Sober life can actually be a lot of fun. That may be news for those who have been under the thumb of addiction for an extended period of time, but it’s important to find ways to make life in recovery a blast. Who would want to stay abstinent if it were a drag? Summer activities are a good way to line up with fun. And one of the best summer activities ever is the backyard barbecue. Grabbing a bunch of sober friends, filling the cooler with soda, sparkling water and iced tea, dusting off the picnic table and firing up the grill are great ways to get busy having fun. Exotic foods don’t have to be on the barbecue menu to make it talk-worthy. You can still throw a hamburger or a hot dog on the grill, but how about spicing them up with toppings no one would have ever thought of, like: Go Ole! Mexican toppings can include guacamole with a dollop of hot sauce, or variations on salsa. Something that few have probably tried is peach salsa on a hot dog or hamburger – cut up peaches, jalepeno and cilantro, or go to the local market and just buy a jar of ready-made. Cilantro mayonnaise is also a different take on barbecue sandwich topping. Serve tortilla chips on the side instead of the potato kind. American. If it’s got to be made in the U.S.A., a steakhouse dog or burger can be a real treat – just cut up a tomato, slice some red onions, add steak sauce, and watch that steak sizzle. Another American approach is to throw crumbled bacon on top. You can also go with mac-n-cheese as a side. Get really gourmet. Go Vietnamese with sliced cucumber, shredded carrot and mint leaves; then add a mayonnaise laced with a little tabasco. For a crazy Cuban sandwich, bring out the spicy mustard, sliced ham, pickles and Swiss cheese, and throw them on top of your sandwich. Or try a Greek variation by adding black olives, shredded red cabbage and some tahini. Vegetarian dogs. How about throwing together a bunch of salad bar ingredients for toppings – different kinds of lettuce, sliced onion, shredded carrots and cabbage, avocado, olives, bell pepper slices – and make turkey dogs or veggie burgers an option. Your vegan friends will appreciate it. Sober life can be creative and lively with a little thought and a list of summer activities that will get the fun juices flowing. Add your thoughts and comments below and follow us on Facebook!