Monday, August 8, 2011

Hedonism Lite

As part of the summer rituals, my friends and I travel up to the woods of Vermont to participate in the weekend of the All Night Costume Dance Party at Quarry Hill.  Though it is usually on the first weekend of August, this year it was in the last weekend of July.

What is the All Night Costume Dance Party, you ask?  Well, it started in 1984 as a birthday celebration for one of my good friends, when she was asked what she wanted to do for her birthday.  She answered that she liked dancing, staying up all night, and costumes.  Thus the All Night Costume Dance Party was born.  Through the 27 years, it's grown into a reunion for the multitude of people who've lived there at some point, including international guests and children who grew up there.  But at its core, it's a celebration of life.

female Oscar
What happens at the All Night Costume Dance Party, you ask?  Well, it's pretty self-explanatory, don't you think?  Every year, there's a theme.  This year, the theme was "Hollywood."  Though I initially thought of dressing as a homeless person, I decided to go for an Oscar award instead.  Now, on the day of the party, there is also somewhat of a variety show/talent show.  Different people sing, dance, and do other random interesting and entertaining acts.  Then at 10pm, the party begins.  Hopefully, you've got your nap on at some point that afternoon or evening, because the night can get difficult if you're not well rested.  So, if you manage to dance the night away (while intermittently visiting the bonfire) and you see the sky starting to lighten, it's time to head to my friend's house where 1 batter of vegan and 1 batter of regular blueberry pancakes are awaiting the frying pan.  The blueberries are from a farm right next door, and the batter is a secret recipe from my friend's step-father.  After you've feasted on the delicious pancakes, it's time to crash out in your tent until the heat of the morning sun wakes you up.

It's an amazing weekend.  One that's worth sharing with people who you know enjoy a good time with a bit of adventure. 

Though our group wasn't as big or as small as it's been in the past couple of years, there were 3 newbies to the converts.  One of the newbies spoke a bit about how she was exploring the idea of pleasure, and we decided to continuously remind her about finding her pleasure and exhibiting a bit of hedonism.
dancing and costuming
Of all the times and places, this weekend in Vermont was definitely a place to explore ones hedonistic side.

In the grand scheme of camping, this is really camping lite.  There's still some access to bathrooms and running water, and usually access to a shower.  Though the shower was out of commission this year, we still got a chance to clean up a bit at the nearby creek.

We even got to cook and share a delicious pasta dinner together with several other campers.
veggie pasta action
But there are still mosquitoes.  And once again, I managed to get bitten several times in the course of 3 days.  Bug spray was my friend, and I even invested in a clip on bug repellant.

This year, time seemed to fly by.  It didn't seem like there was too much activity, and yet we managed to dance the night away without realizing how fast time was flying.  Before we knew it, it was time for pancakes.

Though it was pouring rain the night we drove up, the rest of the weekend was absolutely wonderful.

Then it was time to rejoin civilization.  But, as it turned out, the hedonism wasn't quite over.

Early on the 2nd, another friend who was unable to join us in Vermont decided we needed to continue our friend's birthday celebration by doing a bit of skinny dipping at one of the local beaches.

As the evening neared, I became uncertain about whether I would join.  I attended a Hawaiian slack key guitar performance that was so beautiful and relaxing that I was literally falling asleep in the restaurant.  It had been a long day already, and I was exhausted. 

But at the last minute, it turned out that I didn't actually have a choice about whether I would be attending or not.  My friend and I were to pick up another friend and meet the other 3 at Revere Beach.

I was so glad I didn't lame out.  I would have been devastated if I didn't make it to the beach that night!

At first we were nervous.  Was it illegal for us to be on the beach after sunset?  It was definitely illegal for us to get into the water completely naked.  Was it going to be freezing since it had rained earlier that day?

But then we decided, to hell with it.  How often do we get to do this?  We had decided to just go in topless at the chance that the cops did show up; it would also make for a quick get-away.  After we set up our blanket near the water, we checked the temperature.  It was surprisingly not as bad as it could have been, and that just made us more determined to go for it.

At the stroke of midnight, the 6 of us went running into the Atlantic Ocean, alive and free.  It felt so good, we did it twice!  I don't believe anyone went in completely, but we definitely got ourselves good and wet.
free women
It was amazing.  Absolutely amazing.  What a wonderful way to spend a 40th birthday.

After dining on some delicious banana bread and reflecting on our spontaneous adventure, we were all ready to head to dreamland.  I truly feel blessed to know that I have these type of women in my life.  I can only hope that my 30th and my 40th birthdays are spent with such powerful and inspiring people.


  1. Glad you had fun! Hope you'll join the ANCDP again this year!

  2. And don't forget the fun of watching Katie and Andrew (Brett Peterson) produce "Dirty Dating" at the Talent Show!


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