Whenever people start to talk about picnics, a lot of memories start to flood my mind. Whenever I sit down and reminisce on these events, I am always filled with images on lake sides or beaches. While most people have their picnic on grassy plains and picnic areas near mountains, our family is fond of having picnics near the beach because we live in cape where most houses are just a couple of steps away from the beach.
With family beach picnics (especially in our place), location plays a big part in the success of any picnic. Of course, the location determines if you will be allowed to bring picnic tables or barbecue grills on the location. There may be not enough shore to have a picnic on or the water might be too deep for the kids to enjoy.
However, whenever I reminisce about family picnics, there are also other people who fill my images. And i remember that almost all of our picnics by the beach do not only include our immediate family. It was always shared between our closest friends and neighbors. It was always a pot luck occasion where each guest would bring something to share in the buffet table, which allows us to taste and experience different recipes and menus because we have a lot of foreign friends who lived in different parts of the world.
As for us, kids, our bodies were always in motion for the whole day that by the end of the day or after a couple of hours, we will be craving so much for the food. It didn’t matter if the food prepared was apt for lunch or snack. Since we were very tired and very hungry, we would devour whatever we see was edible on the table. It was a good thing though that my mom was always thoughtful that she always prepares energy-refilling foods that kept us up and running after three minutes of snack time.
Family picnics were rarely done with big meals since it was always held on location. But whenever needed, my mom brings food in special containers where cold food that should be kept cold while foods that easily spoil are also stored on a container that would allow air to circulate, preventing them to spoil after a couple of hours. There were even wines and cold drinks which quenched our thirst after a few hours of basking in the sun. I don’t remember a time when something went wrong in our picnic like forgotten utensils or spoiled food. My mom was always the best picnic planner as she spends days, even weeks planning our picnic. No detail is left unturned and everything from food to utensils are given ample attention.
There were always activities planned for every guest. We, the kids, were always fond of games that were hosted during picnics by the beach. My aunt’s favorite was scavenger hunt where she would keep a couple of things within a certain vicinity and our task was to find as much as we can. This game always lasts for hours with kids, draining our energy before every little piece of item is found. As for the “older generations” there were very few games but mostly catching up periods and sometimes, book sharing. They would talk about the latest book that they’ve read and share it with the rest of the guests.
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