Staying home is the new going out, spice up the evening
These days, it’s not all surprising to see a cluster of cars in the driveway and the glow of backyard tiki torches on a Friday night. Staying at home to entertainment ourselves, or nesting, is the new norm, saving gas, time and certainly lots of dollars. “These days, my wife and I are hanging out at home more often,” says Cape Coral’s Williams Jones. “And even when we go out, we often converge back at home with friends.”
For those wishing to give night nesting a try, we’ve included a few scenarios to get you thinking.
Grab a selection of locally crafted beers. There’re a bunch, such as Old Soul Brewing and Point Ybel Brewing Co. in Fort Myers, Cape Coral Brewing, Big Blue Brewing and Mr. Brews Taphouse in the Cape, Momentum in Bonita, Fat Point Brewing in Punta Gorda, dozens of others in Southwest Florida. Check the website Thrillist for the state’s top brew pubs, most of which have take-out containers or store products.
Choosing to stay indoors, break out a chess/checkers set, cards, board/video games, trivia, doodling, puzzles, magic and origami kits and gather around the coffeetable. Crafting and guy tasking are also huge, with Pinterest, Juxtapost, Dribble, Gentlemint and Dudepins among our many favs. Monopoly games have been a popular board game since the early 1900s. These days there are Monopoly Jackpot and Monopoly Token Madness, among many others. Remember charades, pantomime, whispering/lip-reading and other games? Or playing musical instruments, joking or blink-first matches?
For added fun, try Troyer Country Market popcorn, available online and at Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel. There’s streaming music, Pandora, Spotify, Slacker and Soma FM, for example, to set the mood.
PENCIL ME IN
A hot trend is adult coloring books― pencils, not crayons. Research says coloring is a form of meditation, reducing anxiety. “In addition to adult coloring books, paint-by-sticker has become very popular. They are tiny stickers that follow a pattern and create a piece of art,” explains Rebecca Binkowski, store manager at Sanibel’s MacIntosh Books & Paper. Binkowski adds that travel is a popular theme.
Top off these fun activities with a nice organic wine, such as Frey’s Syrah, along with your favorite take-out pizza, and you’re zenning. For mood, cue up classics such as Casablanca, Citizen
Kane, or Lawrence of Arabia online at Movies Unlimited, or rentable at Amazon or Hulu. Also check the Lee County Library System’s amazing music/video catalogues.
Trip back in time with old-fashioned iced tea. Instead of a slice of lemon, try other popular tropical fruits such as mango,
dragon fruit, or guava. Iced-tea lovers might also try sun tea, where the power of solis heats your stuff. Place four tea bags in a quart container, fill and cap. Three to five hours is perfect. And, yes, you can spike iced tea. Pull out the ottoman, gather round the bar, light a few sweet-smelling candles, such as Captiva Blue from Paradise Handmade Soap Company, then order pizza (again)—for delivery, of course.
GARDEN OF EATIN'
Those who love the outdoors can play croquet, horseshoes or bocce. But look to things such as dunk-bucketing, lawn twisters, cornhole or bean-bagging, water balloons, capture the flag/flag football, pickle and a million other lawn games us older folks played that seem to have vanished with clean air and courteous drivers.
Then break out the BBQ grill! Along with skewered steak and shrimp, add pineapple, kiwi, mangoes, all great grilled. Also try wrapping foil around cobbed corn/veggies/sweet potatoes, fish/beef/pork, adding a flavorful oil and leaving atop hot coals. Yummy. Rekindle the old fondue pot, and consider a roundabout of Asian takeout to really spark the fun. Dunk melons, strawberries and apples in melted chocolate, and use the extra fruit for smoothies ―a quart of strawberries or raspberries, one banana, a couple of ripe mangos, a cup or orange juice, two cups of ice and blend. Nice! You should also practice conversational topics NOT relating to Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi and Supreme Court nominees, rather storytelling. Check the National Storytelling Network for tips. Light a few tiki torches ... and you’re good to go. Or rather, good to stay.
1 1. Punta Gorda’s Fat Point Brewing beverages are nice around the pool. 2. Monopoly was originally the Landlord's Game. The challenging game remains a family favorite; now with geographic variations. 3. A simple deck of cards is still a ball. Poker, rummy, Go Fish/Crazy Eights, bridge, euchre and black jack are favs. 2 3
4. Adult coloring books are great with pencils or markers. (MacIntosh Books & P aper, Sanibel) 5. Paint by Sticker books are fun and challenging. (MacIntosh Books & Paper, Sanibel). 6. Books with riddles, brain teasers, mind games and Zentangle are a blast. (MacIntosh Books & Paper, Sanibel) 7. Organic wines, such as Frey’s Syrah, make for a tasty and healthy choice. 8. Candles add intimacy to an evening’s festivities. (Paradise Handmade Soap Co.) 9. Fruit is great on the BBQ, makes a yummy dessert, especially dunked in chocolate. 7 8 9
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