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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

Jenna says …

My most memorable summer was when I took my two daughters on our first family vacation. We went to Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca, NY. We hiked the rim & gorge trails, camped, and visited some of the small towns around Ithaca.

Cathy E. says …

My most memorable summer was 2005. I completed one life long dream and began the next one. At the start of summer, I graduated from college with my degree in education at the age of 42 and at the end of the same summer found out I was expecting twins.

Lisa says …

My most memorable summer was of 2009. I just got married that April...then in May my husband had a seizure (2nd one in his life) which caused posterior dislocations of BOTH arms & one arm broke in several places.....during surgery (a plate with 10 pins to put it back together) he suffered a heart attack....in goes the stent....So, my Summer & many months there after, was spent being my husbands nurse 24/7....& getting acquainted even more than one can ever imagine as a newly wed! (He could not use his arms for weeks!) I did it all...with all my heart.....

Angela says …

The year, 1987, and the summer was full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. My ballet company and I traveled to Russia to dance as part of a cultural exchange. It was still the Soviet Union back then, and I was able to see for myself how lucky I was and am to live in the United States. From the Hermitage Museum to Red Square and Lenin's tomb, I was able to take in amazing art, unusual food and see a dying culture. I savor that experience, and, by the way, if you are a dancer or know one, I, also, got to dance on a raked stage. Cannot imagine how ballerinas stay on their toes at an angle :)

lisbet says …

Well it was actually THIS summer! I signed a pledge in June to speak, read, and listen only to Japanese for 9 weeks as part of a language intensive training program. Let me tell you, that was intense. I also took part in a tea ceremony club and a calligraphy club, and learned how to make onigiri. I got a hand cut image made by one of only four remaining Japanese kami-kiri (paper cutting) artists in Japan. It was a fascinating AND incredibly stressful summer, so I could use a party :)

Sher says …

My most memorable summer was 1998, when our family moved out of a 3000 square foot house into a brand new 30 foot RV. We took an amazing three month trip across the United States and into Canada, stopping at many National Parks,and museums,and did a lot of sight seeing along the way. It was the trip of a lifetime, and a great history lesson for us all. We really enjoyed our family time together, and have so many good memories and pictures.

Joe Williams says …

Most memorable summer. The summer I went to cheerleading camp in Tulsa Oklahoma. It was fun but it sure was HOTTTTT!!!!!

Mary Zwolinski says …

love it-want it-thank you

brenda says …

Definitely the summer I took my 2 sons to Virginia. They were 7 and 11 at the time. We rented a bright red sports car and hit about every tourist attraction the state had to offer. I was surprised by how much they loved Colonial Williamsburg. Water Country USA and swimming with the dolphins in Virginia Beach were big hits, too. They're grown now, but that's a trip I love to remember.

B. Schurle says …

I think my most memorable summer is this one. All of our family--my husband, daughter, son-in-law, their two miraculous 16 month old twin daughters, our two sons (one from chicago and the other one about to start med school) plus their girlfriends, and I were able to sneak away to Colorado for a few days. We stayed at or near friends' cabin in the majestic mountains. The cool crisp weather made for delightful hiking (first time for our granddaughters), white water rafting, plus evenings spent together. I think the food, folks, and fun made for a most memorable summer.

Kelly says …

This summer has been the most memorable for me. The youngest of my four children started school. This is the first time in eight years that I have had more than an hour go by and I did not hear "Mom" Very sad, almost as if I have earned my wings. Very bitter sweet! :)

Jane says …

1966-I was fifteen; visiting Cape Cod with my parents and stranded on an anchored raft surrounded by stinger jellyfish. A boy with the prettiest blue eyes and frecked nose began to talk with me, and thus began a 10-year penpal relationship in which we "grew up" together.I visited him once at Brown University, and he visited me once in Pittsburgh. I think I should go now and look him up on Facebook!

Nora Zajac says …

Oh, in 1958 we fell in love, foolishly squabbled, and broke up, all because we were stubborn and young. On the Fourth of July, after a tearful week, the phone rang. Would I like to go with him to see the fireworks? Would I! We speak about that evening with wonder, all these fifty-some years later. The angels were upon our shoulders, guiding us. We will be married fifty-two years this fall, and he is still my darling love.

Joyce says …

My children were young, I was newly divorced, and about to return to College in the Fall. We drove to Mexico in a VW Bug, with $85 from my mother-in-law, planning to camp out on the coast. Our first stop was the Tijuana farmer's Market. The food was beautiful, fresh and embarrassingly inexpensive, though I definitely appreciated it. Everywhere we went, people were caring and generous. We were given food, invited into homes. We only spent one night sleeping out of doors. A single mother with young children seemed to invite so much generosity. My children are grown with their own families now, but they always say it was the best Summer ever. We had a wonderful time, met wonderful people and had fresh beautiful food every day, and came home with $0.52! My brother-in-law insisted on filling our gas tank, and with my mother-in-law's gas credit card, we traveled 500 wonder-filled miles!

Ann says …

Hoping to create memories this Memorial day weekend. Hubby and I are moving into our first new house together. After being married for 20 years, and living in a condo, we're super psyched to have some grass, to roll in - and yes, space for our BBQ. So a goodie basket is just what we need - we probably won't have much to eat for a while...saving for mortgage!!! Thanks for the opportunity to enter and dream of yummy Whole Foods goodies!

sogogo says …

my most memorable summer was when i adopted my kids. returning to the USA as a mom was the most special time! since my kids are from Africa, i was happy that it was summer -with long warm days, swimming pools and wonderful fruit & veggies!

Shirley Davis says …

To walk in the steps of Jesus shocked me when my husband said we are going on a pilgrmage to Jerusalem! That was 2 years ago and an experience never to be forgotten. To walk up the Via Delarosa and carry the cross of Jesus with 3 other tourists brought tears to my eyes. Floating in the Dead Sea made me giddy! What a wonderful time we had!!

Loren says …

My most memorable summer might be a weird one to some people, but it was the first year of my marraige to my husband and the time I became a new mom. My husband was in deployed in Iraq with the Army in 2006 and I was a new mother all alone. This summer was memorable because I truly got to bond with my 1st child. By the time my husband came home when my son was 7 months old I felt like a pro at being a new mom!

Linda Grant says …

The summer I took a cross-country road trip with my dog. I spent 5 weeks on the road, going wherever I wanted and seeing what I wanted of our country. I visited Yellowstone and Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. I was surprised by the beauty of the desert--a place I'd always considered empty and lifeless. It was full of color and amazing diversity. I went to bed with the sun and got up with the sun. I had loons serenade me at a small lake in MN. I met a teacher in ID making movies to teach his class about Lewis and Clark when he returned home. I sat in the visitor's center at Custer's Last Stand and watched a thunderstorm rage outside while learning about life in the calvary or in a Sioux village. I wish I could have gone another 5 weeks--our country is so amazing you couldn't see it all in a lifetime of trips but I feel fortunate I got the chance to see all that I saw.

Jo Love says …

My most memorable summer, was traveling the midwest checking out the wineries, from Door County to Missouri.

Lagelle says …

My most memorable summer must be the year I gave birth to my 1st child. Midori was born on June 20,2004! Although things didn't go according to plan for my labor/delivery it was still an exciting time in my life. I remember all the sleepless nights but receiving tons of help & meals from friends and family! She is now 6 years old and in 1st grade, my how time flies <3

Joyce Crum says …

My most memorable summer was 1975 when my parents and aunts and uncles went to Hawaii and were left alone with our cousins for the first time. We shortly realized only one of us could cook. One day the four of us went to some mountain top family property and went hiking through the woods. It was quite beautiful. Our cousins were city dwellers and were enjoying the change of scenery. We journeyed too far down the mountain side and caught the attention of a cabin owner in the valley. He soon started shooting at us. I presume with buckshot and we were out of range of real harm. In any case we did get the message and started climbing straight up the hill as fast as we could. It was steep, rocky and hot. If that wasn’t enough, my cousin stepped into a yellow jacket hive and we had angry swarming bees around us. Fortunately we were all unharmed but it was a memorable experience. To this day I don’t think our parents know of our eventful day on the mountain.

Laura B. says …

My most memorable summer was the summer after my high school graduation. Before I went off to college, I spent the entire summer with my friends. It was bittersweet because we were all going our separate ways, but some of those friendships are still important to me. I made a lot of wonderful memories with a lot of wonderful friends from my small hometown high school and I will never forget it.

Rachel says …

My most memorable Summer was 1996. I met my husband at camp, we were just 16 at the time. We now have two beautiful children and we are still happy and together after 14 years! Of course I have had memorable Summers with my kids too (Beach trips, Disney World), but b/c the Summer of 1996 started it all, I chose that one :)

Melanie says …

I would have to say that our most memorable summmer would be this summer. My boys and I took a 13 hour each way road trip, 2 boys a mom and 3 dogs, to an organic raw milk dairy/bottling farm in Missouri. It was a working vacation but we had a wonderful time and learned a lot!!! Grass fed beef is something we really strive for - to buy and to raise and harvest ourselves!

Faith Landau says …

I would have to vote this summer in as the most memorable..although we did not do anything too grand..the one long trip we planned was great because everywhere we went and every plan we made worked out almost perfectly. My husband and my two girls 8 and 10 ( who are at a great traveling age , finally) took a twelve day road trip from Rhode Island stopping in D.C and then Colonial Williamsburg on our way to renting a house in the outer banks. I was a little anxious at the onset, for a few reasons: I get really car sick, I am a clean freak and was worried that the rental house would not be as clean as it looked in the photos and alas- no Whole Foods for 12 days. Well the trip down was a ok and the rental house in the outerbanks was better than we even hoped for, it did'nt hurt that we had 12 days of sunshine! My two sisters and their kids stayed with us and they took over the kitchen- which was a real vacation for me! Now that we are back at home and going thru a couple of days of rain I am already getting Nostagic about our Perfect Summer Trip. I will hold on to those sunny memories and hold onto my feelings of gratitude for as long as I can ( hopefully at least until the first real pretty snow day!)

Rosalinda says …

My most memorable summer was a trip to Washington DC with my family last year. My son was starting to learn about the history of the United States and what a better way to show him. the look in his eyes when he saw how big the White House and Monuments were is unforgetable.

Jennifer says …

My most memorable summer was in 2000. I was able to marry my best friend that July and we have created more wonderful memories ever since.

Tina says …

My most memorable summer was 2005. A mission trip to Jamaica was the highlight. It changed my thinking permanently to see how people in another country live. I was more blessed than the people we ministered to. We visited everyone from children in an orphanage to the elderly in nursing homes, and all ages in between. It is true that a smile is the universal language. I will never forget the people, or the fresh fruit and veggies that are in abundance there.

Harriet says …

Most memorable summer involved a 19 day retreat in upstate New York. It was challenging, but got through it, partly because of meeting a wonderful friend, and looking forward to awakening each bright summer morning to his smiling face!

Pam says …

The summer right after college. I was unemployed and actively seeking work and my sister was recovering from foot surgery. We both lived at home and hung out by our parents pool. I would help her get poolside and then leave for an interview. When I returned she would still be there waiting to here all about it. We chatted, read books, drank ice tea/lemonade and enjoyed the whole summer that way. We had so many great conversations about what life had in store for us. It made looking for a job stress free knowing my sister would be waiting by the pool for me. It was bitter sweet when I finally got a job and her foot healed.

Barbara Kirch says …

The summer of 1969 was one I'll always remember. We were living in Buffalo NY, and our daughter was just a year old. We would pack a portable grill and drive to the Canadian Side of the Niagara Falls Parkway. We would stop at a grocery store and pick up ground beef, rolls, fresh fruit and have a picnic at one of the many beautiful spots along the river. Sometimes we were fortunate enough to be able to buy freshly picked seasonal produce right from the growers. Once we found a u-pick strawberry farm, and stopped to show our daughter how strawberries grow. By the time we came out of the field to have our containers weighed, the farmer's wife laughed and said, "I'll weigh your little girl instead." When I looked at my child, she was one big strawberry with juice dripping down her chubby wrists and mouth!

Patti M. says …

I must have been 8 or 9 years old, spending time with my grandparents in Tennessee of all places! To a native Calif. girl, this was like being on another planet. My little sister and I went swimming in Evans' "lake". This was really a small pond in the back yard of family friends. We paddled out to the "island" in the middle and waved to the folks back "on shore". We swam with little polliwogs and small fish and frogs. Later there was home made peach pie and home made ice cream. I thought we were in paradise.

Debra says …

Our honeymoon, at the beginning of July, spent in Seatle and Victoria B.C. is my most memorable summer. I can still feel the cool crisp morning air, clear skies and beautiful landscapes. Each morning it was a treat to get fresh produce and flowers from the markets and don't even get me started on the coffee. Wow! That vacation hit everything I love and I was lucky enough to share it with my one true love.

Nicki says …

I have to say that this summer ranks pretty high up on my list of most memorable summers. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Greece, Italy and Spain with a few very close friends. Being immersed in those cultures for 16 days really changed me, and how I view the rest of the world. The biggest thing is that I noticed how simply they live. I've always loved how important relaxation time and meals are to European cultures as well. They really do help to live a better, less stressed life. Of course, being introduced to new foods and wines is always a plus as well!

Z Jacobson says …

My most memorable summer was the summer I spent cycling around Europe - we went thru London, Paris, Belgium, amsterdam. It was awesome cuz by cycling you were able to go to the back roads places and meet the locals - it was the best!

Mandy Stallcup says …

My most memorable summer was the Summer of 1975 when I first arrived in America. I came to this great country as a 13-year-old Vietnamese refugee that year not knowing any English or what my future would be like. It was scary but also exciting to face a whole new culture and new life.

Alex says …

My most memorable summer was spent traveling between England, France, Italy and Greece. I was fortunate to spend time with a family outside of Paris and fell in love with all of their markets. It was amazing to get fresh, local foods every day for dinner. And nothing compares to gelato in Italy.

Susan says …

My most memorable summer dates back to my childhood when I attended my first overnight camp. I didn't know how memorable it was, until I became old enough to realize how clever they were at turning ordinary activities into exciting events. For example, when they observed our incidents of good posture they gave us colorful posture bands which they awarded at the weekly campfire ceremony. We could then wear them proudly for the whole week. They turned a chore into a game, making it fun, and creating good habits at the same time.

Monica Hardesty says …

I grew up on a farm and always had fresh fruits and vegetables, grass fed beef, chickens, geese, pork, and lamb in the freezer, and canned in jars. I lived in Minnesota until a few years ago and have been searching for fresh everything since I moved here. Recently, I heard that the new generation of kids growing up are the first generation of children who are not expected to live as long as their parents. This is, apparently, due to the fact that they have grown up on fast food. Thankfully, because I grew up on whole, fresh food, I instilled this on my children. Although they don't always choose wisely, they do understand the importance of eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. My favorite Labor Day memory was when I was 14 years old. We had a family reunion on our farm and I invited my "boyfriend." He lived "in town" and we decided to bike from town to my house. So...my dad dropped me off in town and we biked seven miles back to my house. We had a very large family and all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. were there. I am happy to say, 28 years later, we are still married with six healthy, happy children!

Sulema Rodriguez says …

I'd have to say that I've had many great summers. Being a school teacher, I always looked forward to having some quality time with my two children. But the summer of 2010 was by far the most memorable. My daughter and I spent 10 days in Spain, and we had a wonderful time. It was so nice to enjoy the sights, the culture, and most definitely the food. We had a great bonding experience, and have memories that will last a lifetime.

jackie says …

This summer has been my best ever. We had our first child in June and my husband completed an ironman in July. It's been a busy, but rewarding summer.

Allison says …

Last summer was the most memorable-- my fiance and I went backpacking in Costa Rica! We saw lava flowing from a volcano, surfed in the ocean, went spelunking with the bats, and ziplined through the rain forest! And I got to practice my Spanish-- It was amazing!!

Tee Kay says …

I had really great summers vacationing as a kid with my Dad when he was stationed at the Naval base in Norfolk, Virginia. I would swim in the ocean every day, and his sailor friends and their girlfriends were always thinking up fun stuff to do like going to Ocean View Amusement Park. It was a really carefree time.

Gigi says …

Meeting my (now) husband nearly 2 decades ago while exchanging recipes for fresh shark steaks - he could grill, loved fresh seafood, and he got my sense of humor...I was hooked (pardon the pun)!

kathy says …

The summer my daughter and I took the back roads across the country, we got so lost!

Claudia Newkirk says …

Best summer ever .... this summer. We spent a wonderful week with family and friends watching our 12 year old grandson's team play baseball at Cooperstown Dreams Park, Cooperstown, NY. Pride, celebration, and memories for a lifetime.

Mary Beth Turek says …

My most memorable summer was 1981, planning our wedding and then marrying my best friend!

Robyn reimer says …

July 1995 I married the man, the type of man i never thought I would have married. My Mother introduced us. I was a strict vegetarian and he was a MEAT EATEr from Canada. Because I was able to combine my love for things green and organic ( when I was able to find them 15 years ago) we met in the middle. he now eats "meat free" 3 times a week and I hVE STARTED EATING FISH. Somehow we all feel like were giving up a little but have our kids enjoying many types of food they might not have tried otherwise.

Janell Huntsman says …

I loved the summers when we took road trips from Oklahoma to California to see my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We would spend time at Yosemite and at some state parks where my uncle was a park ranger. This happened back in the 70's and it was so much fun!

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