Picnics and love — the pair go together as perfectly as Romeo and Juliet, but what’s a couple to do when her idea of romance is wine and brie with linen napkins under a shade tree in LaJolla, while his is a sweaty bike ride around Newport beach? Compromise. Negotiate. Take turns pleasing your significant other by scheduling a series of picnics that celebrate your passion so wonderfully that even if a couple of ants show up, you’ll be more inclined to relocate than squash ’em. There’s plenty to choose from in this article so don’t stop with one idea. Mix and match until your partner falls as hopelessly in love with your ingenuity as he or she does with your culinary prowess.
Things You’ll Need:
- Picnic foods Wine or beverage
- Picnic foods
- Wine or beverage
Schedule a Catalina Island getaway and begin the day on the water. The hour’s boat ride offers the opportunity to surprise your sweetie with a small gift; if money’s tight, make it a little toy boat lettered with the date to commemorate your picnic. Bring along a lightweight, nylon bag, then stroll this adorable town and sight-see, stopping to select picnic foods for your feast at local shops. Pop the items into your insulated bag to protect perishables and find a secluded area to enjoy your picnic. Did you remember to get dessert?
Head for Coronado if your idea of a romantic picnic doesn’t include an hour on a boat. It’s anybody’s guess why this sandy peninsula came to be called Coronado Island, but perhaps the views of the sand and sea create the illusion. Having found out exactly what your love considers the perfect picnic repast, bring those items along — even if that means packing a small barbeque grill on which you can toast everything from veggies to burgers (hold the onions) to s’mores. Watch the sun go down over Coronado while sipping champagne to end a sumptuous picnic day.
Share art from the heart in LaJolla by taking in the town’s galleries before you turn your attention to the main menu. Walk along the cliffs to feast on spectacular views and then bring out a modest array of temptations from your linen-lined picnic basket. If you filled it with fresh fruits, sandwich fixings, chocolates and favorite beverages you’ll have provided plenty of treats without much effort. Play Truth or Dare as you nibble. Bring out crayons and paper so each of you can sketch a favorite fantasy as you sip wine and gather memories of a picture-perfect picnic.
Sip your way around Laguna Beach after stopping at Laguna Canyon winery to select a picnic beverage. Head for Crystal Cove and settle into the sand to enjoy the picnic you packed and prepared before leaving home. If Laguna Beach doesn’t offer enough wine for your taste, opt for Temecula’s Sunny Valley, Southern California’s answer to the Napa Valley — but closer. Pair your wine selection with mini-lasagnas made earlier by removing the centers of beefy rolls (save the top) and layering pasta sauce, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and caramelized veggies inside. Replace the top before baking in foil. Share smooth ice cream treats after your picnic and don’t forget to bring home some of that yummy wine for your next get-together.
Pack bathing suits and picnic gear and head to Malibu to get in touch with your inner Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. Pricey real estate abounds, so use this opportunity to fantasize about the kind of luxury homes each of you dream about building some day as you sit on the beach picnicking. Having prepared for the day by marinating chicken breasts overnight, grill them to perfection before packing them with raw veggies, ranch dip and hard or soft lemonade. Wind up your adventurous picnic day by trying your hand at kayaking, a popular Malibu sport. Rumor has it that it’s easier to steer a two-seater rather than individual kayaks, so test that theory before you wrap up your day of fun.
Find picnic nirvana at a higher altitude. Drive into the mountains to channel your inner Heidi and Hans at Idyllwild, a little piece of Alpine heaven located a mile above L.A. If Idyllwild isn’t high enough, head for the snow-peaked San Gabriel Mountains or Joshua Tree National Park, a couple of hours from San Diego. Whichever location you choose, make your picnic as memorable as the scenery by filling a cooler with pasta salad made with avocado, chicken and vinaigrette dressing. Open a fruity Riesling (white wine) to go with a dessert of strawberries and whipped cream. If you run out of fruit, be as inventive as possible with the leftover cream.
Become environmentally involved by heading to Dana Point to watch the whales and canoodle with your sweetie over a yummy picnic. The harbor is gorgeous and the atmosphere pure old world seafaring, so soak in the views. Bring along ingredients to make veggie wraps from tortillas, cilantro-infused cream cheese, sliced olives, avocado, thinly sliced ham, marinated mushrooms and veggies. Pack a tawdry romance novel and read to each other from the pages. Of course, bringing that bodice ripper as an audio book with a CD player makes just as much sense. That way, your hands are free to eat and do anything else that strikes your fancy.