Her townhouse was on the second floor and up a flight of stairs. Dennis and I each came bearing a bottle of wine. It’s what you do when invited over to an impromptu dinner. With people you don’t know. On vacation. Invited by people you don’t know.
Two bottles felt right.
A few days earlier Dennis and I were in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg Beach area of Florida on a vacation. Gulf side. We went to church services and arrived as hymns were being sung. We didn’t know a soul. We just knew the address and what time to arrive.
After services Moe and Ali, two of the most adorable and welcoming (not-invade-your-space-welcoming) couples came up to meet “the new folks.”
They were originally from Miami and chatted with us like we were old friends who had come to visit and were ready to catch up. It was refreshing since we were fish out of water in a place unknown to us. Besides, we were just there for one more day and weren’t looking to meet new friends. We just wanted to go to Church that day.
We left with bear hugs. She initiated. I freely gave back.
Five days later. We were in St. Augustine, four hours Northeast of St. Pete, and attending a convention of sorts with our Church. There were 1,500 of us including family and friends I hadn’t seen in decades. It was simply, well, awesome.
Six days later. Ali was there! She ran up to me and hugged me like a long lost friend. “I’ve been looking for you every day,” she said.
She presented me with a beautiful custom invitation to a dinner party. That night. At her daughter’s townhome in Jacksonville, twenty minutes away.
With people we didn’t know.
We said yes.
Long story to get to the point: I am convinced that friendliness, hospitality, and whimsy make for an excellent entertaining experience.
Friendliness and hospitality, you just read about. What great examples they were to us!
Whimsy? Where does that come in?
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Moe and Ali’s daughter Catherine is a chip off the old block. Immediately upon entering her townhome and up those long flight of stairs, were greeted as if we were forever friends. Her cozy abode was set up to invite, engage, and entertain.
Her entertaining skills were inspiring.
She also added a bit of whimsy to everything she touched. Old vintage cameras were strewn about. Yard sale photos and prints were arranged as if they were museum quality heirlooms. Every utensil, dish, or glass were unique and interesting.
The one thing that I noticed that literally made me laugh out loud and instantly like her were two pitchers, filled with adult beverages.
I instantly liked her because of them.
I knew I wanted to be like her and do the same when I entertain.
Check out the adorable signs that placed in front.
This Thanksgiving, or Friday, or Tuesday or whenever you have family, friends, or strangers come and visit… add your own touch of whimsy in an unexpected place.
Your guests will love it.
Thank you Moe, Ali, and Catherine for watching out for the “the new folk” by making us feel at home.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.