So this may sound a little crazy, but every year 20-30 friends join us at our 2 super rustic cabins, on a tiny lake in the Pocono Mountains in the middle of January. Yes, it is often snowing and super cold, but to this day it is still one of my most favorite times of the year. We call it MLK New Years Revelry weekend.
It sounds like two holidays because the tradition started as a new years party and then as we got older moved to Martin Luther King weekend to give us an extra day to recover, etc.
To be honest with you we thought by this time in our lives, our annual gathering would be comprised of Pete, Holly, the dogs and us roasting marshmallows by the fire. I am happy to report that this year, at 34 years old, Kristian and I co-hosted our 13th Pocono Mountain weekend with Pete and Holly, for 20 equally Pocono crazed friends.
I thought it only appropriate to share the top eleven (yes 11 not 10, hehehe) life lessons we have learned over the course of these 13 weekends celebrating together in the Pocono Mountains. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have…
1. There is no I in Team…
Especially when you are carving an ice luge out of a frozen Lake
Yes, that’s right, we carve a piece of ice out of the frozen lake and then enjoy the most amazing chilled champagne, mixed cocktails and homemade limoncello (thanks Michela!). The team has been impressively creative over the years, making the luge more of an ice sculpture, complete with lighting features and carved lettering.
2. You’re Never too Old for a Themed Party
About 7 years in, we started adding a theme to our festivities. Some of my favorites include College Pride, 80’s, and this year, Board Games. Anything goes when it comes to our themes and we have learned that it is always better to embrace them fully by weaving it into everything from food, decor, costumes to our Minisink Mania Trivia Game (see #6).
3. Good Food + Good Friends = Good Times
We take great pride in our creative menus for the weekend. When we were younger we stuck to cheap basics like spaghetti for dinner and bagels for breakfast. Now its all about finding and serving up all the new party recipes posted on Pinterest. We have served everything from homemade Italian feasts, bread bowl soup bars, cinnamon casseroles to midnight fried perogies. Yum!
Even better, I always suggest matching your party menu with your theme (#2). For example, the year of College Pride we put together tailgate favorites, including hamburgers and hot dogs from the grill.
4. No one looks back on their life and remembers the weekends when they had plenty of sleep
Although no one will ever give you a hard time for taking a afternoon siesta.
5. Champagne is always a good idea
There is nothing better than popping champagne and toasting to our reunion in the Poconos every year.
6. Never Judge a Book by its Cover, you may miss out on an Amazing Story
We have found that for whatever reason the Poconos brings out the best in people. Not sure if it is the fresh air or the s’mores, but we love that folks can kick back, relax and just be themselves. We feel like friends have become family over the course of one weekend spent at the cabin.
7. Everybody loves you until you become the Competition
For us, the competition is called Minisink Mania. Every year, we plan, plot and build a customized trivia game that includes everything from ALL PLAY Pictionary, physical challenges, photo ID boards, word puzzles, to the occasion drinking game.
8. Live in the Moment
Even with so much going on and lots of people around, you always have time to stop and breath in the fresh air, enjoy a quiet moment by the fire or even a short walk with a hot cup of coffee in the morning (out of your themed party favor mug, of course!)
9. What Happens in the Poconos stays in the Poconos…enough said.
10. Don’t Ever Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle
In the Poconos we like to think we encourage it to shine bright!
11. Here’s to the Nights that turned into Mornings and the Friends who have turned into family.
Yes, the rustic and cold conditions make the weekend a bit more of a challenge, but I don’t think any of us would trade them in for the fun we have had together.
Whether you have joined us once or every year, we want to thank all of you for filling our MLK New Years Revelry with fun, laughter and most of all a lifetime of unforgettable memories. See you next year!
With Pocono Love & Celebration,