It’s summer. Time for ALL the weekend trips. ALL OF THEM. One of them needs to be lakeside, amirite?I’m right. Here’s how to party with 20 of your closest friends (step 0.5 is make 20 friends, I know, it’s hard).
Pick a lake house; pick a date.
Houston has a wealth of lakes, despite what some might think. Closer to Houston, we have Lake Houston and Lake Jackson, but any time you head northwest, you hit cooler, deeper lakes and more scenic hill country views. Lake Travis and Lake Austin are your best bets.
Next, find your pad. How great it is to live in a world where HomeAway and Airbnb exist! For actual lake-front properties big enough to fit your crew, you’re going to need to be prepared for the price tag: We’re talking hundreds of dollars (maybe even $1000), but if you planned your date far enough in advance, you could get 20 people signed on! Our house (which was actually 100% free because my awesome roommate has an awesome house on Lake Travis) fit 20 people comfortably, although we squeezed in a few more on air mattresses. But, $1,000 divided by 20 was less than a night in any hotel.
But back to the date. You gotta plan. Assign an HBIC (her name is probably Amanda and she’ll print the Groupon) and she can make a Facebook event and collect everyone’s money. Avoid big weekends: Free Press/ACL/SXSW, Memorial Day or 4th of July weekends (trust me, it alleviates traffic issues too).
Sometimes, this is the most stressful part of organizing big groups of people. The easiest (least fun way) is having everyone bring their own everything, but this just isn’t sustainable. We had everyone bring snacks and drinks to the group (for the most part, everyone drink their own things, but if it didn’t have your name on it, it was fair game — but also, yes, you can share some of the huge handle of Titos… no one person needs a handle to themselves). Meals, however, were pre-planned (Pasta night, burgers/hotdogs for lunch, make-it-yourself sandwiches, breakfast casserole we all solid hits) and cooked by some selfless volunteers. Meal ingredients and mixers were added up and everyone was asked to chip in, which ended up being $15 a person (still, you’re only at $115 for two nights and 5 meals).
Make sure everyone knows the rules going in: Bring snacks and booze; expect to chip in for meals.
If you’re celebrating something special, make sure that person’s properly relaxed, drink in hand, and some people are designated to a. decorate the house with pictures of the birthday boy/girl and cat memes (just a suggestion) and b. buying/baking the cake. We had 6 cookie cakes. Not really complaining, just saying, there were options. And some of us like options.
Another big deal making it to the lake: Actually making it to the lake. Our trek was about 3 and a half hours, which is MISERABLE alone on the way there (because excited) and on the way back (because hungover). Try to have as many people carpool as possible, because the other challenge for 20 people in one house is… one garage, one driveway and limited parking. Plus, the environment, y’all!
Float game strong.
If Taylor Swift taught us anything, it was
not to lie to Kimye to make the Instagram-worthy float purchases before a fun and exciting water weekend. Popular floats include:
- T-Swift’s swan (or its twin)
- The pink flamingo (probably named Dominic)
- The (as)salted pretzel for three
- The slice of ‘za (with or without a bite taken out of it)
- The pineapple (non-express; slow inflation process)
- The donut (in which you’re body is the delicious center)
Do your share.
Alright, this might be the most important step here, and it might be the most #obvi, but one thing that is easily forgotten in massive groups (typically hydrated by liquor and Coors) is manners. TG, your mom will have probably stayed at home this lake weekend, but pretend she hadn’t. Clean your dishes/clear your plates, make your bed, throw your trash away, and always say thank you to your chef of the meal or your bartender of the night, which should never be me, unless you like vodka sodas. That’s my specialty.
Swim, tan, drink, repeat.
The rest of the weekend is easy peasy if you follow those steps! Remember to sunscreen.