What do you eat at the beach?
I sat by the shore for a little while today while Basil and Catherine were at the Mets game. For the record, I had only a big bunch of grapes and a bottle of ice water, since I knew I’d be headed home to a salad for lunch.
But it was great fun watching what everyone else had to nibble on.
Lots of people simply belly up to the concession, then hotfoot it across the sand, trailing a parade of seagulls.
But still others do like my Mom used to do and BYO — in little Playmate coolers, big coolers on wheels, soft tote-bag like coolers and even plastic grocery bags.
(I passed a cyclist headed to the beach who had a firm grasp on both her brown bag lunch and the handlebars.)
When I was a kid, we used to head to the beach with PB&J sandwiches, peaches and plums, and cookies for dessert (Vienna Fingers, anyone?).
The people behind me had sandwiches from home and brownies, while another family group was avoiding any potential for soggy bread by making their sandwiches right there on the blanket, using fixins’ in the cooler — rare roast beef, cheese, hard rolls.
A group of twentysomethings had stopped at Garden Catering for fried chicken, while another bunch were eating pasta salad right out of the supermarket container.
Between text-messages, one woman stayed cool in the shade of her umbrella and dipped carrot sticks in hummus.
A woman in front of me had her turkey on white with Vitamin Water, while her little girl enjoyed a package of fruit snacks and a juice box.
One lady had all the comforts of home — a book, folding chair and little collapsible end table, on which she balanced the largest size iced coffee Starbucks sells. Other adults were running on Dunkin’.
It’s a carb-lovin’ bunch at the beach, especially if kids are involved.
Some families smugly pack organic snacks, making a show of taking them out of a Whole Foods bag. I guess if they are organic, cookies and chips are automatically healthier, right?
The family in front of me went to the concession for burgers, but had also cleaned out the market’s chip display and munched happily on SmartFood popcorn, Doritos, Wheat Thins, potato chips — you name it.
The grown-ups in this group were fascinating to watch. She was a woman of a certain age, still wearing a yellow, ’80s-style, high cut bikini — the better to show off her year-round tan, oversized sunglasses, French-manicured tips and toe rings. He was also of a certain age — and a sight in lime-green trunks and a cowboy hat.
With them were three preteen kids. That the adults were not married became clear as the man told a long story about how he’d not seen his brother for 40 years because while Lime Shorts was in the service, his brother stole his girl AND MARRIED HER.
Bikini had a ton of questions about all this, which she asked between drags of her cigarette and sips from a Red Solo Cup.
(I’ll wait while you sing the chorus.)
(Is it in your head now, too?)
Of course I wondered what the beverage could be, and then I got my answer as Lime Shorts poured another round of margaritas right from a tequila bottle.
Red Solo Cup/I lift you up/Proceed to party