This past weekend was the first time in nearly a year and a half that my entire immediate family got together in person and maskless.

And it was fantastic.

With so many kids in our crew, all going to different schools and several in different states, we chose to keep our distance for much of the past 14 months.

We went with a virtual Christmas meet-up, had to skip Easter because my family was quarantining and passed on face-to-face birthdays for basically all of 2020. But that all changed this past weekend with my oldest daughter's sixth birthday.

Finally, everyone was vaccinated and ready to hang out in person together, so of course my husband and I went all out for a backyard BBQ birthday party.

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It was amazing to see everyone hugging and catching up like the past year hadn't even happened. We all literally picked up right where we left off and had a fantastic time. My daughters were thrilled to see their cousins in person again.

All-in-all it was a great day, with one slight downside: no one wanted to go home.

It had been so long since we all got together it was like no one wanted it to end. Maybe just a bit of "what if we don't get to do this again for another year?" stuck in the back of everyone's mind.

Whatever the reason, it was a much longer party than we expected. Not that I am complaining. I loved having everyone over and definitely wasn't trying to rush anyone out.

It was just funny that people who typically would be the first to leave a pre-COVID family gathering were hunkered down and ready to kick it all night in post-COVID party mode.

So as far as party bummers go, this is clearly a minor one, but probably one that many party hosts will experience this summer.

So if you are going to invite everyone over one of these summer nights, make sure you are ready for some late night guests.

The SouthCoast's Best Backyards

The weather has been beautiful and everyone seems ready to head outdoors – and these houses have some of the nicest outdoors spaces we've seen on the SouthCoast.