Thursday, April 25, 2013

AUK>>>OAK

Last week my sister Sharon and her family, who live in Auckland, NZ, visited us in Oakland for two nights on their way to London. I re-discovered that great tip for being both a good host and a good guest. It's a timeless classic: "Don't blow your arse on the first night."

Shazza and Me: Not blowing our arses whilst doing the Paris Hilton cross-feet hand-at-side stance

Tallulah with her Kiwi cousins Finn and Leah


Harley, 15, my brother Tony and nephew Finn, 13

Second night prep
See how American kids eat pizza and watch TV!

Dotty girls: my sister Sharon, niece Cecily and friend Lisa

See how American kids eat cheetos!

Sharon told me that our other sister had dropped them off at Auckland airport with the advice: "When you arrive, don't do what Jody does on the first night: she gets really excited, drinks too much and then she can't face anyone the next day." I was about to protest this summation of my behaviour when five other people in the room said: "Bang on! That's exactly what you do Jody!"

So, guests and hosts remember: "Don't blow your arse on the first night."

What did we do with Shazza en famille? Oh I know other people might have taken them to Alcatraz Island, to ride on the Cable Car, walk down the Crooked Street, see the latest modern art at Moma, and so on and so on. Beginners error! Show some imagination people!

What do guests really want?  To see how the natives live. Hosts: you and yours will become an anthropological live reality show for your guests. Sharon was lucky enough to do the following tours: Potholes of Oakland! All the kiddies' schools! Grocery shopping at Trader Joes! Driving four hours around my house in the afternoon to sports fields! It was all there.

I aim to send my guests off stunned and hungover (noone said anything about not drinking the second night) which often inspires them to kiss the ground on reaching their final destination. It's a win-win.


What hosting technique do you employ?

44 comments:

  1. LOL! You and your sister are too adorable!! Your mom must have taught you both about style, because you both are so chic! I agree, let guests see how you live and be yourself! I do like to show them local places I like to visit often, parks, etc.

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  2. Oh, they'll be back!

    Looks like more laughing arse's off ! and that is the addiction which keeps families tight. :-)

    Cheers!

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  3. Oh you are soooo my sister........

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  4. Everyone looks extremely happy, so your technique must be working.

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    Replies
    1. Or. Maybe there were some cheaters on the rule

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  5. Can I be your sister? I promise not to blow my arse on the first night.

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  6. Everyone looks wonderful & they sound marvellous as well, so sweet!! I hope you have a great weekend xx

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  7. Love that expression 'Don't blow your arse on the first night' I'm going to adopt that one ... cos it's something I'm always guilty of. What's that about being older and wiser? Pah!

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  8. Oh I have been going about this all wrong! No more!!!! I am so stealing the "blowing my arse on the first night" - that is brilliant!

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  9. p.s. you family is beautifil, as is the cheetos!

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  10. LOL that is exactly what I do too - go way overboard on the first night then feel like death for the rest of the weekend:) After 20 odd years of partying I still haven't learned this lesson so thanks for reiterating it:) LOVE the photo of the kids with pizza - my daughter is the only child I know that won't eat it. I can't imaging how hard it is with family all the way in NZ - it's tough for me and they are only across the Atlantic....xx

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  11. Hilarious! Yes I do this too so now I have a new mantra, I will not blow my arse the first night!
    I think the real tour of Oakland sounds way more fun.

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  12. Going 'native' is certainly the more adventurous way to host ... that's what my family does. Whether I'm visiting my sister in NZ or she's here in the states visiting me. That's why I fly 20+ hours (from NY) to NZ!

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  13. 'Blow your arse' is that a NZ term equivalent to the UK one 'ratarsed?' you sound like the perfect host. My hostessing tip is keep a steady stream of G&Ts coming. Come vote for me in my Expat Culture shock comp
    Emma
    www.mommyhasaheadache.blogspot.com

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  14. Oh what an excellent advise! But I am afraid I would just be waiting for the second night ;) You guys look so stinking cute I have this in the la la land smile plastered on my face as I read, I am glad I am not in a public space.

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  15. Hehe! I love the photo: prep for the second night. Good advice actually re the first night! I usually get really excited like a puppy to have guests then get really disappointed by my guests' jetlag which prevents them from celebrating their arrival that night--but I can see now how that must have saved me many a time...

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  16. Great advice! and what a gorgeous family.

    We once had a guest at our beach place who kept looking around for the glamorous night life she'd been reading about. Since neither Himself nor I is a famous movie or tv person, she was disappointed and we drank. Oh did we drink.

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  17. I am totally stealing that line! You and your clan sound like a blast to hang out with. (Love your sister's red pants, by the way)

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  18. LOL good advice indeed
    Wait until they leave your feed
    Then get them good and drunk
    So you don't have to smell their morning funk haha

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    Replies
    1. And you both can wake
      To the aftermath of last night's shake
      and the clink of bottles galore
      being taken out to the recyclore

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    2. Don't listen to The Cat for I know he blows his butt for a living. ;)

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  19. hysterical .... what? you are just really excited to see them right!!???? ha ha ha ....love your posts!

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    Replies
    1. Yes! So excited I hit the turps a little too hard!

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  20. Wonderful advice. Especially for sisters and people who understand our souls. Much better than touring Alcatraz!

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  21. Though I sometimes say 'It's not a party until you find champagne corks in the pool'. Something about the excitement of hosting....I've been known to forget the risotto on the stove because dancing and drinking wine with friends seemed like such a bigger priority.
    Love this post!! I'll party at your place anyday!
    xx, Heather

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  22. I never realised that when overseas guests are staying they think I'm a native; I am with you on the drinking and getting over excited - I talk too much and too fast then spend the second day apologising!

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  23. Well, dang it, I just realized that you live in SanFran and could have met you back in March when I visited. I hooked up with another online friend I made about 10 years ago. :D

    Good words to live by, your sister's. ;)

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    1. Oh I would have lOVEF to have seen you Rose. We live in Oakland just 15 mins across the bridge.

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    2. That's LOVED which doesn't normally have an "f" in it...

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  24. You obviously had a good time. I don't think anyone could do it better than you.

    And what is "hosting technique"? Does that have something to do with entertaining visitors? Letting them into your Bear Den? We don't do that. Way too complicated a process.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting

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  25. I LIKE YOUR WAY!SO, SORRY FOR THE WAY WE EAT PIZZA!

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  26. I take guests on the school run, we live a fast life here.

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  27. To be honest - I think you're doing it perfectly correctly! I must try it myself.

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  28. Jody, Your sister and kids are adorable. How lucky the kids are similar ages. There's nothing like cousins. Well, your sis got a glimpse of what you do everyday, but sometimes it's just nice to be together. You are so right about drinking too much the first night! My brother and I always do this. We are just so excited, drink too much and can't shut up. Our spouses hate it! Hope you had a fun time!
    xx
    Kim

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  29. Hahahah--- I love this advice! Why didn't anyone tell me about it in my 20s?!

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  30. What hosting technique do I employ? Well, whenever I invite people for lunch or dinner, I make sure our 8-feet table looks like it belongs in a fairy tale. Beautiful china and cutlery, good wines and sparkle, everything prepped to perfection as if to say, 'You're important. Welcome.' I love it. Then, of course, I don't act all fake but show a real interest in what my guests are saying and what they like. In a nutshell, it's all about them and less about me. :)

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    Replies
    1. Wow. it's like looking in a hosting mirror pour moi.

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