Itching to get the family out of the house while we’re all working to keep social distancing during this Coronavirus time? Family picnics are a healthy activity – you can get some Vitamin D, stretch your legs, and lounge around doing our favorite activity: eating!
Probably like your family, ours is itching to get out of the house during these long Coronavirus lock-down days. We are lucky enough to live in a more rural area of town – which means we have a back yard and a local private park that we can exercise at. This past weekend our neighborhood HOA organized a couple of food trucks from local small family-owned restaurants to come and sell meals.
In this difficult time for the economy – its especially important to help support small businesses as they reinvent themselves to meet demand and stay profitable. Supporting your local Taco Truck? A no brainer!
We were all given strict guidelines for social distancing and hygiene protocol because the number one priority in our world is staying safe and doing our part to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
We biked up to the park with our picnic supplies and Claimed Our Space for our family picnic spot. We like to use our large Mountain Mat (8×12) because its lightweight and easy to transport, but big enough for our family of five to sit down and spread out.
Once we got our spot set up, we let the kids lounge around (no playing on the playground or anything) while the adults went to go order food. Everyone kept their social distance while in line – but it was nice to see friends and neighbors. It was nice to give a friendly wave, or an ‘air-hug’ to say hello. Seeing everyone really helped alleviate the feelings of isolation that were stacking up as the days turned to weeks, turning to months of this lockdown.
While we were standing in line we saw the most amazing thing! A baby duck!!! He was following his owner around and he was the most friendly little guy you’ve ever met! His name was Waddles and he even let us pick him up for a quick photo!
After we got our food (tacos and SnoCones) we headed to our Mountain Mat to hang out and have a family picnic. While we were hanging out I suggested to Shannon (our youngest) that she “accidently” spill a little pit of her SnoCone onto the outdoor mat so I could get some pictures showing how waterproof and easy to clean our Mountain Mats are. Shannon spooned out some cherry SnoCone and then a little more and then a little more. I told her, “Shannon, this has to look realistic! Don’t ‘spill’ so much SnoCone onto the mat!” I finished snapping the photos and we were happy.
Literally 5 minutes later Shannon yelps, “My SnoCone!” and I look up. Somehow – Shannon managed to squeeze her cup too hard or something – and half the SnoCone popped out and all over her and the Mountain Mat. It was a GIANT sticky, colorful mess. How ironic that just moments earlier I had said that the more realistic spills were smaller! Clearly I had forgotten the first rule of kids and anything sticky/messy:
If a child is holding something that is sticky or messy, then it is guaranteed that 50% of that item will end up on the clothing, the table, and the floor.
But, of course – the Mountain Mats really do make messy clean-ups a breeze. In this instance we used a water bottle to mostly rinse Shannon’s leg and clothing off. Then when we packed up the Mountain Mat – we kept the messy side facing in and just washed it with a garden hose at home. Easy-peasy!
Have you been doing more family picnics lately? How do you survive the isolation of staying at home?
Jennifer Hillberg is the Founder and Creator of Mountain Mat, LLC, the USA’s first 100% recycled plastic, reversible, outdoor recreation mat. As an avid outdoor recreationalist, Jennifer has hiked and camped in some of the world’s most remote places alongside her husband and three children. Learn more about The Mountain Mat Story.