Monday, August 9, 2010

Chicagoing: The Spontaneous Picnic

With all the amazing weather we've had lately, we've been spending a lot more time outside, and we've been going on a lot of longer walks with the pooches. One of the best parts of living in Chicago is that even though people assume we're a gray city of concrete, we have an unbelievable amount of pop-up parks; perfect for hanging out and having an impromptu picnic. On any day you'll see scores of people out on the lawn enjoying the sun.
And with all the amazing food we encounter on our walks, it's so easy to grab something to eat and pull up a blanket on the grass.
The unfortunate thing is I never originally knew when "picnic inspiration" was going to strike. And it's really not quite as fun to sit in the itchy grass with a couple of restless pooches. I've learned by just tossing a couple extra things into my bag, a fun time can be had by all. In my bag I include:
1) A simple sarong: These are super lightweight, easy to smoosh into the bottom of a bag, and the perfect double for an impromptu picnic blanket.
2) The Ruff Wear Collapsible Pet Bowl. We bring our bowl with us everywhere. We love this one because it folds up really small--it too gets smooshed at the bottom of my bag--but it keeps the pooches hydrated.3) A small thing of Sunscreen: This is not only for us humans, but for the pooches also. Lacking hair along the bridge of his nose, Mr. B is especially sensitive and has turned a bit rosy:
4) A dog bandanna. If it's really hot outside, we dip this in water as we tie it around the pooches' necks. It helps keep them cool if it's hot outside.
So far we've spontaneously grabbed gourmet tacos from Big Star, eaten amazing sub sandwiches from Bari's Italian Deli, and picked up some cucumber-rose sorbet from Black Dog Gelato. We're definitely trying to make the most of our summer before it looks like this again in Chicago.


Kate said...

We have a collapsible pet bowl too - it's so great to have! Mel has a rosy nose like Mr. B, she hates when I put sunscreen on it and always tries to get it off. I just hope I get enough on there so it sticks for awhile.

Anonymous said...

Petey has the same sunburn problem as Mr B, very little fur on his nose, so he turns red there too.

Kellee the Caffeinated said...

Our white boxer used to love the sun but he'd come in looking like a raw chicken... i would have to make him stay inside pretty much all summer because he'd lick off his sunscreen.

brooke said...

love this! We have a couple small parks near our house so we'll carry a big blanket up and lay out and read while Darwin eats some grass.
Wilma looks so cute passed out on the sarong!

The Daily Pip said...

Wow, I didn't know about the sunscreen thing for dogs! Pip doesn't spend much time in the sun, but it is still good to know.

Your pal, Pip

Kari in Alaska said...

Baily and Mesa both need sunscreen. Baily will burn easily

don't forget, we've moved to

houndstooth said...

I hope you made the most of the weather, since it's hot as blazes here again today!

I like some of your extra carry alongs. We always have a travel bowl with us, too. Actually, we have a collection of them, but my favorite is one we got that zips up into a small pouch and has a little snap on it.

I didn't know you could use regular sunscreen on dogs. I have a feeling I might need to put some on Bunny when we do our hiking. So far it hasn't been an issue, but she does have a very pink belly.

pibble said...

Oh, to have time to actually enjoy all of these things with my dogs! How I envy you both. I love Wilma passed out on the sarong!

Two French Bulldogs said...

:ooks like a fun picnic. Where's your hat?
Benny & Lily

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a very complete picnic basket :) Y'all look like you're thoroughly enjoying yourselves :)

Thinkin I could use a doo-rag like Wilma's,

Dexter said...

That is funny that Mr. B. wears sunblock. Gosh, I never knew doggies could get a sun burn. The park looks like a fabulous destination.


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