By Stephanie Finkelstein, The Elegant Hostess, Contributing Writer

The Adventures Of The Independent Guests

Once upon a time, over a summer weekend much like the one we just experienced, in a land not too far away, there were two couples who were friends. One of the couples, we’ll call them the Smiths, owned a house in the Hamptons. Like many other couples who buy houses in the Hamptons, they were almost knocked over with a stampede of friends asking them when they could come out for a weekend! This other couple — whom we’ll call, I don’t know, the McGees — however, wasn’t like that. They weren’t pushy, and they didn’t ask for an invitation. Naturally, they were the first to be invited out!

So they blew off work on a Friday afternoon, hopped on the Jitney with their weekend bags and their swim trunks, and they headed for the East End. They met the Smiths for cocktails at the Montauk Yacht Club, then went to a late dinner at Harvest. From there, it was back to the beach house for the rest of the evening.

On Saturday, their hosts apologized, there were errands to be done. The house had only been opened the previous weekend, and there were still some essentials that needed to be picked up. So the McGees agreed to walk around East Hampton on their own, getting their own taste of the Hamptons, but more importantly, allowing the Smiths the chance to take care of everything they needed without trying to also play the role of tour guide. The McGees got to go into shops they’ve never been in, eat lunch at a restaurant they’ve never eaten at, and take a leisurely stroll through a town they’ve never strolled through. They also purchased a bottle of local wine to open that evening. The Smiths didn’t have any pressure to hurry along or cut short their errands. The guests were happy and the hosts were happy; it was the best of both worlds.

Knowing that for the Smiths this weekend was also a vacation, the McGees got up early on Sunday morning and went to a nearby farm stand before the Smiths got up. There, they purchased fresh fruit and vegetables, and stopped at a local bakery for bread and coffee, and returned to the beach house. They made a quick breakfast that was ready just as the Smiths were getting out of bed. Refreshed from the warm bread and the homemade jams from breakfast, the Smiths and the McGees went to Coopers Beach to enjoy what was left of the weekend. Eventually, the McGees had to catch the Jitney back to New York, and the Smiths had to close up for another week.

But on the whole, it was a relaxing, satisfying vacation for everyone.

The End.

Stephanie Finkelstein is a gift expert and owner of The Elegant Setting, the premier gift shop in the Hamptons. Read more at or follow her on Facebook!

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