As I previously mentioned, this last weekend was the 3rd Annual Southeast-Trogland Giant in the Playground Meetup - aka: SET GITP Meetup 2k9. This is our third year hosting playgrounders from all over (which i find to be pretty impressive in itself), and it continues to be awesome.
Our group this year wasn't *quite* as big as last year (there were several who really wanted to, but were unable to make it - and we *did* miss them), but in some ways, the smaller group was better overall.
Here's basically how this all went down:
On friday night around 7pm, we all met up at Thunderdome. This was the "official" start of the festivities, but several people had arrived earlier that day, and we hung out at the Hippie Hut for a while beforehand.
Thunderdome is basically a JC gamer's hangout. They have about 20 networked PC's as well as some consoles hooked to projector screens, and a bunch of board games. They also serve some pretty tasty food. We had told the owner that we were going to be invading on friday night, and he said they'd stay open as long as we wanted, basically... ...so we all had a good time playing video games, board games and card games (and some played a session of Paranoia) till about 3am.
On saturday around 1pm, we all went over to the Greenwood Challenge Course, which as been a meetup locale for all three years. It's a private area with a shelter, an open field area, as well as some high-ropes climbing elements that Robb is certified to administrate. We had a cookout and spent the afternoon playing Kubb and some other games and watching a few climb up about 70ft to 'the wall'.
On saturday night, we all headed to the Mid City Grill for food and more games. Mid City is a great place for this, as it's about the most laid-back restaurant i've ever been to. Oh, and they're also open till well-past stupid-thirty in the morning. Zeb & Alarra taught me and Sheri to play the Ticket to Ride card game, which we'd never had a chance to play before. It's really cool. If past years are any indication, there's a good chance Sheri will get that for her birthday or christmas this year. There were also games of Munchkin Fu, Monty Python Fluxx, Battlestar Galactica and a session of 4e D&D (which was testing encounters for a module written by one of the absent playgrounders). Probably more as well.
Sheri, Ginger and I left the party around midnight, but I'm told festivities continued (in various places) until about 6am. I do wish I'd been able to stay with them a while longer, but we had to get up for church in the morning and honestly, I was pretty tired by that point anyway.
When we returned from Erwin on sunday, our house had been occupied by the remaining playgrounders (some had had to leave earlier). This *was* the plan, but it was still kinda odd to walk into your house to find a bunch of people you'd only met a couple days ago. We played an interesting game of Monster Manual Charades (high recommended, btw ;)), a game of Werewolf (the party/card game, not the whitewolf rpg), and then there was some Ticket to Ride, Arkham Horror and Set.
I need to point out here that, while the Ticket to Ride and Arkham Horror games were going on, I was sorting through some pictures in here on my computer. As it happened, the acoustics in our house were such that I couldn't tell whose voice was coming from where. Also, everyone's voices were at almost the same volume. At one point, I heard the following dialog:
Voice 1: "Ok, I'm going from Raleigh to Pittsburgh"
Voice 2: "So, are you attacking it or what?"
It was... ...a little surreal.
Anyway, people began to head out, but the rest of us hung out and had a great time till all had departed.
It was a great weekend. I miss everyone already and can't wait for next year. About 129 of my best shots from the weekend have been posted in the Gallery (plus the pretty-terrible-but-existent group shot shown here - next year, I think we're going to try to stage this at the challenge course...it should also be noted that the shot is missing a few people).
I feel like I should mention that the weekend *was* marred by one pretty significant black spot: one of the guys ended up in the hospital. I haven't mentioned it on the boards, and I don't want to talk about it here much because other peoples' health concerns are kind of a private thing, but I felt like if I didn't mention it at all, it would sound like I didn't care - and that's completely untrue. I should also point out that this incident isn't directly related to anything going on this weekend - it was just something that happened to happen here. We're all pretty sure everything is going to be ok, but he's going to be there for a couple of days. He's had some visitors from a few of the playgrounders before they left town, and I think he'll have some more from the locals. And of course we all wish him a speedy recovery... ...and that it didn't completely kill the experience for him.
EDIT: Supagoof has since told us to let people know what happened: basically, he's diabetic and his insulin pump stopped working, causing his blood sugar to skyrocket (like, 600+). We went to hang out with him in the hospital last night. He seems to be doing pretty well and was in fairly good spirits. We were actually there for over 5 hours playing games and talking to pass the time. His brother is flying into town tonight and he'll hopefully be released today. He said he had a great time at the meetup right up until this happened. We hope he comes back next year.
I reads the blog... I thinks about the blog... and it all points to it being 'over'. I don't likes that... hippie is sad.
Zeb The Troll says...
So are we, friend, so are we. We're already looking forward to next year as well as the possibility/likelihood of taking our turn at the helm this fall and letting all of you be the guests instead of the hosts. If we can pull off the job only half as well as you guys do, we'll call it a smashing success. Now, off to set the countdown timer on my blog for SET GitP IV!