quick story time okay, lets start here. i am not romantic. i’m the type of woman who is always prepared for danger // like i keep a mallet in my car // dreads surprises << because i always need to be in control >> and typically laughs during the romantic moments in movies. i am very aware of these facts; i am a realist and i stand by that. so clearly me planning a romantic evening is not typical. however, my extremely sweet partner likes romance. i wanted to surprise him for being so supportive of me during the last six months of chaos, and thought this would be an incredible evening. so here we are: a plan, a reason to implement the plan, and a very reluctant woman who has decided to do the unthinkable. // let down her guard and enjoy a romantic evening //
another thing about me. i may seem impulsive but for every decision i make, there is research conducted, a mental list of pros and cons, and most importantly, a cost benefit analysis, because in life, time is the most precious thing we have and the benefit of the situation needs to outweigh “cost of time spent”.
why did i tell you this? simply to explain that you do not need to be an expert at romance to plan a romantic evening for your loved one. also, if you are a practical person, this might be a great date idea for you.
these past six months have been a true test on even the strongest relationships and it is important to protect our relationships during challenging times. this was a relatively simple and affordable way to have a lovely evening and to show your partner how much you appreciate them. although a dinner at a nice restaurant is always enjoyable, the stress of being around other people, remembering to wear your mask, time limits on seating, make for a less than relaxed evening during this time. so lets discuss how to create your very own date night on the beach.
// on to the execution //
i packed up the car with the following items:
- outdoor rug // super helpful, i took the new one we bought for our backyard //
- a smaller indoor rug // this one went on top of the outdoor rug so it was more comfortable //
- two cushions // i literally took two of our couch cushions and wrapped them in a large towel //
- our coffee table // yep, i took our coffee table to the beach. any lightweight table that is low to the ground will be fine //
- table cloth // to place over the coffee table //
- a blanket // or two for the cooler temps after the sun sets
- candles // about five candles // ** don’t forget a lighter
- lantern // we already had this in our home so we didnt need to buy it, but it is something i highly recommend if you are planning on bringing candles to the beach. it definitely helped with the wind //
- flowers in mason jars // for a romantic aesthetic, but this ended up saving the evening << i explain more later >>
- food // obviously, cant have a picnic without food. i packed quesadillas, fresh guac, salsa and tortillas chips. super easy and still taste good if room temp //
- margaritas // i wanted to make them to “order” on the beach so i brought glasses, ice in a temperature controlled cup, a lime, alcohol and juice in a mason jar, and a shaker //
- the essentials // plates, napkins, silverware, cups, and utensils //
// set up //
- first: we unpacked the car, which was a lot of work, so make sure you are prepared for multiple trips up and down sandy hills
- once everything was on the beach, set up was pretty easy
- find a spot close enough to the ocean but not too far away from the dunes // put down the outdoor rug
- next put down the smaller indoor rug on top of the outdoor rug
- then place the table on top of the indoor rug and add the table cloth to it
- finally add the cushions on the indoor rug
- the rest is just decorating! have fun setting the table and add candles
// perfect evening.. almost //
we were all set up, the weather was perfect, the sunset was absolutely beautiful and there was almost no wind. it was incredible, until a horrendously large swarm of green flies attacked << and i mean attacked >> they were everywhere!
surprisingly enough, they were not interested in our food or the margaritas // they wanted the flowers. so we left the flowers in the picnic basket and placed it pretty far from our set up. it definitely helped, a lot. significantly less flies came near us. however a few were still biting so we wrap ourselves in the blankets we brought and tried not to get up too much.
with the exception on the flies, the night was incredible. it was beautiful, romantic and very peaceful. honestly, the perfect socially distanced approved date night.
<< tips >>
- if you can, go to the location a couple of hours before you intend to set up the picnic, just to make sure there are little to no flies, its not too hot, and that the beach isnt too crowded or windy. it might make sense to go on another day if the cards arent in your favor for that day.
- if you are going to the beach and there might be biting flies, bring some baby’s breath. the flies werent as attracted to the roses i brought, but they loved the baby’s breath. also, bring scented dryer sheets // i did not pack these // but i have used them in the past and they help sooo much. just rub the dryer sheet on your clothes and skin and it really helps keep the flies away
- food suggestion // we packed cheese quesadillas, fresh guac, rices, beans, salsa, and tortillas chips // this was perfect because it was still delicious at room temperature // i personally would not recommend bringing a meat or fish dish, as its hard to keep at an acceptable temperature
- drinks // we arent really beer or wine people so i thought some sort of cocktail would be nice. it took a little more preparation, but making margaritas on the beach was fun and delicious // just make sure to bring enough ice // see video below //
- candles // obviously, there is wind on the beach so keeping candles lit, may be a little challenging. i would recommend not bringing new candles. bring candles that come in a glass and are at least, half way burned down, this gives the flame some protection from the wind // also bring a lantern. we have a large one hanging in our living room and i was able to bring it and place three candles in it. the lantern definitely helped with the wind blowing out the flames.
- and if this seems like too much effort, fear not, there are amazing companies and event planners who can execute this entire evening for you. just show up and enjoy!