Sunday, August 15, 2010

We Like Picnics Best

We’re enjoying a lazy, hot summer day here in Tumwater.  Forecast shows another day peaking at the 90 to 92F range.  It will begin cooling off tomorrow.  We spent yesterday at a local state park keeping cool in the shade of the cedar and fir trees and enjoyed our picnic lunch.

I had posted a pic of Bruce sitting in his chair at the park waiting for his lunch.  Judy left a comment asking if those were Zypdee chairs.  I got one out of the Explorer this morning and checked all over it and could not find a brand name anywhere.  We bought them in 2001 at the Camping World in Fife, WA so I looked in their catalog and the chairs are no longer offered.  So I’m sorry, Judy, I just don’t know for sure.  We bought those chairs as replacements for ones that were in our Southwind Storm motorhome when it was stolen (long story). 

                                                     These make great chairs for hauling around in the back of the car.DSCF6001

Since I was on the subject of folding chairs and picnics I thought I’d fill the post up by explaining our method of attacking the “picnic.”   Back in the early 1990’s we used to take summer vacations in our Pace Arrow motorhome and we’d usually take Bruce’s mom along with us….and our teenage daughter… this was a huge treat!  Smile  Betty (MIL) was widowed in 1990 and that was when we began having her tag along with us.  Betty was a restaurant lover, so if we went out sightseeing or having a scenic drive for the day, we’d always end up eating lunch at a fancy-schmancy restaurant.  She picked up the tab, but that wasn’t the point.  She ended up spending a ton of cash on these meals and we felt it was not necessary.  It just seemed like such a waste to Bruce and me.

Fast forward to 1997 when Bruce and I were able to get out for a 6-month RV trip.  Most of the time we saw no point in eating lunches at restaurants when we’d be out sightseeing.  Besides those $$$ adding up, we were packing on way too many pounds!  That is not to say we never go out to eat in a restaurant.  When we do we just make it worth our while (like Cincinnati chili).  So on long RV trips in 1997 and 1999 we perfected our current picnic routine.

We put our 2 folding chairs and a folding table in the back of the Explorer and just keep them there.  That way, we don’t have to remember to load them in when we go out for the day.  We have other, more comfortable, chairs we keep for sitting outdoors at the RV.  The chairs would rattle and bang when we drove, so I sewed up some simple slipcovers for them.

                                            A large beach towel folded and sewed up on the sides works great.DSCF6002

I sewed up a slip cover for the small picnic table, too.  All three stack up at the rear of the cargo area and are always available.

                                                 Simple folding table that every RVer has.DSCF6013

I also put together a box of picnic supplies that includes a tablecloth and seat covers to be used at a public picnic table if we use one, paper plates and plate holders, napkins, plastic utensils, extra plastic bags for trash, and a roll of toilet paper.  Yes….toilet paper.  Be prepared is always my motto.  We keep the box in the car with the chairs.

We just need to make our lunch, pack it in the cooler, put it in the car and off we go.  Besides not wanting to spend a lot of cash for restaurants lunches (sometimes we are out 4 times a week), we prefer having some scenic beauty to enjoy while we eat.  With our own chairs and table with us we can pull over wherever we want and eat our meal.  We have been on the Blue Ridge Parkway and just pulled off the road at a turnout spot with a fantastic view and eaten our lunch.  Other places of great beauty we have enjoyed with a picnic (to name just a few) are: 

*  Oregon coast

*  Acadia National Park, Maine

*  Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts

*  Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia

*  Key West, Florida

*  Decorah, Iowa

*  Huntington Beach, California

There are restaurants everywhere you go, but some may not have a beautiful view to enjoy.  We may never again be in Key West or Kejimkujik National Park to enjoy those fantastic views….so we want to see them while we are there.

Another big factor in choosing picnics over so many restaurants is our little Annie the Schnauzer.  If we go into a restaurant, she has to stay in the car and it may be too hot outside for that.  Annie has her own water and food dishes that are kept in the back of the car.  She, too, is already prepared for an outdoor adventure.  A spare leash and pooper-scooper bags are always at the ready, too.

Once again, I’m sharing one of my “over organizing ideas” with you folks.  It works for us and we’re ready for a picnic anytime! 

Until next time… long for now!


MargieAnne said...

Toilet roll. Top o' the list.

We usually just sit on the ground with or without a rug depending on how clean the ground is. Sometimes we take chairs but a picnic to us is sitting on the ground with food containers spread in the middle. Now we are older we do get a little more sophisticated sometimes and look for picnic tables.

Happytrails said...

I love the idea of sewing the towels together for chair slip cover.
I'm like you, we have carried picnic meals and choose a good scenic area to stop at and eat.
Take care and thanks for the post.
Mike & Gerri

Carol K said...

What? Decorah, Iowa? That's where I went to college! I hope your enjoyed your picnic in Decorah. It's a beautiful area. And Huntington Beach, CA is where I lived when I moved from Connecticut to California after I met Dave but before we were married.

Your post today shared good information about how being organized can make a picnic even more enjoyable.

When I was growing up, my family went on many picnics as it was a cheap way to eat and to enjoy ourselves. I didn't appreciate it at the time, but now I really like picnics (and parks)!

Margie and Roger said...

Good post. We never do the picnic thing...but now I want to give it a try. The key is to be organized I think...and leaving the car "ready" is the key.

Gypsy said...

It sounds like me when we used to travel with 4 small kids. I was so organized and prepared for any contingency! I'm still like that to a degree, but not as much so since I'm on my own.

I agree about eating in restaurants. I only make exceptions for things like Cincinnati Chili and White Castles! But for the most part I would rather cook my own and eat it outdoors if the weather cooperates.

Dennis and Donna said...

We are in agreement on the restaurant thing...We almost NEVER eat there...but once a week, we find a place that has a local flair, order carry outs, take them back to the camper and eat them when the time is right...Why waste the beautiful outdoors on an inside restaurant..that's just us..not for everyone...

Rick and Paulette said...

Great ideas and tips for picnics! The towel covers for the chairs is perfect as those sharp edges seem to catch on everything.

One of the things we always do when we're traveling is pack a lunch and snacks to carry with us in a cooler in the truck. It's perfect for times we run across a nice vista point to stop and have lunch.

Sue and Doug said...

you are now the 'organizing guru'..we have Rick the 'computer guru' ...great tips..we are going to get organized..the only issue is the fact that Tucker takes up the back of the jeep!!..great header picture by the way!!

Judy and Emma said...

What a deal I have for you! I'll tell you how to get your new header picture (nice pic!) centered if you tell me how to do the link to other blogs like you do! :)

Margie M. said...

Hi Judy,
E-mail me with your instructions on centering the pic if you could.

To get links highlighted on your blog post:
#1 go to Design tab on dashboard or top of post and click
#2 see list of options on left of page that pops up and click on "advanced"
#3 see options listed on a scroll down feature just to right of "advanced"
#4 you will see the words "link color" and see color options to the right of that. Select your color choice.
#5 click "Apply to Blog" up at the right corner

This should do the trick. Hopefully! Good luck.

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

We rarely eat in restaurants anymore. When you look at what ingredients that they put in even the simple dishes and how bad most of that is for you and then the cost, it is just not appealing.

We do the picnic thing on most all day journeys, but sad to say we are not nearly as organized as you.

Thanks for the hints.

Wayne and Roberta said...

Margie thanks for your tips and especially the one for the towel chair covers what a great idea. Sue & Doug are right we will have to start call you the "organizing guru"

JODI said...

My favorite picnic stop was in Washington state over looking the American River. I still remember the tranquility and the sounds of the rushing water as we ate. Thanks for stirring a memory.

Pidge said...

Great ideas for picnics. Wish I was as organized as you. Great header too. Pidge

Gail Durham said...

I love the The towel covers for the chairs!

Jerry and Suzy said...

What more is there to say? We're impressed! Wish we could cut down the stuff we carry in the back of our car, then we could put in the chairs, tables, etc. Oh yes, we DO carry a roll of TP!

Phyllis said...

Margie being organized for picnics? Would be expect less from her?????

We have same little tables. Always keep a small cooler in truck with water, etc.

Phyllis said...

Margie being organized for picnics? Would be expect less from her?????

We have same little tables. Always keep a small cooler in truck with water, etc.

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

GREAT ideas Margie! We are just getting a *toad* this week and I am gonna put our two smaller chairs and a picnic kit in the back end for us! Plus a water jug and dish for the doggers.

We rarely eat out. When we think of restaurants, not only the expense comes to mind, but also how the food is usually handled behind the scenes when nobody is looking. EWWWW I worked in enough restaurants as a teenager that I would prefer to cook my own food, thank you. It sure saves on the budget too.

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Tom and Marci said...

Thanks for sharing your picnic tips, Margie! We also try to avoid restaurants - with 2 teenage boys, it's gotten to be VERY expensive!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful picnic tips! How about some ideas for the picnic itself. I just can't seem to come up with any "exciting" food!

Donna Daniel