Summer Picnics You Don't Have to Work For...

After work the other day, a friend and I were trying to figure out where to catch a bite. It was warm, sunny, and neither of us had any desire to sit inside. Or, let's be honest, to sit up straight and use silverware. But this was a spur-of-the-moment thing, so we also hadn't brought anything to eat along with us.

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"What if we get something at Phnom Penh Sandwich Station and then go eat in Colburn Park?" he asked. This was an inspired suggestion. So we headed over to Lebanon, avoiding the Mechanic Street construction -- which also meant parking near the park, not near Phnom Penh. 

If you walk that stretch of downtown Lebanon around dinnertime on a weekday, you know that traffic on the streets is about as close as the Upper Valley gets to the friendly rush-hour scene in, say, Boston. But there was one little bit of grace: the bridge over the Mascoma River we had to cross to get to our food. 

We stopped and watched the water for a bit, then went into the Sandwich Station, where we ordered a couple of sandwiches and some vegetable spring rolls. They were slammed, as always, but it was a treat to watch Sarin and his crew at work.

Eventually, our order came out. We made our way back across the Mascoma -- stopping again just to watch the water rush and curl through the rocks -- then ambled up the slight hill, across a couple of streets, and over to a picnic table in the park. The food was hot, beautifully spiced, and fantastic. The park was still and peaceful. We ate slowly (oh, okay, not that slowly -- we were hungry), talked over life, and so ended our working day in sunny, tranquil moods.

There are plenty of places to get takeout food in the Upper Valley. And there are plenty of places to stretch out and laze your way through a picnic. So here's my question: If you want to get takeout and then go where you can eat it outside and take in some greenery for a bit, where do you go -- both for the food and then to eat? Leave your answer in the comment section below.

And thanks! DailyUV readers are going to be counting on your suggestions.

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