It’s July, and summertime is in full swing. The days are long, the nights are humid and the kids are begging to head to the pool.

For many, the summer brings to mind childhood memories of playing in lawn sprinklers, camping outside or listening to the hum of cicadas in the trees.

This month we also celebrate Independence Day, a chance to bond with friends and family, light up the grill and watch fireworks illuminate the night skies. It’s a time when we recognize the contributions and sacrifices of Americans—both past and present—who have made our nation great. Summer also offers a great chance to pack up the kiddos and explore our own local Texas history.

See what’s offered at the George Ranch Historical Park featured on Page XX, or use our guide on Page XX to help you plan a beach getaway. If you’re up for a staycation instead, use our summer sangria recipe for a poolside pick-me-up, or visit newly opened Vitality Bowls cafe featured on Page XX to taste the blueberry-laden Liberty Bowl.

This issue is also the first time I’m writing to you as your managing editor. For the last several months, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and writing about so many local people, organizations and businesses that make Cypress great. I live here. I work here. I hope this magazine can reflect the voices in our community.

The summer is bright and full of expectation. Hopefully, this issue can jump-start your plans for the sultry days ahead.

Happy summer!

Erica Hernandez