Sunday, July 31, 2011

Connecticut Picnics are a Breath of Fresh Air

What is it about eating in the fresh air that makes everything taste better? Maybe it’s just being outside that expands our view from the confinement of the dining room table and four walls. Our senses are suddenly heightened with the stimulating sights and sounds of our environment.

Picture picnicking on a bank watching the river and the boats glide along in perfect harmony, by a pond with frogs hopping from one water lily pad to another, on a rock at the foot of a waterfall, or on a patch of grass looking out at Long Island sound. What about picnicking at a park bench overlooking a flower garden, or a wide expansive green lawn watching your youngsters in a playground just a few feet away.

If you live in the country you might want a different kind of stimulation. Try a city tour where people are coming and going, fountains and traffic are flowing and everyone is busy except you. You are picnicking. Suppose you want some physical stimulation before your picnic. Choose a picnic table in the middle of the Air Line bike trail or in a state park after a refreshing hike, tubing on the river, or an invigorating climb to the top of a waterfall or a mountain. If you are the touring type, choose to picnic at an attraction that focuses on authors, dinosaurs, trolleys, Indian Studies, or animals.

Wine enthusiasts can picnic at a variety of vineyards, history buffs may choose the Mystic Seaport while shoppers will head to Mistick Village or Main Street, Essex.

For both history and architectural buffs, there are any number of fascinating homes to visit, all with a variety of picnicking options, from a park bench to a spot of lawn to the proverbial picnic table. None of the facilities are an afterthought, but have been designed to fit into and be an essential part of the total experience.

All these places and more are found in Cruising Connecticut with a Picnic Basket however, you don’t need a book to find your way to a picnic adventure. In fact, there are few places in Connecticut that do not allow picnicking, and if you run across one, simply enjoy the experience and then have a tailgating picnic in the parking lot, or drive on to find a spot by the side of a country road.

Why not share your picnic pleasures with other readers. Simply comment on this blog or email me at and I’ll post your suggestions in a future blog.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Holiday Picnicking

I guess it is no surprise that July 4th is the single most popular day of the year to picnic. And, I imagine there are as many unique places to picnic and menu items as there are picnickers.

Check out an interesting article on this topic a friend discovered on the web. It's from and the subtitle is: “In a boat, in the nude, with cold chicken, warm bananas, McKnightley or Mole…” I bet that got your attention! Simply google the title, 10 Best Literary Picnics.

Now, both my planned picnic destination and menu for the 4th seem especially traditional. I will be at the home of a family member and the menu will most likely consist of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, salads and other sides including the mandatory Shady Glen Cole slaw, chips, and of course something decadent for dessert. One thing is certain: it will be both simple and casual. Since there have been a fair amount of family functions recently everyone is looking forward to a low-key, relaxing day.

I hope that wherever you picnic this weekend and whatever you decide to pack in your picnic basket, the day will be filled with joy and meaning.