As a proud owner of a summer cottage on a lake just one and a half hours outside of Toronto. It is a very (let me emphasize the "very") rustic place with a number of "bunkies" on an island. What it lacks in luxuries, it certainly makes up for in spirit! It is most definitely a place meant for having guests. This is our second summer on the lake, and we have had visitors up every weekend (last year, we even hosted 2 weekends with 20 people each). As a hostess, I've been lucky to have friends who have been the epitome of perfect house guests! Here are a few things I've noticed that they've done that have made our weekends together stellar:
1. Bring your own beach towels. There's nothing like having less laundry to do. Plus, you'll be able to keep track of which one is yours more easily. 2. Volunteer to cook a meal or bring the apps. Being able to cover a full meal or snack for all guests is golden! Even if you just bring all the ingredients, you can have fun preparing and cooking together. 3. If you're going to give a gift, do it after the visit. Although it's more typical to bring a gift when you arrive, it might be more valued if you give a gift after the visit! See what they could be missing in the kitchen or check out their decor and then find items that will fit just perfectly. 4. Understand the rhythms of the house. Early risers? Shoes off in the house? Get to know the schedule and rules of the house. 5. Offer to do the dishes. Always. 6. Stock up on beverages. Both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic kind! You can never have too much to drink when it's hot outside. 7. BYODR. Whether you are gluten-free, a pescetarian or allergic to x,y or z - make sure you bring your own stash of food that covers your dietary restrictions. 8. Be independent. Bring a book or be able to genuinely relax. If the host/hostess hasn't made any plans, find ways to unwind by yourself. 9. Clean up after yourself. That's fairly obvious, right? 10. Be flexible. Ultimately, things won't go according to plan, and the more open and creative you are to "Plan B", the better!
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