Just a few shorts weeks ago, I was lucky enough to find myself in Nashville, Tennessee for a 3-day weekend getaway. Prior to this trip, Nashville never crossed my mind as a place to add to my bucket list. It just…didn’t. It might be because when one hears “Nashville” immediately we think of everyone walking around in western boots, cowboy hats, and dancing and singing to country music. Although two of those things are (kind of) true, Nashville is so much more than just that.
Three days just wasn’t enough to see everything Nashville had to offer, but I think we saw the key sights and sounds that I suggest anyone who is visiting Music city for the first time, must add to their travel itinerary.
My ‘Tom’s Picks’ posts are meant to highlight things Aliyyah and I try together and give you a review of why I think you would also love trying out the same things. This pick however, is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and by far the best pick I will ever make.
I asked Aliyyah to Marry me and she said YES!
We’re going on a picnic! I think picnic’s are so sweet and cute. These days a lot of picnicking happens at the park whilst sitting at one of those picnic tables. Which is fine, BUT, it’s way better to spread a cozy blanket down on the lush grass, maybe in the shade at the park or on the beach, and just enjoy warm weather and scenery.
Although picnics are a pretty simple thing, there is some thought and preparation that needs to go into planning for one. I prefer to keep the details sweet and simple, without much fuss.
WEATHER + LOCATION
- Be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out on your picnic – you don’t want to get caught in a rain storm!
- Although you can picnic in just about any public park, there are some places that don’t allow picnicking (what?!?!), so be sure to check the rules first before you get cozy on your picnic blanket.
FOOD + DRINKS
- Finger foods or anything that doesn’t require anything more than a fork or spoon and that can be enjoyed at room temperature or cold, is the way to go. It’s also a bit challenging trying to cut things on paper plates with plastic knives without a level, hard surface – sandwiches, pasta salads and potato salads with a vinaigrette dressing are a perfect choice. Be sure if using mayonnaise or cheese, that it’s consumed within 1-2 hours once removed from the cooler, especially if it’s a hot day.
- Fruit and cookies are great dessert options.
- You can’t go wrong with bottled water, lemon or cucumber water, or wine in a box container (avoid having to carry a heavy bottle and a corkscrew). If you can, freeze your drinks (except for red wine or beverages in a can) the night before.
- Although picnic baskets are cute and chic, I recommend packing your food and drinks in a cooler or insulated food bag.
- Keep food cool by placing reusable ice packs on the bottom of your cooler and layered between your food. You also don’t want to over pack your cooler. A good tip is to keep a 75/25 ratio – 25 percent of cooler space reserved for reusable ice packs, and 75 percent of cooler space for food/perishable items.
- If you are packing condiments, store them in small Tupperware or mason jars which can be reused later.
- If you do decide to pack food that requires plates and cutlery, bring reusable plastic tableware. It’s lighter and environmentally friendly!
- Pack a mini cutting board and utility knife if you decide to pack cheese or cooked/cured meats.
- Be sure to pack paper towels or moist towelettes in case there aren’t nearby facilities for washing up. They also help to give tableware a quick clean before packing up.
- Just about all parks and public spaces have trash cans, but in the event they don’t, take a small garbage bag with you to dispose at home and remember to recycle what you can!
There you have it! Hopefully these tips are helpful to you the next time you plan yourself a picnic, and if you haven’t ever picnicked before, what are you waiting for?
Photo | camillesyles.com
We’re back AND I survived!
In case you missed my previous post, Tom and I went on a camping trip this past weekend for 2.5 days and 2 nights. This was also my first time on a serious camping trip where you have to paddle and portage until you get to your campsite.
WHAT WE DID
Our day started at 2am, waking up and getting all ready and the car packed to go. This was my least favourite part of the entire trip as I really disliked being up that early to go camp in the wilderness rather than taking an early flight to a tropical island. Needless to say, we were on the road at 3am, making our 4 hour drive north to Killarney Provincial Park.
I did mange to get a solid hour and a bit sleep at the half-way point and woke up as we pulled off the main highway onto the road that took us to the Bell Lake canoe rental shop and car park. This part of the drive was a sea of beautiful scenery. The sun was rising and everything around us was waking up with the help of the first beams of sunlight.
Tom and I are going camping this weekend. He’s the expert between the two of us since my only experience of camping happened when I was 19 years old and my family and I went to a family camp ground resort where the lake was man made (and a bit gross). You were able to drive right up to your campsite – the setup reminded me of a street with row houses except it was row tents. There was also a little shop where you could get snacks and knick knacks and a washroom and shower facility. Oh, and it was about a 1.5 hour drive out of the city.
This weekends’ camping trip however, will be quite different.