We are fortunate to own a house with a nice covered patio. I call it our party pavilion, and over the years, we have eaten on the patio as well as hosted friends there. Unfortunately, we haven't utilized it enough during the warm months (and even into fall). The extra step of bringing our meal outside is sometimes a deterrent, and getting everything ready for a barbecue, though worthwhile, does take a little bit of work.
Today, we threw a barbecue for some friends -- the families of a few of Eldest's classmates. Our kids played in the kiddie pool, while the adults got to socialize outside of the school setting (which we don't get to do to often). I grilled sliders and hot dogs for dinner. We brought a fan out so the patio wasn't too warm.
The effort to get everything ready was an effort. I got the patio cleaned out, pulled some weeds from the yard, filled up the kiddie pool and made sure the coolers were full of drinks. Wife got all the food ready and finished cleaning the house. However, none of this felt like a chore. Also, in addition to being ready for company, we also took a step to being ready for vacation in a few days.
But the best part of all the preparation was simply spending time with friends. Sometimes, that's so tough, especially during the school year, so it's all the more better to do so on a perfect summer evening. Wife and I are already talking about opening the party pavilion again before it gets cold.