I appreciated the schedule you put together and the variety of events. Particularly enjoyed the movie, pizza, wine tasting afternoon for some reason. Thanks for thinking of food, water, and bathroom stops during our never ending van rides. All my needs were met !
The weekend easily divided into pros and cons.
CON: The long ride down. I left my house at 6:30 am on Friday and we arrived in New Hope around 8:30 pm. Traffic and needed stops slowed down the time table, but in any scenario that is a LONG time in a vehicle. Coming home from New Hope took the anticipated time, but it was still quite a ride back to Maine. I am not sure I would choose to do it again.
PRO: 10 men (and the lovely Alexia) traveling in a van. 10 men (and the lovely Alexia) chatting and getting to know each other. 10 men (and the lovely Alexia) looking forward to spending the weekend together.
Bottom line: It’s all about the men. (and Alexia is a great traveling companion)
CON: The locals at the gay bar were NOT very friendly, especially during piano bar nights.
PRO: Karaoke night was much better. I’m not sure that the locals were used to us being there by then or if it was a different crowd. For me the fun level was there that night at karaoke. I also appreciated the bracelets that got us happy hour prices all nights.
Bottom line: It was all about interaction with the men. And by Sunday night it was certainly there.
CON: Nothing was walk-able. We were always dependent on the van to get us anywhere. The bar, New Hope, Lambertville, any store, any restaurant, etc. That felt very restrictive.
PRO: The group was thereby forced to hang together. Not a bad thing, but it made things / activities limited.
Bottom line: I got to spend more personal time with the guys who chose each particular van ride. And it was, of course, all about the guys.
CON: Because of how we got to New Hope, there seemed to be two distinct groups enjoying the weekend – the van group and those who arrived on their own. This was very evident during Saturday’s dinner at the Raven; the van group sat at one table and the others sat at the second table. We only mixed it up a bit during the game on Friday night.
PRO: The Dinner at the Raven was excellent as were the snacks offered us there when we first arrived Friday night.
Bottom line: Sometimes you just can’t interact with everyone, whether the total group is 23 or 54. I got to know the men who were around me all the time. Great bunch.
CON: The hotel was 20 minutes away from everything. It might have been nice to have all our rooms blocked together rather than spread out over 3 floors, but that is certainly a minor thing.
PRO: The hotel was great to us and was newly redecorated and “fresh”. Great staff with a decent breakfast included.
Bottom line: The lobby of the hotel made for a great meeting / social space where you could end up socializing with some very nice gents. And after all, it was all about the gents. 😉
Overall, I again enjoyed the weekend and realized what a wonderful group of gay men are out there waiting to share their stories and friendship. We all have such a wide variety of talents, looks, and personalities just waiting to be discovered. I feel very lucky that I have been able to join you all for the past two trips. Big hugs to you all.