OFFSTAGE: Taylor Swift: Adirondacks, Face Paint and Volleyball

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Thank God for photo blogs. And gigantic Rhode Island beach houses, intimate weekend parties and tourmates-turned-pals who are willing to share their personal lives with Taylor Swift fans. Swift invited what she calls her touring family to her new beach home to celebrate Independence Day, and from the looks of all the photos she posted on her blog , it looks like their red, white and blue party was perfect. “Oh hey guys. Happy belated 4th of July. Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays of the year. This time around, my touring family joined me at the beach, and I wanted to show you some of the pictures because you’re the reason we all get to be on tour together,” Swift wrote. Some of the photos look gorgeous and very art directed, and others look kind of casual and more candid. See for yourself how the group was “laying around in the sun like it’s our job” and using “any holiday as an excuse for face paint” and “practicing choreography on the lawn” and playing “high intensity, low coordination volleyball.” I guess there was also an epic treasure hunt, a pool tournament, fireworks and nap time. (Which, by the way, was on a white couch after the face painting, which must mean that Swift is a very laid-back hostess.) Oh, and I’m not sure this means anything, but I think Matthew Gray Gubler was there too. Gubler plays Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds. He’s the one with the gun, the adorably messy hair and the eidetic memory. He and Swift recently started following each other on Twitter.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.