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Summer Floats and Why Some are Better than Others

19 Aug

Prior to a weekend away in New Hampshire, my friend Jaclyn decided that she was going to  grab a couple floats for everyone to lay out on while relaxing on the lake.

While it did seem like a great idea, no one realize how wonderful these floats would be.

With temperatures hitting the high 80s, low 90s that weekend, all everyone wanted to do was have a couple beers and be in the lake. This is when we determined some floats are better than others — especially when it comes to day drinking.

The float blow is great in theory, and can be bought pretty cheap. The one shown is from  PoolFloatsDirect.com  and can be bought for as little as $3.99.

If you are just laying in one spot all day you will be fine. But if you are laying with a beer, it’s going to continue to be a wobbly lay down/sit up for the rest of the afternoon. And, these floats tend to deflate the fastest… just sayin’!

This Pearl Series Classic Pool Lounger from Target can be purchased for $31.99.

As you can see, the raised back on this float is perfect for reclining back, but still being able to talk to friends. It’s dual cup holders are a key addition to the magnificence of this float. This lounger is hands free which is a definite plus. My only comment is you need to make sure the lounger is always full of air. We used one similar to this that weekend, and if the cup holders deflate, your beer will go into the lake. Bye, bye, beer..

Also at Target is the Pool Master Day Dreamer Tube for $23.99.

These tubes tend to stay the most inflated while lounging in water. And since it does have a head rest, it makes for easy drinking and socializing. My one concern is the fact that there are no cup holders. Balance gently or you will find your  drink in your lap. Party foul!

PoolCenter.com offers a Spring Float with Graphic Print for $21.18.

While these types of floats are perfect for the person who wants to get their whole body wet while lounging, that’s about all they are good for. This type of float leads to awkwardness when trying to sit up, and are not kosher for drinking beer while on them.

After scouring PoolRafts.com I’ve come across two rafts that work out well for those looking to just relax in the sun:

The Pacific Paradise Lounge:

and the Aqua Fun Island:

Who needs a table or even a cabin if you can find a float as sick as the Paradise Lounge?! It’s like an adult moonbeam!

The Aqua Fun Island is also perfect if you want to fit more than one person aboard. It’s good for those who don’t mind roasting in the sun all day, as you are set up a bit off the water.

So in general, when it comes to floats, cheaper isn’t always better, but you need to find higher quality floats that will stay inflated throughout the time you are sitting on them.

With summer coming to an end soon, you will also likely be able to find high quality floats at a discount price. So start planning your floating needs for next year!

Are you a fan of the float?

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Bar crawls: The ultimate group experience

12 Aug

Want to plan a party, but don’t want to have the party at your house? Consider a bar crawl. Bar crawls can be big or small. For charity or just for fun. Themed or not-themed. Either way, they are a good way to get a group of people to mingle and have fun.

Not sure what exactly a bar crawl entails? Well, normally the organizer picks a location (one with a lot of bars in walking distance is best), sets a time, and picks a bar to go to every hour (roughly) — ahead of time. Obviously, you can set the times to be more or less than an hour at each location depending on preference. Make sure everyone knows the list prior to that day so people who can’t make it on time will know where you are when they can join in on the fun.

Raising money for charity, races, etc.

Everyone — or, most people — like going out every once in a while and what better of a reason than to help raise money for charity. The organizer can set up an event page on social networking sites, like facebook, and send out invitations electronically to their friends and family. Let people invite their own friends to get more people to join in. Ask everyone participating to put in a set amount of money, and make t-shirts or tank tops to commemorate the occassion, donating the extra money to a good cause. If you are really organized, try getting raffles to sell throughout the night and raffle a prize at each bar.

Themes.

I love themed parties! I love putting them together. I love trying to figure out what to wear. I love everything about them.

Along with organizing your ‘crawl, add a theme to it. Themes could include:

The “mustache” bar crawl – everyone either grows or wears a beard for the entirety of the day

An 80s bar crawl – everyone dresses like they are from the 80s. People can rock leggings, leg warmers, bleach washed clothing, sweatbands, etc. This theme could really work for any decade. Choose your decade of choice.

Black and white bar crawl – everyone only wears black and white. Or, pick your teams favorite color and designate that as your theme!

Halloween bar crawl…. in July – Everyone wears Halloween costumes around October. That’s the norm, but having a halloween bar crawl in a different month keeps it interesting.

For special occassions.

Like I said earlier, if you don’t want to throw the party at your place — whether it be for reasons such as just having an easier clean up, amount of space, etc. — organize a crawl. They’re perfect for parties like bachelorette/bachelor, getting together with out-of-towner friends, getting a new job, the possibilities are endless.

Every year I attend a Pre-Thanksgiving bar crawl that happens the Saturday before turkey day.

I’m actually also going on a bar crawl this weekend for my cousin, Nicole’s, birthday.

Happy Birthday, Nicole!

What types of bar crawls have you been on?

Cape Ann Brewing Co: Fresh Hop IPA, Shuffleboard, Great Views

8 Jul

Looking for somewhere to go on a nice summer day – or even a somewhat alright summer day? Check out Cape Ann Brewing Company. Located at 11 Rogers Street in Gloucester, MA, Cape Ann offers a good selection of craft beer. You can sit on the deck and gazed out at the ocean, or picnic table it up inside.

I recently went there with some friends and tried their Fresh Hop IPA. It’s not on their menu on their site, so I can’t go into specifics when it comes to the ABV level – so I’ll go into what my senses told me.

Fresh Hop IPA had a nice hoppy scent to it. The hoppy flavor was not strong on the palate – this is probably because of the freshness of the hops (or so my homebrewer fiancé tells me.) Overall it’s a nice tasting IPA – smooth and very drinkable.

It was the perfect pair while sitting in a rocking chair on their deck while looking out into the ocean.

My friends enjoying their brews

If you do happen to go visit Cape Ann Brewing, play shuffleboard! Now, this is not your grandparents’ game of shuffleboard.

It’s about a 6-7 foot table covered in little wax beads and you are supposed to “shuffle” a puck across the table, with the aim of the puck not falling off. It provides endless amounts of fun – especially if you are of the competitive nature.

If you aren’t in the Gloucester area – you can always see if your local package store carries their Fishermen’s brews.

Are you in the area?