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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

Jennifer Erickson says …

My most memorable summer was right after I graduated high school. I really started traveling and got to see a lot of the world with great friends and awesome family.

Amy Seymour says …

My most memorable summer was the summer of 2005, when I had my first son. He was born in August, so I still remember how uncomfortable it was to be pregnant in the summer. He was born at 7:09 AM, which happened to be shift change at our hospital, so I had two full teams of doctors and nurses there for his birth. I also remember learning how to be a mom during that first month.

Sue Lamphere says …

My most memorable summer was this summer, actually. It was the first time I ever went on a family vacation where fighting wasn't the main event. I'm the mother of 2 teenagers, divorced from their father and happily dating a wonderful man. We all went away for a mini vacation with the rest of my family and had a wonderful time. It was peaceful, relaxing and no stress to ruin our time together. After 19 years, it was the first time I didn't dread going away and didn't come home with stories about how you could cut the tension with a knife. We're ALL looking forward to our next get away!!

Phyllis says …

Every summer means my garden, home grown tomatoes, and seeing my hibernating neighbors come out of their caves!

Sam Ostler says …

The most memorable thing I did this summer was go to my family reunion and I learned how to drive. This was one of the best summers of my life

Jennifer Waterman says …

When I was a little girl my summers were not complete until my Grandfather came from the beach house to see me with cherries that he would pick. I would eat them until I had a cramps in my stomach. I loved them and I loved my Grandpa!!

Brittan says …

My most memorable summer was last summer, when my children were finally out of the baby stage and we weren't tied to a nap schedule any more! The freedom to schedule day trips, leave the the morning without a plan and go where the spirit too us! This summer was almost as good, but now that they are getting a little older, we are beginning to get tied to activity schedules!

SaLLy says …

The most memorable summer was back when, having just graduated from college myself, I worked as a "peer counselor" to a group of blind students, helping them get acclimated to the university they would be attending in the fall. I think this was the first time anyone had thought up such a program, so we peer counselors were on our own to figure out how to do this. It was so much fun, challenging, and I think and hope it proved very helpful to the students when they actually began their classes shortly thereafter.

Lynn says …

During my awkward childhood years (you know struggling to identify with your ever changing outside self ) I was blessed with the opportunity to spend the entire summer (4 summers in a row) with grandparents who moved when they retired to Arizona. I was able to escape all awkward feelings simply being away with people who cherished me my grandparents & all their friends. Of course their friends had grandchildren also who were away from home fighting those same feelings. Daily swimming , pee wee golf and the best food ever (Grandmas!) It was a wonderful time and place that I think back on with warm satisfying feelings.

Megan M says …

The last summer before I graduated college - such young, innocent fun! While it's a long time ago now, I still remember that feeling of having so much ahead of me, and being really excited to see it all!

Janice says …

Camping at on the guadalupe river with my family, swimming and jumping from rocks and watching a hang glider float from the top of a mountain right into our campsite. We ate fresh cold watermelon and simple burgers & chips. This was 1975 or so...but still so vivid in my mind. Happy times!

Marianne says …

The summer I chaperoned my kids and the singing group to which they belonged on a motor trip across the United States, stopping at such places as Mt. Rushmore, The Badlands, Glacier National Park, and Yellowstone Park. Our land is beautiful.

michelle young says …

It would be summer of 2008 - I got married to the love of my life and we spent a glorious week traveling the beautiful Oregon coast.

Betty says …

My most memorable summer was the summer of 2005, when my older brother and I went backpacking through Europe, a final realization of a pact we made as teenagers. We had a blast, exploring cities and wonderful foods and different cultures. Since my brother passed away last year, the pictures and memories I have from that experience is one I will cherish forever.

Nia says …

My most memorable summer was a trip to Panama. I knew life would be different there being that I was from the city- I just didn't know it would be THAT different. We landed in Panama City and I was so excited to be in another country. It looked like a foreign country on tv: tall buildings you find in any city but billboards and signs were in a different language. Then we took an 8 hour ride out into the country. Upon arrival, I saw my mattress drying outside of a tin roofed building- our hotel. A little different. I was fine until I had to go to the bathroom. Yes, it was outside and just a hole! My host family had a kick out of every flabbergasted reacion I had. They made me go outside and chase the chicken we were having for dinner. Sorry WholeFoods, I think they had you beat on freshness. While the culture shock was definitely memorable, I took away a deep appreciation for the simple things in life, such as time with family.

heather fox says …

the summers i spendonvacation with my family

Karilyn O'Brien says …

My most memorable summer was when my family and I went vacationing through Virginia. We started in Williamsburg, onto Monticello. Then we relaxed by hiking in the Shenandoah Valley and finished up in Washington, DC.

Emma says …

My most memorable summer was last one, being successfully treated for a rare and undiagnosed condition after over a decade of torment. I had a great medical team, but for months after surgery I was so ill I could consume nothing but Reed's Ginger Brew, which I bought by the case at Whole Foods.

Soo says …

My most memorable summer was the summer I rented a cottage in Nova Scotia. I spent the day driving to picturesque spots and taking some wonderful stills...beautiful!

Patricia Moneta says …

My most memorable summer was getting my first horse at age 14, loved it.

mary jean white says …

My most memorable summer was 1973 when I married the most handsome man alive.

Jennifer A. Wesolowski says …

My most memorable summer was 1996! It was the very last summer my dad was alive and it really was a summer for firsts! In August the whole family was gathered to celebrate my nephew Scott's 14 birthday. It was the first time in 34 years I saw my dad wear a pair of shorts and then actually go out in public. For me too! I wore a bathing suit for the first time in 24 years! I figured if my dad was willing to put on a pair of shorts (never happened before) then I could go and have fun too. It was the first summer I wasn't self conscious. Well not too long after our wonderful summer birthday party, my father was coming home from the grocery store, came up the stairs sat down and then passed away. No inkling or warning to us but it was the best summer because we were all together, having fun,celebrating and enjoying great food and conversation. We actually weren't worried about how we looked! My dad in his shorts and me in my sisters bathing suit! I learned alot that summer. Enjoy life and live to it's fullest. You can enjoy healthy good food especially when it is shared with those you love. Even if I am not the chosen candidate I really love shopping at my local Whole Foods! Yea! Grass Fed Beef! The Vegan Mousse is a treat I always love to see on the shelf. Live well.

Deb says …

The summer I remember most was my first year as a lifeguard and teaching swimming lessons. I especially remember one girl about 12 years old who did not have confidence to learn to swim, while the 7 year olds were swimming like fish already. Her mom always was outside the fence watching, while she was enrolled in swimming classes all summer. She would only swim if you held her hand and she always looked at her mom through the fence. I told her mom I needed her daughter's full attention on me and asked her not to watch behind the fence for the last week of lessons. The girl relaxed when her mom left and was swimming fairly well by the end of the week. A total success and she had the biggest smile when her mom saw her almost swim across the pool. This was my most memorable summer being a lifeguard.

arlene vogel says …

This summer! My daughter graduated high school and we had a grand party in our backyard. It's been a wonderful summer outside:)

Kerry Dufresne says …

This is my most memorable summer so far! I have lost some weight,so I feel much better.I spent some time at the Jersey shore with family.The weather was wonderful.I also found Whole foods market,and plan to make healthier meals for my family.I also want to exercise,and continue to get healthier.

Stacy W. says …

Summer:1989, the year I spent my first Summer with my Mom and my new Step Father Clint. I had not lived with my Mom in 3 years because of Family problems. Here I was , an angry teenager who knew it all and had seen it all too. My Step Dad would play one-on-one basketball with me, and we`d go on hikes thru the woods...(until I saw that snake), then well...lol... I would yell and scream and take all my frustrations out on Him, and He`d calmly accept it all, loving me anyways. My life turned around that Summer and to this day; 21 years later, He is now simply "Dad". My Mom passed away Summer 3 years ago. We miss Her dearly, but I know She`s at peace knowing that She found the best Father any daughter could have.

brent says …

Taking a train trip with my wife to Denver and heading out to Rocky Mountain National Park for awesome hiking, wildlife watching, and RELAXING!

Mia says …

The summer of 2010 was pretty great. My five year old son and I spent 10 days visiting family and seeing the sights in Washington DC. We had a wonderful time.

Lee Rezai says …

My most memorable summer was 15 years ago. My children age 4 and 9 and my husband went on vacation to Colorado sightseeing. We had been to PikesPeak, then headed north to eventually get to Yellowstone Park. As we were traveling through Utah using a map we had picked up. We saw what appeared to be a shortcut to our next destination. After driving for sometime, the highway ended and turned into gravel. We kept going thinking we were heading in the right direction we started seeing signs that read "no tresspassing" " underground explosives" and others. We were lost but kept going. After 2-3 hrs of driving, suddenly we came onto a highway. It actually was a shortcut, just on Gov't property where we weren't supposed to be. Pretty scarey, and pretty sure we were not the only ones who had ever taken this route.

elisa coppelman says …

GOTTA HAVE: -GREAT FAMILY -GOOD FRIENDS -SUMMER BREEZE AND A HUGE BERNISE MOUNTAIN DOG!

Kim Hilkemeier says …

My favorite summer was 3 years ago. My youngest daughter (5 at the time) had just been diagnosed with a hip condition called Legg-Perthes. She wanted to go to Disneyland to meet Minnie Mouse. It doesn't take much to get us to decide to go there! I was worried about her getting to exhausted to walk around. Yes, I am a paranoid mom! While we were there all she wanted to do was meet Minnie. When we finally got the chance to have our daughter take her turn at meeting Minnie. They hugged and Minnie drew hearts in the air with her finger tips for my daughter. The whole time I was just bawling like a baby! Every trip since we all remember that moment and I still get a little teary eyed. I love those special moments of childhood!

Lisa Mitchell says …

My most memorable summer was 1971. I had just finished my freshman year at college. I accepted a summer job in the Grand Tetons. I drove there and back all by myself! The mountains are absolutely awesome! I took a long route back to Oklahoma from Wyoming and stopped in UT, NM and TX to visit friends.

Dawn says …

my most memorable summer is actually this year. i started running ultra marathons and juggled training,kids, dogs, and running a household while my husband travels for work all the time. eating well for fuel has become really important and we grew a huge garden to ensure we are getting the freshest food possible! we also took a trip to Lake Tahoe and saw some of the most beautiful places i've ever seen:)

Terri Burney-Bisett says …

It was the summer of 1964. I was 14. In Texas, at that time, you could get your driver's license at 14 if you passed Driver's Ed. My mom enrolled me in a summer school Driver's Ed class at the High School, which was even a bigger deal because I was still in Junior High! It would also mean freedom for her since my brother would be going off to college, and my sister & I would then have his car to run her errands and chauffeur ourselves where we had to go. My school was loaned 4 brand new Dodge Darts for their Driver's Ed program. Mr. McCarthy was a Math teacher that did the hands-on driving portion of the program. Three students and he would head somewhere each day to just drive, mostly parking lots, but one day we headed out of town on a 2-lane highway headed West to get "Highway" practice. It was such a blast, and Mr. McCarthy was so calm and reassuring through it all. He had a saying that I refer to still. Whenever any of us kids had a close call with something, he'd say, "An inch is as good as a mile!"

Ilani D'Alfonso says …

My most memorable summer was in 1999 when I was the arts and crafts counselor at the Ponkapoag Outdoor Center, a YMCA camp in the Blue Hills. Every morning, I drove at 10 m.p.h. along a dirt road into the woods, parked my car in a field and walked to circle time. Then,I unlocked the arts and crafts log cabin, and spent the day with groups of kids ages 4-14. The kids in age groups,came to the arts and crafts log cabin with their counselors,and they made creative arts and crafts projects that were based on my ideas! In my free time, I made creative arts and crafts projects! On Fridays, there were themes, and I created banners and props for the themes. My favorite was the Friday on which I converted the arts and crafts cabin into a fortune telling room complete with black curtains (large plastic bags) to which I glued paper moons, stars and suns), and a fortune telling table, covered with a matching table cloth, onto which I placed a vase of freshly picked wild flowers. Special gatherings, during which kids and counselors gave performances, were held frequentlyin the large room at the lodge. At the end of the day, on most sunny days, I walked on the boardwalk to Ponkapoag pond through the only Eastern Cedar swamp on the East Coast of America. Once, on my walk, I saw two foxes in the field just off the boardwalk. And, once, as I was standing on the boardwalk looking at Great Blue Hill, my right foot slipped off the walk, and my entire right leg went into the muck of the swamp! For eight weeks, I was in Heaven on Earth in a log cabin in the woods doing arts and crafts with kids!

Ilani D'Alfonso says …

My most memorable summer was in 1999 when I was the arts and crafts counselor at the Ponkapoag Outdoor Center, a YMCA camp in the Blue Hills. Every morning, I drove at 10 m.p.h. along a dirt road into the woods, parked my car in a field and walked to circle time. Then,I unlocked the arts and crafts log cabin, and spent the day with groups of kids ages 4-14. The kids in age groups,came to the arts and crafts log cabin with their counselors,and they made creative arts and crafts projects that were based on my ideas! In my free time, I made creative arts and crafts projects! On Fridays, there were themes, and I created banners and props for the themes. My favorite was the Friday on which I converted the arts and crafts cabin into a fortune telling room complete with black curtains (large plastic bags) to which I glued paper moons, stars and suns), and a fortune telling table, covered with a matching table cloth, onto which I placed a vase of freshly picked wild flowers. Special gatherings, during which kids and counselors gave performances, were held frequently in the large room at the lodge. At the end of the day, on most sunny days, I walked on the boardwalk to Ponkapoag pond through the only Eastern Cedar swamp on the East Coast of America. Once, on my walk, I saw two foxes in the field just off the boardwalk. And, once, as I was standing on the boardwalk looking at Great Blue Hill, my right foot slipped off the walk, and my entire right leg went into the muck of the swamp! For eight weeks, I was in Heaven on Earth in a log cabin in the woods doing arts and crafts with kids!

Cindy says …

1992 was a memorable summer. I got a part-time job as a clown entertaining at children's parties. I traveled all around Miami driving from one end of the county to the other for the next scheduled party, sometimes changing costumes in the car.

Brenda says …

My family and I visited the Big Island of Hawaii for our most memorable summer. We were fortunate to get close enough (but not too close) to red hot flowing lava! Mother Nature in all her fury! It had crossed the highway during the day and by nighttime, the road was glowing as the asphalt burned. As the lava flowed, it would reach a tree that caused a flareup as the tree burned. A little sad but very interesting to watch. When lava flows, there is nothing that can be done to stop it!

john rego says …

I can vividly remember the first summer my dad decided to put a vegetable garden in our yard. All the hard work, digging, weeding and watering and then the pay off... wow what a difference in taste! The tomatoes where astounding and the corn so sweet plus the green beans were nothing like the canned variety my mom used to try to get us to eat. I became a veggie LOVER! My father was so proud he took a picture of me and my sister each holding a cucumber and showed it to company all winter. It's funny I remembered that yesturday when a friend and I had a fesh tomato from my garden with a little salt and balsamic. Even though dad is no longer here I think how proud he would be of my gardedn and all he taught me.

rebecca butler says …

The most memorable summer was may 2010 my second daughter got married. We booked a room for a mini vacation with relatives we hadnt seen for a little while and a long time for others.IT was in orlando florida. There was good food music dancing.I have 9 children 4 are still at home. The gift basket would be well received and appreciated since my 22 year old son will be going to the peace corps next year.

Christine Smartt says …

My most memorable summer was when my husband and I went to Whistler to go mountain biking. The atmosphere, food, and company were perfect.

alice martin says …

SUMMER 2009 at Disneyworld with my husband, son and sister. We had been caring for my ill mother for 7 years, and my ill father 1 year prior to that. When my mother passed away, we were finally able to take a vacation. It was one I'd never dated dream of. We stayed on the grounds, so we took advantage of the extended hours at the park and stayed out til 3 am some nights. My husband and son rode the monorail at 1am. To a 12-year-old, this was quite a ride! We ate at the best restaurants, and rode all of the crazy rides. At one point, I went to one park, and they went to another. I'm 47, and in line for the coasters, when they would ask "only ONE?" I would reply very happily "YES"! I was able to spend time with a sister I didn't grow up with, and was only able to contact after my mother died. My son was able to just "be a kid". He was such a help to my mother, and myself, when she was ill. My husband was happy just to sample the varied foods from around the world.

Meenakshi says …

Every summer since I started cooking has been an adventure of sort with food,creativity and inspiration (circa 2009)

Lauren says …

My most memorable summer was the summer I spent 2 weeks in England and Scotland exploring and living it up in another culture. I miss the smells, sights, and most of all, the custard!

Angela Sorge says …

My most memorable summer was spent in Elizabeth City, NC when I was pet sitting (3 dogs) for a Navy friend of mine who went away for 6mths or so for training in Florida. I took the dogs to the Vet in Grandy, NC for a check up and stopped by the Farmers Market on the way back and made the best berry salad w/peaches ever! I had strawberries, blueberries, blackberries & peaches. I let fruit marinate for awhile and served them over angel food cake w/vanilla bean ice cream. I also cooked a dinner that night & served fresh tomatoes on the side, along with other wonderful compliments to the chicken. Plus, that summer I grew close to Harry, the German Shepard and the other 2 dogs. Angela Sorge (801)657-2852

michelle geil says …

My memorable summer was spent with Girl Scouts, on a trip to the Grand Canyon. We spent the entire school year planning and building our strength and camping skills, so that we would be in peak condition for the trip, which included a wonderful bus trip down long roads, perfect for daydreaming, and side trips exploring canyons and more camping on the way. I still have faded photos over 30 years old, of the friends I traveled with and the sights we shared. And I shlepped a souvenir spear all the way home for my youngest sister!

wan yan ling says …

When I was twelve, my family drove from the North Island in New Zealand to the South Island, stopping by every scenic spot, seaside fish and chippery (for awesome kumara or sweet potato fries), pie shop (egg and bacon pie!), and pre-loved bookstore that caught our eye. We loved it so much, we did it again the very next summer, only starting from the South Island and heading North!

sabrinapatino says …

One of my most memorable summers was spent at a french voyageur campat international villages in minnesota, living in tents, bathing in the lake, and canoeing every day. The only language spoken was French. Bonfires every night, a chef from Paris who cooked our meals nightly in a cauldron over and outdoor fire. Stories were shared, songs were sung, friendships and memories made...it was one of the best times of my life.... Sabrina

Dieu says …

The most memorable summer was when our first child was born. My husband and I had an interesting time learning to be parents.

Linda Maynard says …

The summer of 72, both my friend and I were 12 years old. I was invited to go with them for a month in the wilderness of Shawinagan, Canada, in a group of primitive cabins. We cooked on a pot belly stove, used an ice box, used well water and bathed, washed clothes in the lake. No electricity, just hurricane oil lamps.and of course there were the outhouses. That was probably the best summer I have ever had. Her and I still talk about that magical summer- and how many leopard frogs we counted.................

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