This past weekend, I spent a couple of days at the Ramada in Wayne, NJ. The rooms were pretty basic - they were almost motel-like, with "no smoking" signs that failed to inform the carpeting and drapes of their intentions.
However, the trip was well worth it. As you probably know, I'm a keen scrapbooker. Well, the National Scrapbooking championships haven't been held in the Northeast in six years, and this weekend they were on the grounds of Montclair State University. 840 people showed up for this thing, including two-time world champion Rose McNair. I specialize in "times past" images of dogs from the 1940s in my work, but you can really meet people who do just about anything at these events, from their own children to some R-rated stuff. The Somerville, MA group was actually on probation for a year because of one of their local events in 2005.
The hotel setup was actually nice, because the rooms surrounded a central courtyard. It had some benefits, as well as a few drawbacks. On Saturday afternoon between heats, a bunch of us hung out by the pool, trading stories about past events and gossiping about the scrapbookers who weren't there. And even at 2 PM, holy SHIT can those scrapbookers toss back the mojitos.
We headed back to MSU for the evening eventing, and a small scuffle broke out over the provenance of some pinking shears that someone had left on a table near the entrance. You're strictly responsible for your own supplies at the competitive level, and this whole thing kind of cast a pall on some of the competition.
I didn't get anywhere with my work this weekend, and I ran out of green squares at exactly the wrong time. Plus, the hotel is pretty hard to find in the dark - it's not as far as the Willowbrook Mall, but you have to make this U-turn and almost thread the needle to get to the Rt. 46 service road, then cut hard to the right just as you're merging.
Last night got a bit rough. People wouldn't go to sleep. Rose McNair gave a good seminar at the college, but she went a bit overboard when she got back to the hotel (they comped her suite), and they had to close the pool at 9:30 PM after she yuked in it. It sort of scattered us for a while, and I was feeling pretty tired anyway. But these people wouldn't SHUT UP! 2 AM, I had a guy pounding on the door next to mine, yelling "I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU HAD THE GLUE STICK." It was wild.
Anyway, I got a few photos up in my Scrapbooking gallery. If you've never seen scrapbookers in action, it's worth a look.