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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

Maryellen Butke says …

Our best summer was this one, spending a week at the beach with the kids and whole family. I love the freedom of walking the beach, cooking our own fresh food (yes, we brought a lot of it down to the Cape from Whole Foods) riding bikes and just plain relaxing. What a gift to have everyone together!

jane says …

It would have to be the one I spent with my aunt who lived in Brooklyn. I loved going to Italian ices at night, and Horn and Hardart rest. for dinners. She was a special lady.

S. C. Phillips says …

One of my most memorable summers was the summer when my brother and I spent the entire summer at my great-grandmothers house. We were two city kids and my great-grandmother lived in the country on a farm. My brother and I learned to gather eggs from the hen house, feed the pigs and hogs, and pick berries and apples for her delicious pies. My grandmother was a fantastic cook. There was no going to the grocery store. Whatever she didn't grow or raise herself she battered with the neighbors. I loved walking down to the spring to get the fresh, cold water. The downside was having to use an outhouse. All in all it was a summer I wish my kids could have experienced. My great-grandmother lived to the ripe old age of 111. I miss her but we shared some great times together that I will never forget her.

Vicki McComas says …

My most memorable summer was July of 1969. Our youth group at church in Connecticut told our minister that we felt powerless to enact change in the world as individuals. He had met another minister and community activist from a small village called Decoy that was in Kentucky.His name was Mr. Duff. The community of Decoy had built a beautiful neighborhood meeting spot over the course of several years. Unfortunately, there was strip mining on the other side of the mountain and it was causing landslides to start down towards the community center. He said he needed a group of folks to build a retaining wall around the center. Our minister volunteered us. We raised the money to go and money to buy the materials to build the wall. We spent two weeks there building the wall. We built it 10 feet tall by 4 feet wide. We ended up going back in Summer of 1970 to finish it. It made us realize we could enact change in the world as individuals. It was one of the best experiences and summers of my whole life.

Alayna says …

My first thought is the summer of 1999 after having helped a friend move furniture from their apartment, my boyfriend and I set out to hike Old Rag Mountain in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The trail was one of our favorites, leading through quiet forest, up winding trails and eventually over rocks to the summit where the whole valley lies below and spreads out in soft green waves for miles. I didn't want to hike that day after shifting beds and couches all morning, but my boyfriend was adamant. After a few miles, we reached the top and settled in for a picnic. He had brought chocolate-flavored fortune cookies for dessert. When I opened mine, my fortune read, "Alayna, will you marry me? -Brian" He pulled out a ring and the rest is history. It was a great summer.

MichelleG says …

I'm going to say this one...because I got married 2 weeks ago to the most wonderful man! And the summer was spent planning and plotting out a life together!

Angela says …

My Most memorable summer was when I went to Croatia and met my grandma for the first time. She's not doing so well now so I'm so glad I got to spend time with her!

Jennifer says …

Three years ago when we went to Branson, MO with our entire family (about 15 people) for my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary. Spent time at the butterfly museum and just enjoying each others' company. Perfect!

Lisa says …

This past summer has been one of my most memorable. My husband, two daughters, and I had a busy summer planning and implementing a landscaping makeover. Then we spent our last week of summer vacation on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera. It doesn't get much better than that!

carolyn sterling says …

The summer my sister and her husband took me to colorado and other states in the west when I was 16. One night in Jacob's Lake, AZ the whold sky was covered with stars...literally. The most amazing thing I have ever seen to date. Good company, good food, good grilling, good traveling. Yay for my sissy!!

Lisa Smith says …

My most memorable summer is EVERY summer since our kids were born! We love spending time as a family in the great outdoors, especially in the warm summer months! Our vacation home in Michigan gives us a chance to escape the heat and humidity of Cincinnati and enjoy some amazing outdoor adventures and great starry nights!

S. Dolecki says …

Every weekend during the summer if the weather looked favorable, my parents and all 6 of my siblings and dog would head toward Holland Michigan from Chicago for a weekend of boating and camping. We would anchor the boat off the dunes and my brothers and sisters and dog would climb the dunes. When everyone reached the top, we would race to the water. My dad made an attachable grill for the boat and we would enjoy hamburgers for lunch. I didn't realize until now- 35 years later- how much fun those boating days were....

Ruth Anne says …

So many to choose from, but one from my teen years was when I went with my skating teacher, his family about and about 10 other skaters, to a little village called Villars in the Swiss Alps where we skated for the summer. The rink had a roof, but was open air on the sides, and when we skated early in the morning, the clouds would come right into the rink, fogging up the air until the sun got hot enough to burn them out. We stayed in a large villa, and every morning I would wake up and look out the window to a view that could have been a postcard! We ate wonderful swiss chocolates, pastries, cheeses and of course cheese fondu! We climbed mountains, and traveled by rail all over Switzerland and even into Italy and France, where we ended up in a parade on Bastille Day in Chamonix. So many wonderful memories from that summer...

Rosie says …

Two years ago (2008) as I was able to stay home with my newborn daughter. Despite the stress and undpredictability of caring for a newborn, our fist child, I miss those days...

Linda says …

My most memorable summer was in 2005. My husband and I lived in Belfast, Northern Ireland for a year, working for Habitat for Humanity. We missed our kids SO MUCH we got them plane tickets and shipped them over in the summer for a week! It was crazy--awesome!

Ntianu Cloud says …

My most memorable summer was in 1995. My second child-we didn't find out the sex- was due in June. It was the hottest summer in Cleveland the temperature was over 100 degrees F for weeks and my labor would not start. I walked, more like waddled, the mile between my mom's house and my own trying to get her to come out. I tried every herb and technique to start the labor. My doctor was worried and trying to get me to schedule a c-section birth, while I was on the phone my water broke and I had to be rushed to the hospital. She is still like that today, waiting till the last minute to do everything.

Linda Walker says …

This summer we took our first vacation in 16 years-the first for our two children ages 7 &5. Just to watch their wide-eyed expressions from the drive to Pennsylvania, being in a hotel room for the first time and the actual trip to Sesame Place was priceless.

Ar says …

I married my awsome hubby!!

Mary LaBudde says …

The best summer was in college. I took a train to see my cousins in Colorado with my 10 speed bike. I spent the ride there with a little girl with long hair sitting next to me and braided and styled her hair the whole way except when we met a person doing sign language nnd they taught us some basics on how to communicate with deaf folks. In the mountains we hiked to Mt. Evans which was a bit dangerous, slept under the stars and tried biking the mountains, phew! It was the 70's, so on the train ride home, someone of course had a guitar and that was the end of the trip, listening and singing along!

Ming Lee says …

As a teen I was lucky enough to spend several summers as a archeological field worker in Nevada. The days were long and dusty, we were excavting in a cave that had been used by the original North Americans, camping in a farmers field and had access to showers every other day. It was fun and intense. The food, well, oatmeal every morning, peanut butter and jelly for every lunch and dinner, some sort of stew. Drinks were water (no ice) or gatoraid, with the occaiosnal celerbatory beer. We had fun and it was a lesson of enjoying the moment and when good food or drink happened to cross our paths,sheer pleasure.

Trista says …

My most memorable summer was the first summer with my son. After trying, praying and waiting for a child for years, it was such a celebration to finally have him! We took adventures everyday out in the community. He showed me the world anew- we just had fun enjoying the sunny days of summer together!

Teri says …

My most memorable summer would have to be the first summer we moved to Cape Cod to live with my grandparents in 1982. We lived near the beach and were able to hunt for our own clams, quahogs, mussels and oysters. All of which were a surprising new treat to my taste buds! Nana's house was THE gathering place for all of our large Italian family. We spent many afternoons with clam bakes, making homemade ice cream and enjoying each others company. The best ending to any day was watching the sunset at Campground Beach; the sun went down to thunderous applause!

Olwen says …

The summer I was 18. I spent a gap year before college in India. A group of us toured the south of the country teaching English, playing and have fun doing drama with local school children. Two little girls taught me how to pick some of the food fresh from the field and to cook an Indian dish - all the time with their Mother and Grandmother smiling on. Then we all sat down together to eat. I was 50 this month and the memory is still so vivid in my mind of their kindness and what they shared with me.

Sonia says …

O' I can remember the freedom of Summer as a young teen. Cut-off shorts, a good tan, and staying outside as long as possible.

jamie gramkow says …

Your "salad bar in schools" is a GREAT idea. I've forwarded the E-mail to a couple of the nutritionists I work with.

susan matluck says …

My most memorable summer was the first summer my husband and I took the kids to Cape Cod.Everything was new and exciting thru their eyes.Looking for horsecrabs on the beach, kite flying,miniture golf,bike trails,homemade icecream at" Sundae School " and oh so many fun things.We try to go back as often as we can,but nothing beats the first summer of wonderment!!!

Karen says …

My most memorable summer was the year I turned 21. My birthday is in the summer and my friends and I had standing reservations every weekend at the beach--and boy did we make the most of it! I had my first real boyfriend, and was looking forward to my last year of college before starting law school. Life was so simple then....

Deb Van Pelt says …

Great picnics every summer on the US Air Force Base in Westover, Mass...watching my dad play softball and meeting all of the people he worked with.

Karen says …

In 2007, we packed up the vehicle and drove to Wyoming, tent camped in both Yellowstone & the Grand Tetons, and a day of white water river rafting in Jackson Hole. Stayed in bed & breakfast places / motels on the way there and back. FUN, FUN!!!

D says …

Road Trip 2009 - Three weeks traveling East - Niagra Falls, Cooperstown NY, Boston, NYC, Ellis Island, Philadelphia, Maryland, DC, Virginia, Pittsburgh, 7 Civil War battlesites. Our daughter produced an awesome DVD movie complete with music from the 1800+ pictures taken. When your 16yr old helps plan the trip and then still tells everyone it was the BEST trip of her life, you know it was something special!

Synthia Humphrey says …

This summer I went home to Des Moines, Iowa for a family reunion. I have not been able to go home for five years. I was able to spend time with my mother, who is now 93 years old. I met my new nieces and nephews. I saw family members I had not seen in years. I met family members for the first time. This is one of those summers for me that was priceless.

Stefanie says …

My most memorable summer was my first summer after my first year of college because I was on my own and had a great job as a lifeguard. I got to be around water all day getting tan and I was doing something I love. This summer was filled with a great job, friends and a lot of fun memories.

DebK says …

Road trip 2008 - 3-week family trip out East, starting in Niagara Falls and heading for Cooperstown NY, Boston, NYC, Ellis Island, Philadelphia, Maryland, DC, Virginia, Pittsburgh. When your 16yr old daughter helps with planning, loves everything we did on the trip, creates a DVD from the 1800+ pictures as a keepsake from the trip and then continues to tell everyone that this was the BEST trip ever, you know it had to be special.

Kathleen Sheridan says …

My most memorable summer is always the one that has just ended as I love this season for going to the beach, swimming in the ocean and eating all the fruits of the summer harvest!

Mary H says …

Summers of my childhood were all memorable.We were free from school and homework. We played pick up baseball games on the street, made go-carts from wooden grocery crates and old baby carriage wheels, rode our bikes to the park and the pubic pool...with no parents. We caught fireflies in glass jars, read comic books and traded baseball cards. We only came in when the street lights came on. All in the Bronx.

Barbara says …

This summer has been my most memorable. I bought a sweet little house last year and have been working on landscaping and planning my first garden in almost 30 years. When my 3 year old granddaughter comes to visit my "beautiful new house" she immediately says, "Gee-maw, lets go pick the garden". She puts on her pink-flowed garden boots and her matching gloves, picks up her little basket and we go pick the garden. She loves the cherrie tomatoes because there are so many to pick at one time. She asks for help picking the cucumbers because they have "stickers". She very methodically checks the big boy tomatoes and determines they are not red enough to pick and we should let them stay a little longer. Sometimes there are yellow squash to pick. Strawberries are not producing at all. She then decided she wanted some flowers around her new playhouse I had installed. I told her I had some we could plant. Last weekend, she planted seven gerbera daiseys in three planter boxes in front of her gate to her playhouse. After we planted her daiseys, I told her I needed her help next year because I wanted to plant some Caladiums. I showed her pictures of the tubers and explained how I would dig the hole and she would put the tuber in the ground and then showed her a beautiful picture a vibrant red and green Caladium and what the tubers would look like when they came up. Her response, "Those are leaves". Surprised at her response, I said well there are different colors to choose from, so I showed her a vibrant pink and green, she loves pink. Her response again, "Those are leaves". She left me speechless. Needless to say, I am having a wonderful and memorable summer with my granddaughter making beautiful memories and having a great time. Barbara Brannon

Heide says …

My best summer was spent backpacking through Europe with colleagues. We spent 7 weeks "training" from country to country and ended our journey in Paris. I think we were the only backpackers returning home with shopping bags full of new clothes, leather goods, and porcelain! It was just great!

Robin Garcia says …

My most memorable summer was spent sailboat racing in the Long Island sound. Great fun, new friends, family bonding and created the most memorable experience!

Laura says …

The most memorable summer is when I feel in love with my sweetheart. We had so many fantastic dates during that summer. We had gone on many picnics together while we went hiking in varies locations. We have now been married 16 years coming this fall.

john simpson says …

summer trips was always involved baseball!!!! me and my dad driving to san fransico to see the giants!!! this when i was young we saw 2 series 1 was Alanta with HANK ARRON he hit a foul ball and my dad dived and even got the ball wow what a memory i remember fisherman warf with crab and the ocean i will never forget it john

Pam Johnson says …

Life is full of Summers. When you are a child your summer is filled with endless days of play. Rememering the first time I went to Disney world with my folks, My Dad worked his labor intense fulltime job and did grass cutting and other odd jobs to save up to take us it meant alot to him to be able to take us and we were so excited! This Summer I got to take my child to the Beach to see the ocean for the first time she got to pet a dolphin! Life is full of Summers.

Carlos says …

The summer of 1983, a 10-week bicycle trip from New York up to Canada, across the continent and down the West Coast to San Diego. Will never forget the bears rummaging around my tent in Vermont, the French couple in Montreal who brought me a bowl of homemade vanilla icecream to wolf down before letting me pitch my tent in their back yard. The woman in the car on a remote Ontario road who pulled up beside me, rolled down her window and asked the following questions as I kept pedalling: "Been traveling far?" "Are you hungry?" "Would you like to have a home-cooked meal?" After I answered in the afirmative to all the questions, she invited me to follow her to her house where she and her husband treated me like a king with a huge pile of fried chicken and fixins with homemade pie and icecream for dessert. Then there was the scary time in Saskatchewan with the guy in the truck following me around town and then inviting me to his farm about five miles out of town down a long dirt road. "No thanks," I told him as I decided to pay for a dingy room above a noisy tavern. The mattress took the shape of a U as the center sank to the floor when I climbed aboard. Not sure the sheets were clean. It was nice to be out on the road early the next day. Bucked tornado-warning winds for three days. Experienced 30-mile downhills. Met interesting people all along the way. Will never forget the dairy farmer in Alberta who invited me, as the last rays of the sun were diminishing in the West at around 10:30 p.m. to stay in the RV in their back yard for the night. When his wife came home a little later and saw this scruffy stranger sitting at the table conversing with their pretty teenage daughters, she didn't seem to happy, but her husband must have assured her everything would be OK. In Sand Point Idaho, there was a family that let me and another guy I started riding with in Alberta stay in their guest home behind their house. She even gave us the keys to her car so we could venture down town for the evening. There was this guy and his wife in Port Angeles, Washington, who let us stay with them for a week. Hurricane Ridge which is a very strenous 17-mile ride up from Port Angeles, has to be one of the most spectacular places to see. I could go on and on. That summer was tops.

Laura says …

My most memorable summer was right after high school, feeling as if I was completely free but that I better live it up before college starts in the fall. My friends and I went to concerts, city events, museums, picnics, hikes, staying up until sunrise, camping, beach trips everything we could do to live life to the fullest knowing that a world of opportunities was ready to meet us right around the labor day bend and also knowing that our lives and friendhsips would never be quite the same after that summer.

Rose Weikert says …

My most memorable summer was the year I got married, August 11, 2004. We spent a week in Maine where I am from. We got married outside by the ocean at Two Lights State park. We had a double ceremony. I am Native American and we had my Elder do a Native ceremony as well as one of my dear friends did the civil part. It was very spiritual having it out in nature and having the Native part of it. We both were filled with the spirit of all that were there. Rain was predicted that day but for us the gods were shining on us. It was a beautiful sunny day and everything turned out wonderful!!!

Gia says …

In late summer of 2000, I drove from Atlanta, GA to Vancouver, BC. I went through 10 states and had a great time getting to see some amazing things about our country. Driving through Wyoming at sunrise was absolutely beautiful.

Evangeline Smith says …

My most memorable summer was between 11th and 12th grade when may parents and the four of us kids when on a four week camping trip across the country from Pennsylvania to California and back...what memories!!

Lisa says …

Labor Day was never a special day for me so winning this basket would definitely change that.

Sonia Thai says …

THIS SUMMER is my most memorable because I became a mom!! My little boy came into the world in July and he's the most amazing human being I have ever met. His smile, his expressions, funny faces, his cooing...I just melt when I see him. He's growing every day. Every day is a new day of discover for us. I have the BEST JOB IN THE WORLD - being his mom!

Kim Hanson says …

My most memorable and enjoyable summer was spent on Cape Cod. My brother in law had a beautiful home in Wellfleet that he let us use. The views of the bay and marshes from the deck truly took your breath away. I took many walks with my 3 young daughters along the shore. They discovered all sorts of natural wildlife. Of course we spent time at the beaches, jumping in waves and beach combing. A pod of whales swam by off shore one of the days we were at the beach, followed by a whale sighting tour boat. The shops were fun to explore and the girls found many treasures to keep. Cookouts with fresh seafood....need I say more. My husband has since passed away, but I will never forget the wonderful times we spent on the Cape as a family!!

Jennifer Steele says …

The past several summers I have had the opportunity to travel in Latin America with my husband and daughter (11) separately. It has been a great blessing to share adventure, great food and new experiences, mixed with meeting new people and seeing old friends with each of them. I look forward to next summer when hopefully we'll get to go for longer on a new adventure all together and with my son (9) too!

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