Grab your Group and Stay Home – Happy 4th of July!

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Finally Home!

It took us 35 hours to make our way from Zanzibar to Montauk.  A cab ride, three plane rides, a car ride, and lots of waiting.  Just sitting in various airports waiting and waiting and waiting.  We arrived home with a minor case of jet lag and a house full of friends to welcome us back.

Usually when I am presented with a houseful of friends I make plans.  I have ideas.  We get out and we do things.  We go, we experience, we stay busy.  This weekend was not like that.  I was spent and frankly a bit loopy from lack of sleep.  I didn’t have the energy to consider breakfast the next day – let alone masterminding a weekend itinerary.  So we stayed home.  And we loved it.

Some keys for pulling off the stay at home weekend with friends?

Step one:  Easy going friends who are able to roll with the punches and flexibly adapt to an agenda-less weekend.

Step two:  Lots of good food and wine in the fridge (that your friends provided, cause hey! we’ve been traveling) and friends who are ready to pitch in to help prepare it.

Step three:  Kids who have the wherewithal to creatively entertain themselves all day long, with limited use of electronics,  so that the adults don’t have to keep them busy (think fort building, hair braiding,  baking, swimming, pretend fishing in the pool, and game playing).

Step four:  Friends who are keen on exercise.   Yes we want to relax, but I’ve never been good at relaxing without exercising before.  Plus the blood flow that exercise provides accelerates the jet lag recovery.  We ran, we biked, we did planks on the front porch.  We even left the house for a very full yoga class at Yoga Lila!

Step five:  Friends who can read a situation.  There was a bit of a lull in the collective energy of the group one afternoon.  One couple saw our fresh mint supply and went out for mojito ingredients.  With no plan at all we were suddenly playing Giant Jenga,  sipping mojitos, and admiring the sunset – I’m pretty sure if you were within a half mile range you could have heard us laughing.  The kids had to extract themselves from their activities at around 9pm to ask us when we were going to be done playing, so that everyone could eat dinner!

Step six:  Friends who are willing to embrace quiet time.  This means having a propensity for afternoon catnaps or sitting quietly in their area of choice to read.  This group happened to be champion nappers and readers.  I always take it as a compliment when my guests feel comfortable enough and relaxed enough to hunker down for a good old nap when they are here.  I also love to hear what my friends are reading.  The books being enjoyed over this weekend included:  Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline,  Beartown by Fredrik Backman,  Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead,   Bright, Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney, and Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.

We had a terrific weekend enjoying the freedom of staying put together.  Hmmm… something to think about.  Maybe with all this grabbing of my group and going, I am turning my back on some of the more simple pleasures in life?  Sometimes I should just grab my group and appreciate being home.  Lesson learned.  Happy Fourth of July everyone!

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