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 Post subject: Meet - Up Locations
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 2:31 pm 
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Location: Loudon, Tennessee
I have been thinking about this for a couple of days and would like to share my thoughts and see what everyone else thinks.

I don't think we should have meet-ups at mid-level or higher restaurants. This excludes too many people. I am afraid some members would come, because they desperately want to attend, and then have to scrimp and search for something on the menu they could afford. To me that would be embarrassing. If we pick a restaurant for a meet-up, it should be a place like The Filling Station or Ci Ci's. Frankly I don't think a restaurant is the place to have them at all. Because.....

Many people who are new to the board or are shy may be intimidated by the number of members at some of the meet-ups. I think a way to lessen these fears is to hold meet-ups at a place like the last two at Coldstone at Broadway at the Beach. This way members could just drop by and not feel confined by time or expectations of staying for dinner. Also a lot of members go on vacation with a large number of people and wouldn't feel comfortable bringing their twenty-three relatives with them or leaving them behind. Almost everyone goes to Broadway at the Beach or Barefoot Landing and could easily plan to come to a meet up there. These type of meet-ups just make more sense to me because it doesn't put any pressure on the members on vacation or the locals. If I was a local and there were meet-ups almost weekly, I would have a hard time going to all of them if they were all held at mid-range or higher restaurants.

Everyone let me know what you think. I'm not trying to rock the meet-up boat or anything. I just wanted to make some suggestions.

Jeff

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2006-Dayton House
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 4:08 pm 
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Jeff, I agree. I was actually thinking of somewhere less expensive like the Filling Station or CiCi's for a meet-up this August when my family is down. Coldstone sounds great, but do they have anything indoors in case it rains. What about one of the malls?

My top, ultimate choice of a place to go would be one of the two state parks. The admission isn't that much. Most locals probably have the annual pass. Then people can visit, walk the beach, swim, whatever. The problem with an outdoor meet-up is the weather. What do you do it if rains? You could have an alternate place picked out in case of bad weather, but someone coming from NMB may have beautiful weather and not know the alternate location has been chosen. Communication while in MB can be an issue if not everyone has a cell phone or way to get in touch with the others. And then people like Bob L. can't just show up and surprise everyone. :cool: And Mike L. can't just show up and lurk. :twisted:

We'll have to ponder this some more. Thanks for starting this thread. It'll be interesting to see what develops.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 4:58 pm 
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This is a super catch-22 for me. On the one hand, I attend alot of meetups, so it's nice to do a non-dinner (ice cream, beach, coffee house, whatever) and not have to pay a large bill every time. On the other hand, it is VERY hard to focus on spending time with people when my kids are running all over the place. I'm constantly chasing them or taking a head count to make sure they are within sight. At a restaurant I can just strap them into their seats and plop down a plate of mac cheese to keep them busy. Then I can chat to my heart's content.

Ryans was working out well... not too expensive, a nice back room all to ourselves. Other buffets might work... CiCi's, Filling Station, Friendly's, etc...

I can't really give you my opinion, because there are pro's and con's to both, and I'm torn.

The ultimate would be to have cookouts at somebody's house, so I could spend HOURS chatting with everybody! :lol: But that idea has been shot down in the past due to understandable security reasons.

I leave the debate to you guys. I'm too torn to have an opinion on the matter. :ohnoes:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 6:21 pm 
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Just speaking from my own limited experience with larger group meet ups, I felt the best after our recent one at Coldstone (no, Leo, not because of potenially unlimited ice cream) because I had been able to visit for at least sometime with everyone who came. That had not been the case at Ryan's or K W Cafeteria because folks were somewhat limited to discussions with those seated nearby.

I, too, like the state park idea, which could provide various activities for a longer period of time.

Rich

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 7:07 pm 
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Jeff, I agree with you and thought the same thing since the meet ups started. If you sit in a restaurant and there is a large group you cannot talk to everybody while confined to the table. The year we met at Creek Ratz at the marshwalk in Murrels Inlet was nice because there was a place to just hang out and talk while not being confined to the restaurant seating. I also like Broadway at the Beach idea and the state park idea. I could talk to people a long time but at a restaurant we can't take up the whole night there talking as they want to get more people in for business. Also some of the locals might not want to spend money everytime eating out. Good idea Jeff. Glad you mentioned it. (also it would be a good idea to give someone your cell phone number and have someone's if plans change. )My first choice would be a state park. Cathy


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 Post subject: Meet up locations
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 9:21 pm 
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Jeff -

I've wondered about this as well especially for the locals during peak season! Mike and I have enjoyed all the meet ups we've attended, but I think the one last week at Coldstone was our favorite. We were able to mingle and chat with everyone, which was really nice, and we didn't feel rushed like you do in a restaurant. It didn't break the bank either. The tough part was eating ice cream in front of Leo :joker: All of us were inside at one point and it wasn't bad, but during peak season it could be jammed.

The state park or even one of the piers would be nice - but then the weather really becomes a factor. I wonder how difficult it would be to have a Plan B in case of rain?

Thanks for starting this topic!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 9:32 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
Can't believe most of us have never met but think the same at the same time.
I was thinking the other day how great it would be to have an oceanfront cook-out. Many of the places members stay have grills. Big question would be how to arrange for 30 non-guests to come in for pic-nic.
A lot has to do with the time of year, weather and how large the group. What might work in November with a ten member meet-up might not work in July with thirty.
I like the State Park idea. Could take it a step farther and make it a cook-out. One or two grills and each family brings what ever their family wants to eat. Steak, chicken, shrimp, pork roll. Or just to keep it all equal and make it dogs and burgers for all.
Do they have pic-nic shelters at the parks in case of rain?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 9:53 pm 
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Having been to the restaurant style meet-ups only I thought it would be neat to try the ice cream shop or even the State park. We loved the food but it was hard getting around and talking to everybody.

If we did the state park a couple questions(since we have never made it there before)
-do they have outside grills?
-do they have any type of covered areas?

If they did we could schedule one there, do the hot dogs and hamburgers and if it rained we could get that much closer, I mean we are family right?

The kids would have things to occupy them and we could visit more and not feel rushed for our seats. I know this year we are traveling with a large group again and that would be in their price range and still have a great time.



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 Post subject: MeetUP Places
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 6:39 am 
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ktjohn wrote:
This is a super catch-22 for me. On the one hand, I attend alot of meetups, so it's nice to do a non-dinner (ice cream, beach, coffee house, whatever) and not have to pay a large bill every time. On the other hand, it is VERY hard to focus on spending time with people when my kids are running all over the place. I'm constantly chasing them or taking a head count to make sure they are within sight. At a restaurant I can just strap them into their seats and plop down a plate of mac cheese to keep them busy. Then I can chat to my heart's content.


That's funny because I was just thinking the opposite. I was thinking, Boy, if Georgia is still going through this phase in June or October when we'll be at meetups, I'll die of embarassment. Not doing restaurants too well lately. I like the park idea a lot and BATB/ice cream.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 10:07 am 
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Okay, after discussing this here at home we have somewhat different views.( Jeff you'll know what I mean when I say opposites attract.) Rich likes the restaurant idea only because it is easier for someone with small children like Katie to visit and talk while the kids are at the table. I agree.
He vetoed the State Park idea due to possibly bad weather, and chasing small children around making it not a fun relaxing day for the parents. Cathy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 4:16 pm 
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If there were a playground within eyesight of the picnic area at a state park, that would be ideal for someone with "older" little ones who don't need constant supervision. Noelle might even be fine with that but I imagine Kylie would need more attention and "help" from Mommy and Daddy, which would definitely interfere with Katie and Brett's enjoyment of the meet-up. Or else it would end up as all the parents with little kids hanging out at the playground and all the adults and parents with older kids would be off somewhere else talking.

Is there a place with a play area, indoor or out, that has stuff that all age kids could do and also a place where the grownups can sit and talk? Our McDonalds (and I'm not suggesting McDonalds, but only using this as an example) used to have an area with a ball pit and stuff for smaller kids to do - a mini slide, etc. - and a play area for larger kids with the huge slides and climbing area. They were next to each other and you could watch both at once without having to be right there next to your kids constantly.

The nice thing about the state park idea is that the kids could all play in the sand, but then you have to watch them to make sure they don't dash into the ocean or wander off with someone else.

So, it seems there's no perfect solution. Each group of meet-uppers (is that even a word?) will have to hash it out amongst themselves to find what works best for them.

Another thought I had, but I think it closes at 5:00 on weekdays so it wouldn't work for working locals, is the Waccattee Zoo (don't shoot me, Leo!). It's very inexpensive and you can walk and talk while the kids have fun looking at the animals.

Or one of the waterway cruises, nice and leisurely and lots of room to sit and talk, but I'm not sure of the price.

A mini golf meet-up is nice, but if the group is too large you can't really talk to each other either.

I remember starting a similar string to this last year or the year before and we ended up at a restaurant again. It just seems to be the "easiest" thing to do.

Sigh! :???: Keep thinking, y'all!

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Ocean Lakes Family Campground - 1994-2006; June 2009
Lakewood RV Resort - August 2007; 7/26/2014-8/2/2014 (in a rental unit)
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 6:51 am 
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Location: Brick,NJ.... MB Condo
You can come or go, walk around, let the kids run, eat picnic lunch or dine inexpensively at the lunch area, there used to be a boat ride, there is a wildlife section, the beach is across the street at Huntington.
The setting is beautiful, Leo's photos would be wonderful. Just a nice place to meander around, sit and chat, whatever. They probably have a group rate as well.
It is really a place everyone should see at least once-


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 7:28 am 
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Location: Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach State Park:
Park hours 6 am - 10 pm daily. Admission: $4 for ages 16 and older, $1.50 for ages 6-15 and free for ages 5 and younger. S.C.

Huntington Beach State Park:
Park hours are 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Ages 16 and older $5, ages 6-15 $3, ages 5 and younger free

I remember checking MB State Park last year when someone suggested it. Both parks have outdoor picnic areas and outdoor grills as well as covered pavilions. They are available on a first-come basis, but can be reserved ahead.

MB State Park has a pier; Huntington doesn't. MB has a snack bar in the pier building. There is no inside seating, but there are picnic tables outside. Huntington Beach has an inside restaurant, but it is small.

The state parks are a good idea, but y'all need to be aware that the admission fees are based on people, not per car. I can check on group discounts, but I think they are available only to schools or churches.

We will come to as many meet-ups as we can, no matter where they are held. For us, it's often a matter of timing, and the earlier we can get it on the calendar the better.

Sorry to be so long in replying. We were in Roanoke this weekend for my best friend's daughter's wedding, and my computer time was very limited.

EDIT: Thought I'd add that when the meet-ups first began, we met at the fountain near Celebrity Square at Broadway at the Beach. After meeting, greeting and socializing for an unspecified time, some of the group would pick a restaurant for dinner, while some went on to other planned activities. This eventually morphed into planned dinners, but there's no reason we can't revert to meeting at the fountain. I think y'all know we are okay with whatever is decided.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 2:02 pm 
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Location: Loudon, Tennessee
Thanks for all the input on this subject. I'll be honest and admit I never even thought about the weather. My main idea was to make the meet-ups as simple as possible so everyone that wanted to attend could, without worrying about money or time.
It is up to us how we plan the meet-ups. I think Ron(myrtlebeachbum) has a great plan for the July meet-up. Have one at BATB and one at a Restaurant and let everyone decide which one to come to. I would be at both, because I want to see everyone. This gives everyone that has never been to a meet-up a chance to test the water without feeling pressure.
I would love to go to the beach or a State Park and have a picnic or cookout. It would be a blast, but I think that should be a secondary meet up like in Ron's plan.
As it has been stated several times, the meet-ups are the highlight of our vacations now. I have a feeling that some of us are not going to be satisfied with just one meet-up per trip. So things like picnics, the beach, parasailing, mini golf, Five Guys, Ruth's Chris(for our high rollers, Leo and Ron), and countless other places will become secondary meet-ups.

Jeff

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2000-Compass Cove
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2006-Dayton House
2007-Wyndham's Ocean Blvd. NMB
2007-Dayton House
2008-Wyndham's Ocean Blvd. \ Dayton House
2009-Dayton House
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2012-Wyndham Towers on the Grove
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 2:49 pm 
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My, how we have grown!!!!! And I don't necessarily mean in numbers (although it's pretty amazing!), I'm referring to the thoughtful regard for trying to find a way to accommodate all the message board members who are interested in attending a meet-up. Thank you Jeff for starting this topic!

My opinion after attending the first meet-up at Celebrity Square, followed by Creek Ratz, Flo's, Lattitude 22, Fusco's, Coldstone Creamy, (I'm sure I'm forgetting a few) is that the most important factor in these meet-ups is having the ability to lesirely mingle and chat without feeling rushed to order your meal, finish your dinner, pay your bill and get your :bootyshake: outta the way. While I have totally enjoyed myself at all the meet-ups, I think the best ones were places that didn't involve meals (unless it's just a small group and everyone can be seated at the same table and share topics of conversation.) I would agree that the new members and even some of the regulars might feel more compelled to attend if a definative "yay or nay" on attendance was not required. I understand that when you're on vacation, the last thing you want to contend with is "obligations". Also, it's very difficult for the person who takes on the responsibility of planning/coordinating the meet-up at a restaurant to try to figure out what the exact head count might be before that evening. Complicate matters even more when the interested message board member is traveling with many family members who may think he/she is TOTALLY LOCO :tongue3: for wanting to meet total strangers! I think an incentive for anyone who is unsure of whether they want to participate would be the ability to see the group from a distance, observe the jovial and friendly atmosphere, and then be able to say hello and leave whenever it was convenient for them or the members in their group. Being at a restaurant just doesn't give that option. Another concern is choosing a restaurant that is "budget friendly" as well as "kid friendly" for everyone.

I agree with Patrish...perhaps inital meet-ups should be at public places like Coldstone or the BATB fountain and then addition plans could be made for a restaurant meet-up or other later in the week if members want more time to chat.

Dawne wrote:
Quote:
Each group of meet-uppers (is that even a word?)....


My guess it might be "meet-er uppers" as in the Bownty commercial "pick-er uppers"...wow, guess I watch too much TV. Perhaps Mr. Google (Myrtlebeachbum) could weigh in on the correct definition! :mrgreen:

Gotta go...unpacking awaits!
Colleen

EDIT: Oh yeah and I forgot the golf meet-up and Ichiban's 13 stroke hole.... :shock: LOL

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