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Downtown Puyallup picnic game plan

Picnic with Becky

This is Becky Walls of Inspired Movements Pilates Studio. Steph DeRosa made her eat at Pioneer Park. Photo by Steph DeRosa

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The last time I tried to bring a friend to a picnic she ended up leaving early. Why? No one wants to hear about how much my ass hurts from sitting on the ground, much less while they're eating one of my homemade bologna and moldy cheese with mayo sandwiches. Lessoned learned, Steph, lesson learned. It also may have been my over-indulgence in lunchtime Bloody Mary's, but who the hell knows. I was too drunk to remember.

This time, I was going to do it different.  Here was my picnic game plan:

1.) Invite friend. Find someone who is too nice to say no, preferably someone who is a bad liar and sucks at making up excuses.

2.) Pack a lunch. Ask the friend to pack a lunch. Say you are allergic to everything but cheese and mayo.

3.) Find a good park. Sunny and shady at the same time. One large and well-populated, so parole officers ex-boyfriends can't find you.

Fortunately, my picnic game plan was a good one. Upon asking friend Becky Walls to accompany me in a picnic, she complied with a lot less hesitance than I expected. We agreed on Pioneer Park due to the fact that it fit all my sunny/shady/populated park requirements.

I alerted her to the fact that she needed to pack the lunch, and made her aware of my dietary needs. She then reminded me of her very popular Inspired Movements Pilates Studio on Main Street in Puyallup, and how she owns it, has to work most of the day, ... blah, blah, blah. "Some people have real jobs, Steph," Becky says. 

Fine, I'll find the lunch, but not much effort was going to be put into the meal. So I headed out of her pilates studio doors and walked around the block. Some small investigation was needed for this picnic in Puyallup's Pioneer Park with my pilates friend.

Right next door to Becky's studio is heaven. Heaven goes by the name "My Cheese Shoppe" when you're in Puyallup. CHEESE. Lots and lots of cheese. Perfect for my dietary needs! Owner Laurie Sanders-Polen informed me that in order to carry cheese successfully to a sunny picnic, she recommends the firmer type such as aged goat or sheep. Perhaps a sturdy cheddar, or a hearty Italian pecorino romano. 

My Cheese Shoppe also carries meats, loaves of bread and other wonderful picnic accompaniments. There were even unique sandwiches such as The "Jimmy" (Italian meats and cheeses) and The "Frenchie" (ham and brie on a baguette). I was in love.

Next, I traveled across the street to Savory and Sweet. This is where I hit a wall and simply could not make a decision. Everything sounded delectable. Every homemade soup, sandwich and salad was something I would eat on a regular basis. I hated Savory and Sweet owner Karen Fischer for giving me so many choices. 

More research was needed, so I headed down to South Sound Running. I figured any man in short running shorts would be a good person to ask about picnic items. (Don't question the logic in that statement.)

Unfortunately manager Ben Crabtree was not wearing short shorts, yet I somehow still trusted his culinary opinion when he told me that his favorite Savory and Sweet menu items were the BLT&A (avocado) and Waldorf Salad. Sold!

I took Crabtree's suggestions, gathered my delicacies and headed to Pioneer Park.

Congratulations goes to me! Not only did Becky Walls not run away crying at the end of the picnic, but she even let me take a picture.  See, there's picture proof: I have a friend!

THE SAVORY AND SWEET CAFE AND CATERING COMPANY, 201 S. Meridian, Puyallup, 253.445.5922

MY CHEESE SHOPPE, 202 S. Meridian, Puyallup, 253.841.2011

SOUTH SOUND RUNNING, 115 S. Meridian, Puyallup, 253.268.0016

INSPIRED MOVEMENTS PILATES STUDIO, 204 S. Meridian, 253.906.2292

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