I apologize for my silence, but on March 6, Guest Season (GS) officially began. After a very quiet fall and winter, we have guests in Delft for twenty-five days in March and April. Our first weeklong guest just departed. From the perspective of someone who is not certain she has any sort of hosting gift, my prime observations on having longish guests are as follows:
There is a lot to see and do around here in a week. And there is a lot you can’t see and do in a week.
I think because living in Delft has become our life, I had lost sight of how amazing the first impression of the town can be. Before our guest came, I sent him a ridiculously long email detailing about ten museums, a handful of historical sites, and several outdoor activities he might wish to visit or partake in. I was concerned that maybe he would be bored, and that he should consider a day trip to Belgium, or at least Amsterdam. In actuality, he visited two cultural sites, zero museums, and engaged in bicycle riding. He stayed up late at night watching our Harry Potter DVDs. He visited the beach in Scheveningen, but never made it to Amsterdam. He wandered around, sat at cafes, and took 527 digital photos (actual count)—and he loved it.
I had also wondered if I would enjoy tour-guiding. In practice, I realized it was fun and a privilege to show someone around and recapture some of that wonder from July: “Yes, we live here.” It was also relaxing to sometimes just send him out by himself.
From a domestic perspective, you clean, clean, clean before guests come, but everything is a mess one day later. And there is a surprising jump in the amount of food it takes to feed three people in comparison to two. There is a certain reshuffling to share your small apartment and there were times toward the end of the week when I just needed space, simply because I am a space person.
We have a week to reset and wash sheets and restock the fridge, and then the guest room is booked again for a week… by my sister, who I utterly can’t wait to see! Get yourself to Europe, Li!
Do you have any magical hosting tips for me?