At 2:30 this is what our side yard looked like.
The septic tank was pretty deep, which is why our first plumber couldn't find it. But these guys did, and it didn't take long for them to suck it dry. By 3:00 they were finished and Jay and I were left to prioritize our activities for the next half hour. Do we try to wash dishes or do we vacuum the living room (we have a water-filtered vaccum)? Do we just move the dishes into the utility sink in the laundry room or mop the kitchen floor?
We decided to vacuum and clean as much of the kitchen as possible, hoping that the students would be running late. But of course they were right on time with bags upon bags of groceries. So our first project was to move all the dishes to the utility sink (another thing I'm so grateful for), and they started preparing food while I tried to clean the counters around them and point them in the direction of the cookware and utensils they needed.
By the time the rest of the guests showed up for dinner the students had created a very impressive spread and proceeded to play the hosting role masterfully. Dinner was great and the company was outstanding (who knew we could get 20 folks in our humble little abode). Best of all? Jay and I only had to sit back and watch it all happen. The whole event was planned and executed by the students. They just needed a place to do it.
Then the camping fun began: A fire-building contest, two gripping games of Mafia (one of which I won), and a whole evening of having to get used to being called "Mrs. B." The fun apparently continued long after Dr. and Mrs. B. went to bed but we never heard a sound. They made their own breakfast in the morning and were gone by 10:00, exactly when their schedule said they'd be out the door.
Our house was cleaner when they left than when they arrived and, as far as we know, everyone had a fabulous time.