The number of beach days left before Labor Day keeps dwindling, so that means it's more than likely that you've also probably over-stayed your welcome at a friend/relative/co-worker/kindly stranger's summer share by now. So what is the proper etiquette of the cottage crasher once the summer shack closes it's doors? Repaying their ever-gracious hosts with lovely sentiment, of course. (And we do mean the tangible gift kind, not a hug or thank you note.)
THE PEOPLE PLEASER: Remind them - and all their future guests - of their generosity by purchasing a coffee table book that donates a percentage of the proceeds to a cause. We like ultra-hip and socially conscious newcomer NYC publisher, Jamie Rubin Studios, and their book, "The Salang Pass." The understated cloth cover holds 56 pages of text and B&W photography detailing photographer Jonathan Dee and exiled Prince Hafiz Assefi's journey through the dangerous Kotel-e Salang path in Afghanistan. The Salang Pass' charity of choice is Help The Afghan Children and can be purchased online for $59USD.
THE PLEASURE SEEKER: We love the indulgently exotic scents that bath and beauty company Pacifica pumps out. Whether it's Bali Lime Papaya, Tuscan Blood Orange, or Lotus Garden, we feel whisked away on our own private getaway. Unfortunately it's not always that easy, but the least we can do is pass on the scented sensation to our hosts. Try the Single Fragrance Gift box, stocked with solid perfume, body butter, soy candle, and mini matches. Tell them the travel size toiletries are perfect for next summer when they visit you. Er -- right. And for $16, you can guiltlessly pick up a pack for yourself as well. Find at Whole Foods and Sephora.
THE DAY TRIPPER: Perhaps you don't have a ski home to offer up in return next season - don't worry, who does these days? - but a day trip on you may be in order. Take a tasting day at Connecticut Vineyards to restock their liquor cabinet (that you may or may not have emptied) - follow the CT Wine Eastern or Western Trails. Or, go for a rustic afternoon of apple picking at Lyman Orchards, which, when followed by pie, is always a blast. Finally, Hartford Stage is currently taking orders for their upcoming 2009/2010 season, pricing a premium 2-seat package for about $550USD. Order online or call the box office: 860-527-5151
See, you should invite us over sometime!