Shannon and I decided early that bonfire, s'mores bar and endless wine could squelch any potentially awkward moments that might occur among a group of strangers. If worse came to worse we had at least three fallback topics of conversation:
1. Fire. The ability to avoid eye contact and fill in convo gaps with important updates like, "We better stoke this thing." and group discussions of "Should we throw another log on?" Obviously...very important conversation.
2. Wine and s'mores. Endless conversation. What's good, what's bad. Levels of tipsiness. Tipsy stories. S'mores stories. Tipsy s'mores stories. (Does anyone have those? I do...now.)
3. Weather. I mean, really...we were hoping it wouldn't get to that. But at least gums would be flappin'.
Well, good news! We didn't much discuss any of the above...except when absolutely necessary, like when my wine glass was empty. Which happened precisely four times.
Anyway, I sacrificed a cute pair of heels so I could pack in ribbons, a garland, glitzy signs and other needed craft supplies...and I didn't regret it. Shannon and John had done some trash pickin', as well as hunting for blankets and picking their own house for containers and fabric. We made sure to pat ourselves on the back no less than seventeen times once we pooled everything together and drank in the rustic gorgeousness of it all.
In other words: No one was more impressed than us that we'd actually pulled it off.
We'd done our s'mores bars homework...and our research showed that a s'mores bar could get out of hand with toppings like strawberries, caramel and such . We decided to keep it pretty simple with the basic chocolate and cracker formula, adding a few marshmallow options:
Regular Honey Grahams
Hershey's Milk Chocolate
Raspberry Dark Chocolate
After8 Mint Chocolate
Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Even with all that, the traditional s'more seemed to be the most popular option among the girls. And who can blame them? If it ain't broke....you know the rest. And this meant there was plenty of chocolate to munch on throughout the evening and into the weekend.
One of our last minute crafts consisted of a lil' car crafting session, as Shannon steered us toward the airport to pick up one of the girls, and I battled car sickness, attempting not to toss my cookies while making teeny tiny goodie labels for the s'mores bar. Shan had a few sheets of sticker letters, which combined with some glitter paper all the way from Wisconsin worked perfectly to mark each of the snacks.
Also, I talked myself using my own dough to purchase two packages of globe lights from Target for $9.00 a piece. Somehow in my mind I was going to fly them back to Wisconsin...and then to California for our wedding. What?! How did that make sense? Whatevs. It wound up adding the perfect touch, and I left them for Shannon to use at future bonfires.
Throw in a couple of hay bales, a mashed potato bar courtesy of Shannon's hubby...and all told, it was a very fabulous first night at the meet up.