i hadn't been to the hamptons in 7 years (archive: 2001 2002 2003 2005). since then john and deanna had a new addition to their family so this was the first time i've been to an outing where there'd be children. naturally, that meant leaving beloved sandy duncan back at home.

megan was still asleep when i slipped out of my own bed around 8:30. it wasn't hard to wake up, since even with the shades drawn the southeastern corner guest room was super bright. i met will, who now at 5-years old is a lot different than the last time i saw him when he still small enough for john to tote him around on a back carrier. deanna had already warned me but will is at that age where he wants to tell and show you everything, early childhood overshare.

it was only then did i finally meet john. the last time i saw him was back in november 2010, when we went on a two city (boston, new york) bike tour. while deanna and christine left to get more food to accomodate the additional guests arriving today, john gave me a quick tour. since my last visit, deanna's parents had the old place completely demolished and a new house built in its place. while the old house was a modest residence, this new house was an opulent mansion. there were things like upstairs/downstairs living rooms (with a wet bar), half a dozen bedrooms, a sauna room, even an elevator. the whole house was also wired for entertainment with touch screen controls throughout the place.

will brought out a box with 2 automatic squirt guns. i helped him take them out of the package and put in some batteries. we went out to the pool to fill up the guns with water. i set up some dead flowers on the railing for target practice. later we ran around the grass shooting each other. will was no match, with his 5-year-old brain unable to understand the concept of ammo management and quickly ran out of water. he was however quick in learning how to refill his gun, even showing john after my initial how-to.

my goal for the weekend was to work off my wicked farmer's tan. that involves spending the whole day without my shirt on for as long as possible. since i can't swim, i didn't even get in the pool; the closest i got was dipping in my feet. i didn't even go into the hot tub! i spent a lot of time by myself, reading what einstein told his cook: kitchen science explained by robert wolke, drinking cold water from my insulated contigo tumbler.

more people showed up by later: andy and may; a brooklyn neighbor couple with a daughter (thigby?) the same age as will; marion and her guy friend; and mike and karenth. i found out from deanna last night but andy actually got a job at the arlington library and will be moving to somerville next month.

for lunch we had burgers and hot dogs. john manned the BBQ station but i took over in the end. i have a passion for grilling!

since christine's boyfriend mike is a professional chef, he automatically became our default cook when it came time for dinner. the main course was a beer chicken that he slow-cooked out on the grill but also in the kitchen ovens as well.

after dinner - with the children put to bed - we played a traditional game of apples to apples. unfortunately with so many players and not everyone knowing each other very well, the game was a little muddled. things became even more intense once we instituted the "first 7 cards" rule.

with people drifting off to sleep (with the exception of a few diehard minority that wanted a late night soak in the hot tub), john was determined to put his digital movie projector to good use. he set up an outdoor screening of jaws and i was willing to participate in this midnight madness. the temperature continued to drop and all i had was my jacket while i curled up on the deck chair. megan watched with us as well, hundled underneath a blanket. when it was finally over, it was a relief to get back inside the warm house.

originally i was supposed to move to the cabin but with the rooms all taken up, the only available spot was in the cabin living room. instead i switched places with andy and returned to the guest bedroom i shared with megan last night, while andy went upstairs and slept in will's room.