Last summer we were so busy with renovations, it wasn’t even a summer for us. With most of the construction complete, this year is different. It’s only hitting me now… we have a beach house in Rockaway. Friends, friends of friends, Great Aunt Mary’s second cousin, my co-workers and everyone in-between is dropping in. Text message: “Hey Paula, I’m down in Rockaway, can I park in your driveway? Oh, lets get drinks at Connolly’s too!” After two weekends of random drop-ins, it clicked. “This is going to happen every weekend, isn’t it? I need to be prepared.” Before this realization, the house was a mess and I didn’t even have cold beers on hand for my drop-ins. In the past, I’ve been told I’m an excellent host, so not having the house ready for guests was VERY embarrassing.
Now I’ve got my act together. I’ve developed a pre-weekend routine – anticipating my welcomed drop-ins. First things first, the house must be clean. For an Italian women, having an unkept home is like a cardinal sin. To deal with the cleaning issue I’ve hired an amazing housekeeper, she comes every friday so the house is sparkling for the weekend*.
Secondly, I need to have laundered towels incase my drop-ins want to go to the beach or need to take a shower after the beach. A basket of sunblock and extra sunglasses is in my sun room now. Clean sheets, extra blankets, and the air mattresses are ready to go. Day drinks at low tide bar have been turning into night drinks on the porch, which leads to improntu jam sessions. Half my friends are musicians. I feel I’ve taken that for granted but lately I’ve realized how lucky I am to be surrounded by so many talented people. The guitars and wurlitzer somehow make it on the porch and next thing I know, we’ve been singing tunes and jammin till the early morning hours (#PORCHLIFE). So back to my point, sleeping accommodations need to be ready to go!
Lastly and perhaps most important – food and drinks! Saturday morning I hit up Stop and Shop. If I don’t have time to prepare pickys (my word for finger foods), I buy cheese and crackers, fruit, nuts and breads. These are easy and fast to prepare last minute, late night and tipsy! Beer and wine… that’s obvious. It’s good to make sure you’re stocked on coffee, eggs, and bagels for drop-ins turn overnight guests. You don’t want to go to the store in the morning hungover, and not having breakfast to offer is out of the question.
To sum it up, here’s the drop-in check list. 1. clean the house (or hire someone to) 2. Have clean towels and bedding 3. Get food, beer, wine. This must be done before the weekend!
As I mentioned in my very first post on the house – the main reason for wanting a house is to turn it into a home. Meaning, filling it with the friends and family (and random strangers) I love. And now it’s happening! So drop-ins welcome!
*if you want the name of my amazing housekeeper email me.