Crunching leaves, gentle breeze, warm sun, and birds chirping. This is what could comprise a glorious day having a picnic. Remember those?
The idea of an “old-fashioned” picnic conjures the vision of people in their car, driving until they find a nice spot alongside the road to pull over and cop-a-squat. Picnics now are more the local park variety. Which is nice, don’t get me wrong, but a bit restrictive. No glass
bottles, no alcohol (come on, wine!), and too many other people around. Think Mad Men Season 2. Just don’t flip the trash off the blanket and leave it on the ground.
An intimate picnic with your family or your significant other, or even a small group of friends, is a lost achievement. Large public picnics are the new norm. Everyone sharing the same space.
There’s never a quiet moment. And forget a romantic picnic, there are inevitably screaming children who are kicking a ball that hits you in the head and some woman with the shrill voice you can’t help but overhear asking if there’s any more potato salad.
The free summer concerts in the parks are actually a good venue for picnics. Plus, they do away with the no alcohol rule temporarily. These types of public picnics are an exception. With summer fast approaching I am impatient with anticipation for these! There are so many of these where I live, I love them. I especially like Concerts by the Sea at La Jolla Cove . You’re right next to the beach, what could be better? My picnic basket is a trusty companion when I attend these summer concerts. Whether it’s carrying food and utensils, or just utensils, it makes for a more
carefree and whimsical feeling. A small cooler is a necessity if you pack perishable items, but I pass on those big clunky coolers. There is nothing romantic about those.
Randomly driving on a road to find a place to pull over and have a picnic is probably frowned upon now. Either you would be trespassing or there would be some ridiculous “no drinking in public”law. Psh. I have a craving for an old-fashioned picnic and the day that goes with it.
Choosing which foods to take, which bottle of wine goes best with those foods, and then packing them tenderly in the basket with plates and utensils. When I come upon a vintage picnic basket in my antique perusing, I’m always compelled to lift the lid, inspect the recesses, and wonder how many sushi rolls I could possibly fit into it.
I love the ones (like above) that have storage space in the lid. So convenient, compact, and snug.
These two baskets (above and right) were photographed at Carlsbad Antique Mall, one of my favorite places. Two buildings full of treasures and the nicest people working there. (And a great selection of records!)
I would love to hop in my 1955 Chevy convertible (in my dreams!), with a scarf over my hair (because the top is down), pushing the buttons on the radio until I find some Otis Redding (Big O), and I spot that perfect place to put my blanket down. There’s a quiet peacefulness, some trees, some birds, and a beautiful blue sky. Laying on the blanket with a glass of wine and some good company watching the wispy white clouds floating over head. Now that is a picnic.