We had the privilege of picnicking on the beach with some friends who have totally got a handle on the staycation concept. They usually travel every summer, but with times being tough they decided to create a tropical destination right at home. All they did was buy a bunch of sand and plunk it in in their backyard, which is already surrounded by water (a swimming pool and a creek).Al fresco dining with sand between our toes, and all we had to do was drive seven minutes. We could actually enjoy this glorious noshing platter because the children busied themselves with buckets and shovels, popping in and out for crackers, leaving us to savor the salami, brie, and artichokes (three of my favorites).I've known these friends a long time but this is the first time we've shared a meal as families, so I had forgotten about our mutual appreciation for fine food. This feast for the fingers (click photo for details) was the perfect preamble to a light supper of sun-dried tomato pasta and a green salad.Our view from "the beach" as the sun began to set (yes, those are wine grapes, and to the left there's a chicken coop -- on our next visit we hope to sample the wine and eggs).This was our first time taking a trip with friends, so it was really nice not to have to go anywhere :)
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