The Last Word on the Lake: Guests at the Lake

The best lake houses are the ones with loads of extra beds and bedrooms that operate with a revolving door for friends and family to visit over the summer. That’s true whether it’s your house or a friend’s place. In fact, it might be better if it’s a friend’s place. 

But, if it is your house, there are a few things you can look forward to over the summer (I mean, besides the obvious that it’s great to see all your family and friends). For starters, you will never have to stock your beer fridge. When guests arrive, their first stop is always the grocery store to buy snacks, dinner and beer. And they always, always overbuy on beer. The thing with beer buying is that you never get it perfect, you always buy too much or too little. Since it’s better to have too much beer, everyone buys way more than they will drink, and when they leave, your garage fridge is still packed. The downside is that you have to drink whatever they leave, so you kind of work your way through the beers you like, onto the ones that are just okay, and then by the time you get to the ones you really don’t like, usually the next round of guests will arrive with a fresh restock. There are a handful of mysterious looking beers that have been floating around the back of my fridge for a few years. 

You will also never run out of firewood or s’mores ingredients. Everyone who arrives will bring fresh graham crackers, chocolate and piles of marshmallows. The thing you may run out of is s’mores sticks for the campfire since they tend to get left down by the firepit and covered in ants or marshmallow-crusted dirt and sand to later get thrown in the trash. Whoever came up with the idea of s’mores was a genius. And, whoever thought it’d be a good idea for kids to wave around sharpened sticks with flaming marshmallows was a madman. 

The secret to having so many guests and not going crazy is not doing too much. This comes easily to some hosts while others can’t help themselves and try to cook two hams and set up a dessert bar for every meal. Try to let go. Write your WiFi password on the wall somewhere. Make sure people know where the beach towels are stacked (and where the laundry detergent is) and set them loose. Bonus points if you can delegate a different family to be in charge of dinner each night. 


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