I don’t like to carry things that are heavy. Those who know me, know and understand this about me. I mean, I really don’t like to carry things that are heavy. I have no upper body strength. Cannot even do a pull up or a proper push up. It’s pathetic. Perhaps I’ll have to incorporate a 30-day arm challenge into my regiment? Yeah, most likely not…So, while I do not like to carry things that are heavy, this is always trumped by spending a night with some of my favorite people, ever, which is always trumped by an opportunity to dance. I love nothing more than going to outdoor concerts (think picnic in the grass while listening to fab music), and hanging with my favorite peeps, but I also do know that you have to carry in your own chair, blanket, food, beverage, bug spray, and other accouterments to make it an evening to remember. While I am a savvy packer for travel (or perhaps not according to most of my friends), I definitely am not a good packer when it comes to packing for an outdoor music concert, one in which you sit on the lawn, hence you bring in all the aforementioned items.
This week, I will be going to Ravinia, an outdoor music venue in Chicago, twice, to see Darius Ruckers (Hootie, with no Blowfish) and Earth, Wind and Fire on a different night (I know, best.week.ever)..and in September, will be going to SoCal to see my first Dave Matthews Band concert (DMB, which I’m finding out is what they’re referred to as), at an outdoor venue as well, so I really need to figure out what to pack, and make sure I don’t over-pack, or pack more than my besties will be able to carry. 🙂 It’s important to mention than when going with a large group, or your husbands, this isn’t nearly the dilemma…but since Kevin is Not a fan of this type of outing, and I’m only going with one person, to each concert, I need to figure out the best way to enjoy the evening, while packing the least amount of items, so I don’t have to carry things that are heavy. What best way to do this, than to blog about it, so I can research the topic and come to terms with how I’m going to handle this, while having my best night ever!
My Ravinia packing list…or things I’d Like to take to Ravinia
Chair – preferably with a cup holder for my beverage
Blanket – to lay on the ground, and put chairs and all our stuff on…but not to actually lay oneself on the ground, since we’ll have chairs.
Small Table – Crate and Barrel has one, even called, a Ravinia Table
Picnic Basket – to fill with all the goodies
Cooler – to fill with beverages and food that needs to be chilled.
Beverages– Wine is preferred, and my Joel Gott Chardonnay is screw top, so no heavy wine opener required…and Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, also screw top, as my +1, for each prefers SB. Bottled Water, as it’s essential to stay hydrated. Vodka is also a possibility, but you need to bring mixers and ice, which is beginning to sound heavy…thinking wine is the way to go here. Or Veuve. You can never go wrong with Veuve.
Wine Glasses in which to enjoy these beverages – this is an easy one…I will bring my Govino plastic wine glasses, with thumb indent…and mine have the inital “O” on them…and not for Oprah, btw. These are super light, btw. Love them…and love Tracy for giving these to me!!
Food – My vision is to grill a nice tenderloin (at home, not at the festival), with rolls, horse-radish, grilled vegetables, fruit, cheese and olives.
Tarp – to put on the grass, in case it has rained recently, and the ground is wet…and welcome to Chicago’s Summer 2014, it’s been Raining!
ETC…bug spray, umbrella, poncho’s, citronella candle, sunscreen (because we go early to get a great spot on the lawn) and a light jacket, as it’s been getting quite chilly at night.
See my dilemma? How does one (or two of us), carry all of this in?
Problem solved…they have these handy-dandy collapsible wagons in which one can carry all the goodies. Problem is, neither I, nor Tracy (whom I convinced we were separated at birth, if it wasn’t for that pesky little detail that she is younger than I) has one of these wagons to use for Darius Ruckers…For Earth, Wind and Fire (EWF), we have Pavillion seats, so no need to bring in chairs, so that is already a lighter load! #wagonnotrequired
So, here’s what I’m thinking…., or actually, what Tracy suggested. We’ll go out to dinner before the concert, hence, we can go to Ravinia, sans any food (or perhaps just a nibble, as we’ll be eating early). We will ” pre-game”, so don’t need to bring too much wine, so I/we can carry the wine and water in my Tory Burch backpack, which as mentioned in a previous blog, I received for Mother’s Day and love, love, love it. This bag is handy, as I’ve been using it as my carry-on, on the plane for my bi-coastal summer, (for inflight amusement, not filled with clothes, shoes, etc), and it handles quite well and is comfortable to carry. #bestbagever #supercuteaswell.
So a blanket and chair…and in my backpack, wine, water, Govino plastic wine glasses, bug spray, citronella candle, small umbrella, fold-able poncho and sunscreen. No need for the little table, picnic basket or cooler. Much more manageable! And yes, those not in Chicago, won’t understand that you need to have sunscreen and a poncho/umbrella with you for outdoor events.
What the Professionals Recommend
What to Bring
For a complete list of what you can/can’t bring, consult the official FAQs.
Picnicking at Ravinia is a great opportunity to pull out all the stops. Sure, some people pack linens/china/silver/crystal, but most attendees just bring a picnic set. I recommend a backpack set like one by REI. Another must-have at Ravinia is this handy Table in a Bag by Crate and Barrel (in fact, Northbrook-based C&B used to call it the “Ravinia Table”!).
Feel free to bring your favorite wine or microbrew. Also note that coolers are ok (wheels are a must…the walk can be long!). The park is sprayed for bugs, but a citronella candle is a great way to stave off the hardy ones while adding some ambiance.
Don’t want to bring anything? You don’t have to! Tables and chairs are available for rent, and there are several restaurants on the premises where you can purchase a meal (and wine!) to go.
Leave the park as pretty and pristine as you found it. Bring a garbage bag to tidy up at the end of the night. On your way out, place your garbage bag in or next to a trash can…the grounds crew will thank you for it! (We could always tell what genre of concert had been the night before, by the type of trash that was left behind…sad but true.)
Don’t stress. If you don’t feel like hauling everything out there, you can rent or buy most of it at the park. They have on-site restaurants and food kiosks that offer everything from gourmet cheeses and spreads to citronella candles and matches. You can even order a PICNIC BOX up to 48 hours prior to the show and the food will be ready for you when you get there. Lawn chairs and side tables can be rented ($7 for one chair or $14 for two chairs and a side table) as well. Pretty convenient for the city-dweller making a trek out to the ‘burbs.
Here is how the “over-achievers” go to Ravinia. #forpetessake #showoffs
By next week for Earth, Wind and Fire, I should be rocking and rolling at packing my wine…It’s all about spending a night with great friends, while listening to fun music…and dancing is just the icing on the cupcake! And I do believe by the time September rolls around, I’ll be an old pro at packing for outdoor music venues… Dave Matthews Band…Here I/we come! Best. Birthday. Month. Ever!
Song of the Day: I Go Blind, by Hootie and the Blowfish. No Blowfish for us this weekend.
Fun night out tonight with the gals to see Motown the Musical… more dancing in my future! 🙂
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