Friday, August 10, 2007

car picnic

The girls and I have gone to the beach several days in a row. We are on vacation. We're takin' life easy. Movin' at a very slow pace. Doin' whatever we want to do. Within reason. We've gone to the beach 3 times this week. We expect to go to the beach at least 3 more days. Then, we're going "up north" and we'll probably go to the beach there, too.
I know, in other parts of the country, that is a more common occurrence than it is here in Minnesota - we usually have exactly 3 days of weather that is hot enough to coax our pasty skinned selves into a swimming suit and into the water... in public. This summer, we're living in the 7th level of hell. Good God, it's hot. My people -I'm of Scandinavian descent - are not equipped for this kind of heat and humidity.

This summer, we opted to forgo the window air conditioner. OK. It was my idea. I wanted to live a little greener. I was feeling all earthy and romantic. You know... throw open the windows. Hear the world as it goes along its bird-singing, bee-buzzing, breeze-blowing way. This is Minnesota, after all. How hot is it really going to get? Besides, if it does get a little hot, it only lasts for 3 days, tops. We can survive that.

It's been weeks. Many, many cicada filled weeks of sticky hotness. Not the good, sexy kind of hotness either. No. This is the "Oh, my lord, what SMELLS!? oh, it's me. again" kind of hotness.

So we've been going to the beach.

Now, some of you may know that the great out-of-doors is not my first love. It is a testament to the very nature of vacation that I am taking all 3 girls to the beach, by myself. Several days in a row. I guess that summer and vacation both make me feel all earthy and romantic...
To make the beach trips more interesting for all of us, and to make life easier for me, we have been participating in what I fondly call "car picnics." It's not as romantic as tee-pees. It's not as nostalgic as forts. But, it is easy and controlled (lol) and the kids think that maybe they have died and gone to heaven. And the van is air-conditioned. Enough said.

Pack what ever leftovers might be in the fridge. (Don't make anything fancy... just throw in frilled tooth pics or those umbrella pics. Kids will eat anything that they can poke a stick into.)
Fill water bottles with lemonade and ice. (Such a treat after "milk at every meal.")
Take the grapes out of the freezer.
Throw everything into the cooler and cover the whole thing with lots of ice.
Pull the trays that we swiped from the school cafeteria out of the trunk.
Toss everything into the van, or whatever you happen to be driving at the time, and...
Head to the beach. Bake at 95* for 1-2 hours. Soak in water several times.

When everyone is "done," head to the car and pull out the IKEA rugs for the "entrance mats." (For some reason, this is one of the most important parts of our car picnic... but they do help get the sand off little feet. The rugs are second only to the frilly tooth pics.)
Then, everyone gets a tray and we dig in. We don't drive and eat. That is practically against the rules.

As I re-read this blog, I realize that it sounds ever-so-slightly white trashy. I think the heat does that to every one. We all wear less clothing than we should. We walk around perpetually barefoot. The baby spends too much time in a diaper, and nothing else. I don't care. I am going to call it "earthy and romantic."

1 comment:

by Johanna Brandvik said...

You are such a great writer! And a clever mama! I love the car picinics!