Dan and I have been vigilant about abiding by CDC guidelines ever since March, leaving our apartment only when necessary. Lately, however, he has been driving to work almost every day since there is little he can do at home for his job, and I have been training at the gym three times a week. We’re still very strict about wearing masks, washing our hands, and keeping a safe distance from other people, so we have not done much socializing with friends these past few months. Aside from one brief visit, we have only spent more than a couple of hours with our families. So when our friends Chris and Maria suggested a socially distanced, masks-required picnic at a local brewery, we took the opportunity — and we’re so glad we did.

A photo of a green field under a gray, overcast skies with three patio tables spread out a good distance from each other. Each table has four chairs and a closed umbrella.

We drove nearly an hour to Milkhouse Brewery in Mt. Airy. Neither Dan nor I are beer drinkers, though he’ll drink them occasionally, and drinking alcohol in general has become less interesting to me of late. I was content to drink the peach cider the brewery sold. It was a beautiful day — overcast skies with the occasional sun. The brewery set up tables outside that were 14″ (4.2m) apart and sanitized every table after its occupants left. We brought charcuterie meats, sliced cheeses, and a sliced cucumber with us; our friends brought freshly baked bread, homegrown vegetables, and little jars of condiments. We ate in the fresh breeze and caught up on recent events.

Overall, I had a fun time. It was nice to connect with friends in-person again, even though I am possibly the least phased by the requirement to isolate from other people. I’ve always been a hermit, and I connect with most of my friends online anyway; seeing people in-person is nice, but not always necessary for me. What I do miss a lot is eating out at restaurants that meeting people usually facilitated; I love to develop bonds with others over food, especially good food that I don’t cook at home. So a picnic at the brewery was a nice way to experience that again, especially since the dark chocolate fudge and peach cider we purchased were delicious. I may just have to go back for more.

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