As you may know, I had the pleasure of having a few cups of coffee with Director this previous weekend, and we had quite a nice discussion about a ton of different subjects. One of those was a lament that we could not gather more people together for such. However, this does not have to remain this way.
There was an attempt made back in late 2002/early 2003 to get together for a convention in Toronto, headed up by our tireless worker, MrT. Unfortunately, that fell through due to perceived lack of interest. I also wonder if perhaps it did not attempt to do too much. What Director and I had in mind was more of a simple get together. Dinner, drinks, perhaps a trip to some local landmark and even some MP gaming if a place can be found to do such.
Looking at the fun time folks had in Lille, it certainly must be possible to bring something like this together. So, let's start thinking about a North American version.
Some things to think about:
August 20th - 22nd, 2004
In order to assist with planning and to show we are serious about this, I thought I might provide a rough sketch of what to expect out of the weekend:
First, Director and I have found a good place of lodging that is both close to a metro stop and in an appropriate price range for most of us - Best Western Key Bridge. It's rate is approx. $76/night and it is across the street from the Rosslyn stop in Arlington (or close to it.)
As for the schedule (and remember, this is loose and subject to change at the whim of those coming):
Friday: Arrive and schedule a meet between 6pm and 8pm (to allow most folks to get into town.) I would think the bar or lobby of the Hyatt down the street would be appropriate for this. From there, we will go to dinner and basically have a good night of fun and cheer.
Sat: Morning breakfast, either at the hotel or in town. Schedule a meet around 10 or 11am at Union Station in DC. From there, we will go about walking around DC, taking in the monuments, museums, etc. (Pretty much free) Break for lunch and resume. We thought it might be nice to take a trolley tour that evening at 7:30pm ($30 per person). It lasts for around 2 1/2 hours and then we could have a late dinner. If so, it might be best to head back to the hotel, shower, change clothes, rest, etc. and then meet back at Union Station by 7pm for the tour. After dinner, we could most likely head back to the hotel and either turn in, or for those interested, head over to the Hyatt bar (or some other) for some late night drinks.
Sunday: Meet at breakfast (place to be determined) and head out to Manasses for a battlefield tour (Cost $3 per person). We might try to fit in Fredericksburg as well on the way back. That should most likely take up most of the morning and some of the afternoon, depending on when people needed to leave. Some might need to leave then, or stay and leave Monday morning - to be decided later.
Total Cost (for 2 nights lodging, nightime tour and battlefield tour): $185.00
Metro fare: $1.25 per ride (cards can be bought at stations)
Dinners and Drinks: Cost hard to figure, but prices most likely comparable, if not slightly higher than the rest of the East Coast at least.
Hope that helps with your planning, and please remember to try and confirm by August 9th. There is no reason that you should HAVE to stay at the same hotel the rest of us do, and if you find one cheaper and accessable to a metro stop, feel free to tell us about it. It would be nice to all stay in a central location if possible.
Further, if you have alternate suggestions for activities, restaurants, bars, tours, etc. feel free to say so. The above planning is only an outline.
Post has been edited as of 8/4/04 to reflect decisions already made. See above for changes.
As of right now, those that have confirmed are:
MrT (99.99999999% sure) Edit: MrT
Those that have expressed interest but have not yet confirmed:
Gaijin de Moscu
Henry v. Keiper