Useful Tips for Summer Cottage Visits

Steve Fisher 13. července 2012 • 06:47
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It's summer! The perfect time to spend some carefree weekends relaxing at a cottage in the countryside.

If you're like me, you know that the only thing better than having a cottage of your own is having friends who have a cottage of their own. It's all of the pleasure with none of the work, worry and expense.


So, with that in mind, here are answers to some basic questions about enjoying the benefits of friends with cottages.


How do I make friends with someone who owns a cottage?


As always, the easiest places to make friends are in the workplace or in social environments such as your local pub. The first step is to identify someone who is a potential "cottage host." The best way to do that is to look for people who are well-tanned and appear totally exhausted (the result of all that cottage-related work). Keep a special eye out for those who also look extremely stressed. This is the sign of their possibly owning either a very large cottage or one that is being extensively refurbished, or both.


Does my friend's cottage have Wi-Fi?


This is an important question in today's wired world, and it's one that you should think about well in advance of your visit. Rather than asking your hosts about it (which might seem rude), if you have the opportunity ask their children instead. If they tell you that it doesn't, then be sure to tell them all about the magic of Wi-Fi – how it would enable them to have high-speed access to Internet-based games and videos anywhere in the cottage at any time. Also advise them that the secret to getting something from their parents is to ask for it a hundred times. By the time you arrive, Wi-Fi should be available.


Should I bring a gift with me when I visit my friend's cottage?


Yes, bringing a gift as a sign of appreciation is proper cottage-visiting etiquette. It's important not to bring anything too extravagant, however, as this could not only embarrass your host but also actually defeat the main purpose of your visit, which is to spend as little money as possible. The best choice is probably a simple bottle of wine which looks expensive but costs next to nothing. Tip: Lídl is now offering a bottle of Zinfandel rosé for just 50 Kč. And it's from California. How thoughtful!


Should I also bring some food?

Bringing a supply of food to your cottage hosts not only shows good manners, it can also be a brilliant way of getting a delicious and complex meal prepared for you. So, for example, instead of just bringing hot dogs and rolls with you, consider bringing all of the ingredients for roast sirloin with dumplings and then telling your host's wife how her husband always raves about the way she makes it. Sure, it might take her four or five hours to prepare it, but fortunately cottage people have a lot of free time. Think of it as a way of giving her a chance to use that fancy new kitchen they just had installed and have been bragging about.


What time should I get up in the morning during my visit?


The answer to this question depends on whether or not you have brought children with you on your cottage visit. If not, then you can just get up whenever you feel like it. However, if your kids are with you, then it's probably best to sleep until at least 11 a.m. and give your hosts a chance to enjoy them without you. After all, you get to see your kids all the time. This is an opportunity to share them with others.


Should I offer to help mow the lawn or assist in some cottage repairs?


This is a truly thoughtful idea, and you should congratulate yourself just for being so generous as to ask this question. But, of course, the answer is no. Remember that you are visiting someone else's cottage for a reason, which is that you are not insane enough to do all the work involved in owning one. By the way, a very useful technology is a new smart phone app that will make your phone ring by just pressing the asterisk and pound sign. With it, you can offer to help your friends mow the lawn but then have to excuse yourself to take an "important business call."


Should I make my bed?


Why? The only reason you make your bed at home is in case you have guests. But here you are the guest. Besides, after that big roast sirloin lunch you're probably just going to want to go lie back down and take a nap...I mean, take your "business call"...which could be kind of hard to do with all the noise from that damn lawnmower. Packing tip: ear plugs.


When should I start planning my cottage visits for next summer?


As soon as possible. Following your visit, you should immediately start looking for new friends with cottages. The reason for this is that, interestingly, at least based on my experience, you don't usually get invited back a second time.


Klíčová slova: rxrx, stevefisher

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