next door where we ate. I had my first buckwheat pancakes,which I still love. But before dinner my sister and I went swimming in the pool. All of a sudden my Mom started calling us to come in to see what was on tv. We were!!! Seems Nixon was announcing his resignation and they were showing the White House from the front and we were walking by. Sleep was along time coming that night.Daddy died the following Nov.so that summer was special.

Allison says …

My most memorable summer was probably the one before my friends and I all left for college. It was a great time because we had no commitments or worries and we were just free to have fun, party outside and stay up until all hours of the night!

Kim says …

I was working full time at a high pressure IT consultancy and pursuing and MBA at night. After 3 years, I was almost done with my degree but battling exhaustion and near desperate to finish school. At the end of my third year, I added up my credits and I realized to my horror that I would be one short of graduating the following May! Then I heard about an opportunity to spend a month studying at St Peter's College at Oxford University in England, at the end of which I would be awarded 6 precious credit hours. I jumped on it and spent July and August as a full time student in Oxford England. It was the best thing I've ever done and the most fun I ever had. I loved absolutely everything about it, from the classes to the teachers, to the lifelong friends I made, to the morning run club we started to explore beautiful Oxford in the wee morning hours. It was such a joy to just sit on campus with my study group and let the wind push through my hair. I could literally feel the muscles in my shoulders unwinding and I can honestly say that it was the best summer of my life.

Stacia says …

One of my most memorable summers was when I was around ten or so. My grandfather had a large farm. My cousins and I would play kickball and frisbee in the field next to orchard. I am older now and live quite a distance from family. I miss the summer gatherings. I can still smell my grandmother's mint plants...

Lyssa Marchese says …

My most memorable summer is when I was kid from NYC and I spent the summer in Onieda,N.Y., we went on a picnic at a state fair ground where I ate fresh veggie's, grilled burgers, which coming from the Bronx wasn't always available and where I got to meet Barbara Mandrell,and my love for country music was born. That was the best summer ever.

Michele L. says …

Last Summer was the most memorable for me. I was pregnant with my first child. It was my second time being pregnant, the first pregnancy ended early. I was just so thrilled to be feeling good and knowing that there was a baby on the way for my husband and me. This summer may turn out to be the 2nd most memorable. Just watching our son crawling around the house warms my heart.

nycolorado says …

Every summer that we spend with friends + family + sunshine + activity = GOOD TIMES!

Deborah says …

Going to my first farmer's market while spending the summer studying in Nice, France at 17. I had never seen peaches so big nor tasted any so sweet. The fragrance alone was unbelievable, but the FLAVOR - wow. I will never forget it.

Ariane Monier says …

My most memorable summer was a family road trip in 1995. We spent 3 weeks exploring California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico. Every day, we would taste something delicious, see something beautiful, do something new. I only have great memories of this vacation...

Ronique Breaux jordan says …

Driving with my children in Florence, italy...

Joy Olaes Surprenant says …

This summer is one of our most memorable summers! My son had a mix of sports camps and a whole month of being camp-free so that we could enjoy a fun and free schedule. We loved exploring Boston and going on fun daytrips. We value playing outside, riding bikes, swimming, going to the beach. We spent time exercising and reading and doing creative projects. It was avery fulfilling summer and we are refreshed and ready to go back to school!

Margot Thornhill says …

The summer of 1987 my dad took my brother and I on a camping adventure through TX, CO, WY, NM, & MT. We went to countless national parks, roasted marshmallows, ate buffalo steaks, went on a helicopter ride through the mountains and learned all about geology everywhere we went (Dad is a geologist). That was over 20 years ago and still hasn't been topped!

neva says …

All my summers have been memorable since meeting and marrying my wonderful hubby. We met one summer. Got engaged another summer, but married in the Fall. We enjoy the outdoors so we really love summer time.

miriam says …

Most memorable summer was 6 years ago when I spent 2 weeks roaming Italy and Croatia. Dubrovnik was beautiful as were the people who lived there. Very warm and hospitable. How could you act any other way when you live on the water in such a picturesque port?

Jen says …

no comment

jason says …

Summer of 2004, backpacking through Europe for 6 weeks. Really opened my eyes open air markets, fresh ingredients, and foods from other cultures!

Dawn says …

My most memorable summer was this past summer actually. I was able to spend alot of time with my daughter. We were able to spend lots of time at the pool, going to the beach, the park, and just enjoying the sunshine together. Its not very often we get to do all those things together so it was pretty special.

Leslie says …

My most memorable summers are the first ten years of my son's life when we were able to join my in-laws for a month at the New Jersey shore. We spent so many enjoyable days at the beach, swimming lessons, arts and crafts, looking for fiddler crabs in the sand, building giant sand communities, climbing lighthouses, boogie boarding, walking to town to the grocery store or for a water ice, or a slice of pizza. Nights were spent blowing bubbles, doing puzzles or playing games. And we ate so well with the abundance of the Garden State's fresh New Jersey bluefish, corn on the cob, tomatoes and blueberries.

Jenna says …

My most memorable summer was back in 2003 when my husband and I met on the behalf of our mutual friend. I was single at that time and had no interest in him whatsoever but his charm, sense of humor and persistence won my heart! We are now married and have a beautiful newborn son who is 4 months old!!!

Rowena Finch says …

My most memorable summer was the summer I spent in Florida with my grandparents. They took me to every tourist-y place imaginable!! I celebrated my 14th birthday with them, there's nothing better than being spoiled by grandparents!

Fran turner says …

In 1986 my family decided to move from WV to CA I was entering the 9th grade and didn't want to move but my dad had lost his job in the coal mines. Our trip took 8 days in our RV, when we arrived in Baldwin Park CA my parents looked up old friends that told us that the crime was terrible and we should go back home. We did and that summer turned out to be the most wonderful vacation I had NEVER wanted to take :)

Katie says …

I would have to say my most memorable summer would have to be this one! My husband and I decided to make the most of our summer after some recent heartache we've had so we traveled to Mexico, Martha's Vineyard, Arcadia National Park, and Nantucket. It has been a wonderful time seeing all of these places! A party with my closest friends with some amazing Whole Foods groceries would be the perfect end to the summer!

Emily (Healthy Fit Mama) says …

My most memorable summer was the summer of '96. I was 13, and my sisters and I went to TN to stay with our grandparents for 3 weeks. They worked at one of the summer Olympic events on the river and we got to go! They also took us to places like Dollywood, and took us whitewater rafting!Such a fun time.

Taylor says …

my first summer in the south of england, Devon in high summer, dramatic coastlines, scrumpy cider, outdoor festivals, horseback trails, and the sea!

Sandy Ladym says …

In August we have a lot of birthdays in my family. I love getting together and having a big birthday picnic. This year my Mom turned 89 years old. It was a special day. :)

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