When we traveled in France during our many French Trips in June we often ate in beautiful parks. Occasionally we huddled in vans or under porches in a rainstorm. There was a memorable lunch in Aix en Provence where it doesn't usually rain in June, when our alumni chaperone Gabe Dimauro managed to convince a cafe owner to let us eat our picnics in his cafe for the price of drinks.
For those Waring trips each person brought a plate, a cup and utensils. One year Katy Gall convinced me to buy a tablecloth to cover the dirty park benches where we often spread the food.
This trip, we carried that same red tablecloth, along with a few knife cuts picked up over the years of travel across France since the mid 90s, and now brought cross country this trip.
One day as I spread the cloth on the picnic table in Ohio, a trucker approached with a smile and said, "I arrived just in time."
We carried our supplies in the collapsible cooler we bought last year in Seattle. Every two days we replenished our supplies, and every night we refrigerated everything and refroze our cold packs.
Some of rhe picnics were in windy rest stops. Others were amid stunning scenery. But the tablecloth, the cooler and plates were constant. They saved us money and time. They also reminded us of the many students who had shared meals with us along the road.