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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

Andy Stankovits says …

Best summer so far was 2000. Graduated from Rutgers - immediatley went on a great vacation to New Orleans with 8 good college friends. Came home. Two days later - went to Culebra, Puerto Rico for another week with some good high school friends. I probably will not experience the luxury of back to back vacations for a long, long time!

Terri P. says …

every summer is memorable just being able to be with my family (9 sisters and 6 brothers)and all my neices and nephews...going on family cruises (I will miss this years). Bar-b-queing and swimming or just sitting by the pool relaxing watching the kids have fun. Camping with the whole family for the weekend....

Laura says …

THIS summer takes the cake for my most memorable. I am a new mom and I've cherished these warm summer days we've spent getting to know each other. Long walks through fields swarming with butterflies, lazy afternoons swinging on the porch... it's a summer I'll never forget.

Anne Smith says …

My most memorable summer was when I moved back home to New Orleans in 2003. I had spent the three previous years spending my entire summer at Cape Cod. At the Cape, we cooked out a lot, ate seafood out, had a daily black raspberry ice cream pilgrimage, and  of course, spent as much daylight at the beach. While I was eager to return to my hometown I would miss my beloved Cape experience, but I recreated them there replete with a small pool surrounded by sand and continued our outdoor cooking and cocktail parties

dominique says …

my most memeboral summer was the summer I spent road trippin with my family I was about 12 at the time and we all got in the car, my stepdads burgundy colored caddie and drove to new york city it was a looong ride but I learned alot like my brother gets motion sickness and my sister has to be active or else she will go crazy and I like to sleep. It was a great bonding moment for us all and one crazy ride. We finally arrive in new york where we took in the sites and were true tourist which is funny considering everyone in the car was born here except my brother and stepfather. We shopped dined and even went to visit the dinasour musuem in new york. Got some great pizza and chinese food that you can't find anywhere but in new york. It was amazing and I love every minute of it. I was sad when we had to leave but I think the adventure was in the car ride itself we stopped in a few unknown towns memory is a bit vague but it was so cool

Melissa Beavers says …

My most memorable summer was '09, when I decided to become a vegetarian. This decision was huge for me, and it forced me to look at food differently. I began to discover new proteins and ways of cooking that I had never considered before, and also lost weight in the process. I chose this decision because of my love for animals, but kept to it because despite what people think it's actually really easy to be vegetarian. In fact, Whole Foods helped me a lot because you guys have such a variety of vegan/vegetarian foods. It was inspiring and easy to get ideas from your store, and helped me stick to my decision of becoming vegetarian.

Jayne says …

My most memorable summer was the summer my husband and I got married. He took 3 months off his business and planned several romantic get-a-ways("mini-moons")at various beach locations, bed and breakfast and a honeymoon to Laguna Beach, California.

dominique says …

my most memeboral summer was the summer I spent road trippin with my family I was about 12 at the time and we all got in the car, my stepdads burgundy colored caddie and drove to new york city it was a looong ride but I learned alot like my brother gets motion sickness and my sister has to be active or else she will go crazy and I like to sleep. It was a great bonding moment for us all and one crazy ride. We finally arrive in new york where we took in the sites and were true tourist which is funny considering everyone in the car was born here except my brother and stepfather. We shopped dined and even went to visit the dinasour musuem in new york. Got some great pizza and chinese food that you can't find anywhere but in new york. It was amazing and I love every minute of it. I was sad when we had to leave but I think the adventure was in the car ride itself we stopped in a few unknown towns memory is a bit vague but it was so cool. Finally when we arrive back home in jacksonville we where tired out but that much closer as a family. I recommend anyone friends family lovers to take a roadtrip somewhere you will learn alot about the people you are around.

Jenny Sayler says …

My most memorable summer was 1992 when I spent two weeks with my grandparents in Kansas. They lived in a old farm house out in the country and I absolutely loved it! We spent lots of time reading, baking blackberry pies after picking the fruit from the bushes outside and hanging out with the farm dogs. My favorite part of the day was in the evening when my grandmother and I would sit out on the porch and listen to the katydids and cows settling in for the evening. To this day when I hear those sounds on my own Kansas porch I remember those sweet days of summer long ago.

michael bookman says …

I have shopped at Whole Foods for many years and will continue to. Whole Foods always has the best!

Julie says …

My most memorable summer was in 2001, when I studied abroad in Greece. I created my own independent study program and went overseas to study Greek art and photography. It was the most rewarding experience. I had saved up for 3 years to go. I traveled on my own exploring the country side, learned about their views about the US, and ate delicious food. This was an incredible trip for me because at the time, I was also putting myself through college. I never thought I would even have the opportunity to go. I was able to do a lot of soul searching and to see that our environment is much larger than we think.

Gerry says …

My most memorable summer was the summer I moved to NYC. I only lived there for a about two years but it was the first time I was truly on my own. Exciting but scary at the same time.

melissa alba says …

The best summers were the one at camp. You were in the outdoors hiking and swimming out in the most beautiful woods of California. Going to camp with your friends away from your parents, you feel refreshed and renewed.

wendy ritchey says …

My most memorable summer, was the summer my parents took me out of school early & we traveled across the US stopping & camping in almost every state. I learned so much on that trip, it really opened my eyes to how different people & places can be. I have had a travel bug ever since! I just wish I could travel more :c)

Barb Korach says …

Visiting my grandson in Chicago this past summer.

Jenine Ouillette says …

My most memorable summer happened during the Labor Day 1938 hurricane that trashed New England and I was a spectator watching huge century old trees topple from the force of the wind in the Housatonic Valley area (Falls Village, Connecticut) where I was vacationing with my family.

Sharon says …

Summer when we went to CO and went fly fishing - great pictures and memories of my sons fishing!!

Shadia Lahlou says …

My most memorable summer was when I had saved up enough money one college year to go to Morocco that summer! Not only did I feel so accomplished and fulfilled of this cultural trip but I was able to see for the first time in 25 years, my half sister Nisrine. Eating couscous, tanginess and Moroccan mint tea really topped it off as well! I never felt so at home, miles away in a foreign land.

Sylvia D. Brown says …

My best summer was a trip with our family to Pigeon Forge, TN. We all enjoyed living a week in a beautiful cabin high in the moutains with beautiful views. We visited a animal farm and saw white peacocks, a Zonkey(breed mix of a zebra and a donkey). We went horse back riding, played mini golf, visited the aquarium, played games and celebrated Easter by hiding eggs for the kids. What a wonderful trip with family.

Betsy Yearous says …

This has to be of the most joyous summers I have experienced. My husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and were able to go to Hawaii in July. The trip changed our lives in many ways. The beauty and grandeur of this state was beyond compare. We returned with a relaxation and peace that was priceless. What a tremendous way to rejoice and be thankful for the wonderful life we have been given to share together.

Julie Johnson says …

It was small town Indiana, the kind only John Mellencamp could write about so accuratley, that my best friend and I stood face to face with the King himself, Elvis Presley. Now mind you my older sister, Jill who could now drive went in to the Pantry, to pay for our gas. Best fried taters in 3 states I would dare to say, couldn't tell it by the outside though. Parking lot always packed with locals, in for the latest scoop from Ruthie and Bev, as they posed as customers getting a cup of brown or the morning read. All while this was happening inside, Melissa and I were losing our breath as we stared dead on at a 50 something male with porkchop sideburns, gold rim shades, tight jeans that didn't appear to have any pockets that we could see, and the hair. Unmistakably swept back in the way only the King himself wore it. The mans build, and I should mention at this point we were 14, so just beginning to notice boys and super stars and things other then Cabbage Patch Dolls and banana seat bikes or reruns of the ABC after school special, was Elvis' not a doubt. We both looked at each other, did what any other teenage girls would do, hid behind the seat and started screaming wildly. Thankfully my, patient sister had to wait in line to pay, behind the chitter chatter bunch. You see this was an all inclusive gas station, food mart, carwash, and video store all in one. Way before its time, unheard of in the late 80's, in our small part of the Midwest. Did I mention the fried taters? Then we got ourselves composed, I can remember like it was yesterday, got out of the car to "throw away" some trash. Good thing it takes a long time to fill up old Cadillacs. What? To our amazement, there it was gleaming as if the golden gates had opened up right there on little old Winslow, Indiana, a white Caddie, shined hubs, white walls resisting a fleck of dust, and wax job that would make any turtle proud. The license, which was from a neighboring state, Michigan, read "1-Elvis". Sealed the deal and we were baptized all over again. I truly thought Melissa had dropped to the ground, but instead was searching the Cutlass all over for a pen and scrap of paper so we could get his autograph. We were going to need it to prove this one. Elivs Alive! Elvis Alive? As I leaned in to help her, the King had walked inside following the aroma of fried chiken, Texas long johns, cream filled, and mild roast coffee. Back to the car, thankfully with a Dispatch, my sister got the short version of the story, which you are not, all in a winded, high-pitched, sense of urgency tone. We convinced her to stall. Out to the Caddie walked Mr. I Love Grilled Peanut Butter Banana Sandwiches My Mama Used to Make. He was carrying a small sack, the grease showing through, made us think it was probably chicken today. We wondered if he liked drumsticks. He turned and looked at the three of us pretending to do something to the car of which I have seemed to block out after all these years, as he nodded at us and gave us that gorgeous Elvis smile. Right upper lip just slightly higher, making for a sincere effort at saying, "you got me, I'm alive. I faked my death, so I could live in Kalamazoo with all my buddies, go fishin', watch 3 tee-vees at the same time, ride around in a golf cart, even though I can't golf, keep eatin' slightly bad food, all while I work undercover for the CIA." Not a bad life. He drove away. We drove the other way. Melissa and I couldn't wait to tell our moms everything! A few months later we travelled to Graceland, former home of the King himself with her mom and aunt. The finest hour was walking past his grave and knowing he wasn't there today...he was still singing and passing through small towns along the way.

Cynthia says …

a teenager - just driving - and swimming in the ocean off a deserted area of the beach near home...

Christine says …

Last summer was quite special. It was the first after being forced to retire. The weather was fabulous and there was plenty of time to stop and smell the roses.

Julie says …

My most memorable summer was the summer after I graduated college in New England and road tripped out to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to work at a white water rafting company on the Snake River. I spent my time entertaining guests from all over the world, and getting to know some amazing co-workers from all over the country. And the scenery- oh- so breath-taking. The Tetons and Yellowstone and the national forests- what an amazing place to live! The food options there are phenomenal also- fresh and creative cuisine :)

Lori Smith says …

My most memorable summer would have to be last summer. I didn't have to work the usual summer school schedule I usually do- so my son and I spent a lot of time exploring Kansas City after dropping my daughter off at her theater camp. We won a scavenger hunt at Union Station, went to the WW1 Museum, volunteered to walk a few dogs for The Pet Connection, and then had wonderful family vacation in Colorado with my favorite sister in law and her family. A fabulous summer from start to finish.

Tracy says …

My most memorable summer was 1982. Our family traveled to northern Maine to celebrate my great-grandmother's 90th birthday. It turned into a great big family reunion weekend where I got to meet/ spend time with cousins I had never met. Such great memories!!!!!

Barb says …

One summer, when I was not working but home taking care of my young daughter and son, I would make peanut butter sandwiches and fill a thermos with cold drinks. With the dinner made we would wait until my husband got home from work and then head to the neighborhood pool. We ate first and then swam and played in the water to cool off in the hot Kansas heat. Those days went by fast.

jennifer says …

My most memorable Labor Day was the summer of 2007. My husband and I had been trying for a while to get pregnant and found out that we were expecting a baby in February. We were vacationing in the Cape with friends and were able to share the news. It was a very exciting moment for us! During one of the days on our vacation we got together at a friends home for a clam bake. The guys went out together to catch some fresh steamers and then shopped for some losters, corn and potatoes. The dinner was amazing, the food was delicious and the company just perfect. That was a great day!

Chrystal Jackson says …

The summers of my childhood were the most memorable. My parents would load me and their grandchildren up and we would go picking fresh apples from a local orchard, or wild plums or blackberries that always seemed to grow in copious amounts around our home. I would ride bareback on my horse in the afternoon breeze, and lay out on a blanket under the stars at night.

JC says …

My most memorable summer was being at the start of it in New Zealand last year while the U.S. was heading to winter.

Anjali says …

My most memorable summer was my first year at summer camp. My mother found a camp in Maine (we lived in Houston, TX) that I think SHE wanted to go to. She sent me instead, and it turned out to be glorious - a month of July weather I liked for once! Horseback riding, caring for llamas, blueberries, Maine lobsters (for our final night), campfires, singing, swimming, games, so many happy memories.

Harriette Friedlander says …

My most memorable summer was when I was 40 years old, pregnant with twins in New York City. I quickly learned that people on the buses wouldn't give me a seat because they got up early to stake them out, and that was that. On the subway, I could cast around looking pathetic and someone would get up for me. I had my car towed waiting to see my obstetretian, couldn't get it out because I didn't have $150 cash on me (like who would have that in their pockets in NY), when I got a cab to take me home (and most of them wouldn't because they were scared I would give birth in their cab) I wanted to go into a grocery store to get some salad and a cooked chicken for dinner and it had burned down! On the other hand, I was healthy, happy to be pregnant at last, trying to figure out where to put my children in our one bedroom apartment, enjoyed the outdoor concerts, worked until two weeks before they were due, and ended up at the end of the summer with two healthy, beautiful girls who are now 23.

Amy Hoots says …

My most memorable summer was when I was 16. My family went to Oshkosh to the EAA Fly-In and then drove through Michigan's U.P. to some family property in the Les Cheneaux islands where we lazed the summer away in quiet corner of the world completely off the grid. That was the best, we made so many awesome memories that summer!

Frank says …

Actually, this has been the most memorable summer. We spent a few weeks on the beach in Daytona; enjoyed our second daugther getting married and attended Lollapalooza with our next to youngest daughter

Stuart Hammerle says …

Spending 2 weeks hiking and camping in Yosemite with 3 of my good friends was part of my most memorable summer. We avoided bears, slept under stars that felt like we could reach out and touch them, shooting stars galore, ineffable beauty all around us day and night, etc.

Laura Gastelum says …

Imagine yourself surrounded in a park like setting, with a warm breeze and enjoying the company of family and friends. Our outdoor movie night was one of my most memorable summers we had! We had several toppings for pizza's made with Naan bread then we grilled them. Popcorn, sodas, cotton candy, licorice, ice cream kept the kids quite happy! Wine and beer for the adults kept us happy! :) The 2 movies were the main attraction and we all had such a great time that we now have made this an annual event!

Erin says …

Last summer was a great summer. We rented a few beach houses on the beach in North Carolina in the outer banks. My brother was getting married. We had all 70 people come to the house for the rehearsal dinner and my family prepared the pulled pork, shrimp and pepper skewers, grilled potatoes, and a huge veggie tray on top of a boogie board. We had decks full of family and friends and love and fun. Can't wait to go back again!

Julia says …

First trip out east through Oklahoma and Pennsylvania with my grandparents I discovered wilting humidity! We camped in beautifully wooded areas, visited with family and ate lots of ice cream bars.

Toni Navarro says …

My most memorable summer was when I was 19. My mom is originally from the UK so the whole family went back to visit her side of the family. I was homesick at first because my boyfriend who I was so in love with at the time was back home and I thought I would have a miserable time being a whole world away. In reality I had a great time. Since I hadn't been to England in the last couple of years prior it was exciting since this was my first time going and being of legal age to drink over seas. Of course my parents were a little hesitant but they took me along with my aunts and uncles for a night on the town. It was weird bar and club hopping with my parents at 19. We also did a lot of sight seeing. We saw the house that my parents lived in at one point, my mom's high school, her childhood home. We also went to London and went on the London Eye, we saw Big Ben, Buckingham Palace. We also rode a big tour bus around London to see all the sights. it was a truly great summer.

Patricia McWhorter says …

We went to visit my grandfather's cousins in Collinsville Alabama - we called them Aunt Ollie & Aunt Mabel, and Uncle Stanley, although my Greatgrandmother Thurza was their mother's sister. They owned a chicken farm and raised Black Angus cattle - the chickens ran free, and for us, climbing in the haystack, - there were no bales in those days - looking for eggs each morning was a great adventure. Riding the horses and riding the tractor out to see and feed the bulls with Uncle Stanly was phenomenal for us city kids. (When the Intersate went through Uncle Stanley made them make an overpass so he could still get to his 'north 40' to feed the bulls!) Milk still hot from the cow was too thick and strange for our 'store bought homogenized, pastuerized' taste buds, but Daddy enjoyed the country buttermilk he'd first tasted there on summers when he was a child! Surrounded by hills and sweet breezes, we slept in their country house, originally built by our mutual ancestor, Asa, who had been the first postmaster this side of the Cumberland Gap. Godey's Ladies Book fashion plates looked down on us, surrounded by family pass-down antiques, each with a story, a part of our family lore, which was recounted to us at every turn, as we ate just-picked produce - tomatoes, green beans, peaches,, corn on the cob - and heavenly just-baked country biscuits. They did something we'd never seen before - put their trach into three different containers: all the garbage was saved for composting, the occasional paper debris saved for kindling if not composted, and a tiny bit of alumninum foil - unless it was washed & reused- & rare bits of plastic occupied the last can.

Patty J says …

My best summer was the first I spent with my daughter. The joys of taking her to the beach, park and pool will always be fond memories for me. Included in those memories are the trips we take to Whole Foods. She loves the trips to our local WF with the brick oven pizza, samples and vegan treats it is a day we both look forward to each week!

linda fusilier says …

My most memorable summers was the summer of 1981 when my family left new orleans to move to dallas. We saw God do amazing things in our lives as we began our new life there!!

Lisa B says …

This summer will be most memorable. It's the summer I've been trekking to the islands with wholesome food for my nutrition starved boyfriend.

Anna Rubin says …

My most memorable summer was Labor Day Weekend 1997. I headed to Cape Cod for the day to hang out with a friend I'd recently met and his grad school friends, a very great group of people. We enjoyed many feasts together including the very memorable, "Frogmore Stew," a concoction of shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob pieces, new potatoes and Old Bay Seasoning. We cooked this, dumped it out on a table covered with butcher paper and feasted! Fantastic fun and very memorable meal. I ended up staying the weekend instead of the day, enjoyed many other feasts and even met my future husband that weekend. We've been married for almost twelve years now and we still go back to that same friend's house every labor day to enjoy Frogmore Stew! Here is a recipe for you: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/frogmore-stew/Detail.aspx Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Anna

Tracy Lozada says …

This Summer was a great one! The family traveled North to the Olympic National Forest. Visited the Hoh Rain Forest, Cape Flattery, the Sol Duc River and Waterfall. We spent a week at the Sol Duc Riverside Cottages which was beautiful. The river ran past the large back yard. Highly recommend staying here if you're ever in the area. My husband, and 15 year old Son and I trekked the forests and had a blast! The rivers are awesome through this area. Aaaahh to be 15 again and have the long legs and agility to leap from rock to rock and tree to tree. Sunny warm Summer days lazing by the river. It's the best of times! Enjoy!

Clifton Kaiser says …

Memorable summer traditions for me involve a family slip-n-slide down a steep hill at a relative's house. The fare always included homemade ice cream and grilling out.

Kate says …

My most memorable summer was spent on Cape Cod after I graduated from college. It was my last summer before I got a "real" job, and I enjoyed every beach filled minute of it.

Sandy W says …

My most memorable summer was spent in Paris when I joined my husband for a business trip which happened to fall during our 30th Anniversary. We stayed in a beautiful little hotel in Gar de Nord. The days my husband was in meetings, I ventured out on my own on the underground subways to the Champs-Elysees and shopped until I dropped. We went up the Eiffel Tower and had a hot dog at the top! We spend two full days at the Louvre, one by myself. Amazing! We saw the Monet exhibit at the Musee D'Orsay. I ate tons of chocolate croissants sold on street corners. We ate at outdoor cafes. We spent our anniversary day totally by accident on a evening dinner river cruise that we stumbled onto and ate on the Seine River while cruising by all the main sites in Paris. After telling the waiter it was our anniversary a little 5 piece live music ensemble played an anniversary dance for us, so we danced by ourselves on the little dance floor. What a memorable and romantic trip this was!

Patricia Sweat says …

It was the summer of 2007, we chartered a bus and took the whole family and Marcus to Disneyland. We stayed at Daytona Beach in a Beach front Hotel. We had a ball. Each morning we got up early. The 1st day was spent with Mickey Mouse. The park was fantastic, the rides were exciting, the food delightful, and the Parade unforgettable. The 2nd day we visited Blizzard Beach. It was soo amazing - a Water Park with a Ski Resort Style. We was in heaven floating down the streams and mountains of fake snow and steep water falls. The next day was a Day at Daytona. The beach was full of fun and excitement. We rented motorcycles, ski boards, built sand castles and roasted marshmallows and hot dogs. There was a game room fun of exciting games - "Deal or No Deal". We won gifts and souveniors that we could bring back home. The most exciting part of our trip was when we baptisted Marcus in the ocean. You see Marcus is mentally challenged and disabled and he sanged "This little light of mine" all the way home. What a wholesome and delightful summer for Reaching Visions Today, a family-run organization providing quality support and services to persons with disabilities.

kee says …

This past summer has been a memorable one...I became an aunt again so in a span of 2 months, I've driven back/forth from Philadelphia to Connecticut a total of 5 times so that I can visit my baby niece. She is worth it!

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