Friends jokingly call our place the “Gould B&B” because of our steady stream of house guests. It is a rare month when we don’t have overnight (or longer) visitors…family members, friends, and sometimes friends of friends.
We’d like to think they are all drawn by our good company, but we know that living three blocks from the beach, 30 minutes from LAX, and an hour or less from most of Southern California’s tourist attractions have a lot to do with our popularity…we certainly didn’t have this many visitors when we lived in Kentucky!
Whatever the draw we love catching up with people who live far away, and we are adept at changing out the guestroom linens (sometimes with only 24 hours between guests), cooking for a crowd, and playing tour guide.
This week, however, we set a new record as our 21 year old nephew has brought 11 of his closest friends to visit us from Canada for a week over their college break. The seven guys are all bunking at our place and the five girls are sharing a cheap motel room a few blocks away, but they are all at our place for meals and to enjoy the pool, beach gear, Netflix subscription, and WiFi.
They are a great bunch of young people – polite, respectful, and they mostly clean up after themselves – but our little house is bursting at the seams, and every surface in the front part of the house has been turned into a bed.
Fortunately the dog loves them, and although I can see that he finds it a bit overwhelming, Don is coping with the chaos and not getting overly anxious (which was a worry for me)… even when a raucous game of charades had the house practically shaking last night.
We bought this house from my grandfather after my grandmother died and he needed to move to an assisted living facility. They bought it in 1937, and it is where I spent many holidays and weekends and most summer vacations – often with a houseful of cousins. Both my sister and I also brought college friends to visit my grandparents (albeit one at a time not a dozen!) and my niece has also brought her friends to visit.
I love that Josh feels comfortable enough to bring his friends here. When he was little and he and his sisters would come visit us in the summertime the first thing he would say when we picked him up at the airport was “It’s good to be home!” and he still thinks of this as his home away from home…just as I did for my entire life until I had the privilege of making it my actual home.
I am so grateful that we have been able to share that experience with the next generations of our family, and with so many of our friends…even if I do think that the beach is as much of a draw as we are!