If you can’t think of a time when rain ruined an outdoor event, congratulations. You live in a desert. Or on the South Pole.
Because for people who live in this hemisphere, rain has been the demise of at least one (hundred) outdoor events over the years, including weddings, graduation parties, uh...ENDYMION PARADE 2011.
We’re supposed to be smarter than rain, you know, with our Dopplers and satellites and 24-hour weather channel.
But our technology only detects rain a week or so away and things like wedding dates are decided well before then.
Same thing with vacation beach rentals.
No one could have predicted a month before Labor Day that not just rain but a NAMED STORM would blow over the entire Gulf Coast during the long weekend.
It was certainly bad timing for me and my sun-loving friends who rented a beach house in the Florida panhandle, right in the path of the storm.
We nervously checked the weather as the weekend approached and realized that our ability to get tan was slim (and the possibility of getting hit by flying debris was increasing).
Yet, with a deposit already paid for and plans already in place, an impressive 14 of us made the trek from New Orleans to Grayton Beach, Florida anyway.
Maybe the rain will stay off the coast! We thought. Maybe it will move more west and we’ll have clear skies!
Hmmm. Not so much.
But not all was lost.
I did learn something very positive about rain over Labor Day weekend: it has the uncanny ability to get people to bond in ways a sunny beach doesn’t.
For example, it renews your love for board games.
The 14 of us played countless board games over those four days including Catch Phrase, Apples to Apples, Scattergories, Pictionary and Monopoloy.
(although not everyone wanted to play Monopoloy because it causes massive fights over Park Place and Pennsylvania Avenue and whoever owns all the railroads is an A-hole and usually wins.)
My favorite game was Apples to Apples, because you can be creative.
See, you get a list of cards of random things like this:
Danny Devito I love your work!!!
And then a friend/judge turns over another card with an emotion or description on it like fun, happy, glorious, luxurious, superficial, etc. and everyone has to discard one of their cards that fits in the category. (Schlinder's List would NOT be a good pick for luxurious.)
What makes this game fun is that you must play wisely and consider what your friend/judge will find the most appropriate, since they pick their favorite among the cards.
For example, I knew that one friend/judge looooves Mardi Gras, so I threw that card no matter what the emotion card was. I won that round.
This also turns out hilarious conversation among those whose cards weren’t chosen –
HELLO! HOW IS AN EMAIL NOT “SUPERFICIAL!” COME ON!!!
We also played other games not sanctioned by Hasboro, like Never Have I Ever (mom don’t ask) and the ABC game, where you go around in a circle and everyone says a word starting with a letter of the alphabet that fits a particular category.
Popular categories were words that describe sex, drugs and rock n roll. (Acid, butt sex, Creedance Clearwater Revival, respectively.)
We also played an indoor baseball game with an empty box of Kleenex as a bat.
And there was gymnastics.
A ten from the Russian judge!
We were able to venture outside on the beach for exactly 2 hours and 22 minutes one day, and even though it was overcast and quite chilly and the Coast Guard said we couldn’t get in the ocean, we still managed to make the most of it by playing in a nearby lagoon.
Fun in the (non) sun!
But you know what? It ended up being a super fun vacation.
Even with the tropical storm winds and forced bonding.
Much like when a wedding or graduation party is moved indoors because of dumb rain, it ends up being a good time anyway because all that matters is the awesome, crazy people you’re with.
Plenty of alcohol helps, too. Ha.
Thanks to this rain-cation, I now know people’s “never have I ever” secrets and I know my friend Meredith and I are RIDICULOUSLY GOOD partners at Pictionary.
Also, I’ve been meaning to stock up on more photos of me and my friends all sitting in a circle.
We're all winners.