I have associated picnics with warm weather as far back as I can remember. There is something about packing food, a blanket and all your necessities that ups your anticipation for simple fun. So far this summer we haven’t had a lot of great picnic weather here in Chicagoland! Wanting a romantic picnic with my husband and getting desperate because the weather wasn’t going to cooperate anytime soon, I decided to take steps to have a picnic anyway. INSIDE, yes inside. “You don’t have to have a picnic outside,” I kept telling myself! Yes, it is what we all think we should be doing, but why ruin a perfectly fine evening just because the weather is horrible. Actually, Tornado warnings were being thrown about everywhere for counties not so far off!
So here it was mid-June, and I was opening up the fireplace, putting candles inside of it. About 8 candles. Then I spread my favorite picnic blanket in front of the fireplace and put some champagne on ice. Grabbed the champagne flutes, some cheese and crackers, grapes, flowers, candles for the floor and put on some music. I prepared a Wilted Spinach Salad, defrosted some steaks, sauted some garlic and fresh mushrooms and put on a summer dress. Little did my husband know that we were picnicing tonight, but when he saw the scene his face broke into a big smile. You just have to get a little creative sometimes. It can be romantic to have a picnic inside, and it was! Different can be very romantic and it is the impromptu things that you remember more.
I read not too long ago of a husband who created an “evening of dining under the stars” for his wife. He cut out heavy paper into star shapes and covered them with foil. Hung them from the ceiling with fishing line at different lengths. And voila! Dinner was waiting for his wife when she came home and they litterally had a romantic dinner under the stars. I think that was such a romantic thing to do and what wife/girlfriend wouldn’t just swoon if her man took that kind of time and created a special evening like that for her?! It didn’t cost him much, but I bet she will always remember it!
Speaking of unique things to do on picnics, the Chicago Park District has Movies in the Park at various neighborhood parks. Something like the old drive-in movies we used to go to, but without the car. It is basically a picnic in the park (or party) with fun movies. All movies start at dusk and are subject to good weather. And this is a FREE activity. You can go to chicagoparkdistrict.com to get locations and more information.
So many neighborhoods have had great success with music nights on the order of Ravinia, but smaller. My husband and I love to go to these as they are free also, and we always pack a small picnic dinner and wine. The message is this. Any kind of picnic is fun and can be romantic! You just have to seize the moment and squeeze them in.
The same theory applies to your romantic getaways whether it is on a cruise, a hotel or resort. Find time to plan an impromptu picnic on your cruise excursion, in a park near your hotel, or on site at a resort. Or why not at home, inside on a rainy summer evening ! We just have to keep the “us” time going and going. It is a small amount of effort with a big return.
So plan a picnic now, and don’t forget the Champagne!!