Diamonds on the soles of my flip-flops.

It’s official. Summer is here. 

And what is more summery than an outdoor movie and a picnic under the stars? Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute is showing films this summer at the beautiful amphitheater at Red Butte Gardens. We’ve seen awesome musicians play there during their summer concert series, and a great movie with great music seemed like the perfect way to celebrate the Summer Solstice. We invited another couple to join us to watch Under African Skies, a captivating documentary about the making of Paul Simon’s Graceland album. John and I had the pleasure of seeing the movie during this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

One of the best things about Red Butte Gardens is that they allow you to pack a picnic. Hmmm… isn’t “Go on a Picnic” #22 on my Life List? Well, then I better make it count.

The menu:

When I first made this lemonade recipe (read about it), I thought it was too involved for the ‘every day.’ I lied. I’ve made it four times since then and keep it in the fridge. The lemonade is just delicious. It’s a great cocktail mixer, too. Either way, it’s summer in a glass!

Image

Image

Image

While I thought I’d keep it pretty simple for the picnic’s food, I thought trying a new recipe would be fun and make it Life List-worthy. I had my eye on the BLT Corn Wraps from Joy the Baker. The recipe looked tasty and light, and seemed like a perfect pack-and-go option. Plus, there’s BACON.

Image

I was a little intimidated by the charred corn portion of the recipe, but Joy made it sound easy to do on the stovetop. So I did. And it worked!

Image

Image

Other than the bacon, which I bake in the oven, charring the corn was the only ‘cooking.’ From there, you simply combine the corn with tomatoes, green onion, avocado, and the bacon. I added yellow pepper for more crunch and color. A few seasonings and a good stir, and the mixture is ready to be scooped into a butter leaf like a taco. Brilliant.

Image

Image

Image

Knowing that we have a full summer ahead of us, I invested in a picnic backpack with an insulated section, melamine plates, cloth napkins, silverware, a mini-cutting board and a tablecloth. I appreciate that I can reuse everything instead of wasting paper plates or plasticware. And it’s all contained in a pack! LOVE.

You’d think we were going somewhere for the entire weekend, judging by our gear.

Image

Image

Red Butte’s amphitheater is lovely, and the movie series is free admission. We got there early enough to find a spot on the lawn with a great view of the huge screen. As we set up shop, John and I both chuckled that we resembled a particular skit on a Portlandia episode, with all of our gear, chairs, pack, and bags. We looked like pros. It may have been a tad overboard, but various other groups had similar elaborate set-ups. And it made for a great evening.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Oh, and the picnic? Complete success! The food was tasty and the drinks were flowing. We kicked off our flip-flops and enjoyed a summer meal before the movie began.

Image

Image

Image

Image

The movie started just as the sun slowly slid behind the hills, putting an end to the longest day of the year. The temperature quickly plummeted and we realized that with all of our gear and planning, we didn’t bring a blanket or warm clothes. Suddenly flip-flops seemed like a pretty dumb idea. But we snuggled in, hoods over our heads, and thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

If you like the Graceland album, this movie truly is a must-see. My favorite part is watching members of the South African group called Ladysmith Black Mambazo, without whom the album couldn’t have been made. It’s their vocals that create the unique sound on the familiar songs. As the film alternates between footage of them when they recorded it together and today (25 years later), the smiles on their faces throughout the experience is inspiring. In the midst of the horrific reality of Apartheid, they found sheer joy in everything around them. I love them!

We tried to forget how cold we were and enjoyed some cookies and cheesecake. We’ll bring blankets and better coats, but we certainly have the gear for a great picnic. It was a perfect summer experience, and we look forward to coming back for the July film!

Image

We’ll wear real shoes next time. 

18 replies »

  1. That’s it. I’ve come up with a genius plan. I’m going to read your posts while chewing on bland carrot sticks. Maybe I can lose some mama pooch but trick myself into thinking I’m actually eating all the yummy goodness in the photos. I’ll let you know how it works.

  2. Heaven. On. Earth.

    I’m the biggest Paul Simon fan on the planet (basically if he walked into the room I’d faint on the spot). Mike got me tickets to his concert last year here in L.A. and it was a dream come true.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Don't miss a post! Enter your email address to have The Usual Bliss delivered right to you.

Follow on Bloglovin

Archives

%d bloggers like this: