Gee is a great salesman. How else could he convince someone like me, whom he never met, to go away for the weekend with a bunch of guys he never met either? He said it would be a great time, and it was. From the first guys I met when I arrived mid-afternoon to the guys who didn’t arrive until Saturday, everyone I met was great. A variety of ages and types but nice guys across the board. I’m challenged when it comes to remembering names, so I would have appreciated name tags for Friday night. And I would have enjoyed playing both of the ice breaker games, so it would have been great if both rooms played the same game at the same time, then switched to the second game instead of having a championship round.
Gee is also a great host. He did an incredible amount of advance work to have things there and set up when we arrived. And once we were there, he made sure everyone was having a good time. The cooking Friday night was terrific and the variety of menu items was great. The Saturday afternoon cabaret show was really good; all 4 performers are definitely first-class entertainers. Saturday dinner was great too—an excellent quality steak.
I strongly preferred the food at the optional Sunday brunch to the official Saturday one, but we needed more space to fit the whole group than the Sunday place could provide.
The one thing that I think could have made a nice overall difference would be to turn the cottage into a home base the entire weekend. Bring in a simple sound system and have music streaming all day to create atmosphere. Bring in a portable keyboard and do some of our own singing and/or playing in the evenings. Have the board games out for those who wanted a second shot at them. There was a lot of food and drink that didn’t get consumed from Friday night; with the addition of some more munchies (chips, nuts, etc.), that might have lasted us through the weekend. Coffee, juices and a simple breakfast spread (muffins, rolls, cereal) both mornings could provide a casual alternative to the restaurant meals. It would have been a place to hang out and meet people if you weren’t up for the shore walk on Saturday morning or the public piano bar Saturday night. I know we had at least one good piano player among the group, and there may have been several more.
But, as I said up top, it was a great time just as it was. And as soon as the address list comes out, I plan to get back in touch with several of the guys to see whether they want to get together in town. I hope I don’t have to wait until next year to see them again! Thanks for making it all happen, Gee.