I'm glad you dropped by to at least investigate the possibility of joining in on an A2Z annual gathering.
A2Z'ers have met one another through annual gatherings for many years now. There are some who have made several gatherings. We've enjoyed some special times and lots of laughter over the years. I would like to continue the tradition of an annual gathering. It is a lot of work to organize everything and a lot of money to make sure it happens. I do my level best to ensure that nothing associated with A2Z costs you money. Beyond your own expenses, our gatherings have no added cost.
The next gathering location (Las Vegas) was decided upon in Michigan in 2007, and the time frame was decided upon during our last one in New Smyrna Beach, FL 2009. It was decided that the third week in September 2010 was a good time for most. Tentatively the week of September 21 is the week (group dates Wednesday 22nd - Sunday 26th). It was also decided that we would welcome couples to join in. I don't know about you but I cannot afford a getaway for just me. I have to bring family (adults). The utmost respect will be provided to couples so they may have privacy (a larger home will provide this). We ask that no minor children (under age 18) be included as this would deter from the comfort of old codgers like me who have to leave town to get away from other people's minor kids.
In previous years, we would decide upon a hotel and each of us made reservations and paid some hefty room rates for merely a place to sleep. We were still left with the expense of food in restaurants and ground transportation. And we gathered as best we could in hotel rooms or lobbies to visit. Each became a week-long trip that could very well cost $1,000 per person PLUS air travel expenses.
This past year we tried a rental house and I feel it worked out better overall. We were able to pool funds for food and transportation which saved most a LOT of money. Folks were able to participate for less than one-third of the hotel and restaurant costs which were incurred in previous years. Renting a house is a HUGE savings over a hotel. And the chance for visiting over a cool drink, a game of cards, sitting by a pool in privacy, all in a secure environment (no elevators, parking lots, hallways, and strangers) simply is not likely in a hotel - no matter how many stars they claim. And sharing meals as a family is something done best in a private house.
The really good houses require advance deposit and/or down-payment . I have checked into some the past few months and many are already booked for 2010. You must decide if you want to attend, how much you're willing to pay, and be willing to assist with the down-payment (many require 1/2 in advance, especially the larger houses like what we would need).
Another consideration is your willingness to be a team player and do some cooking and cleaning. Yes, someone has to do it. We cannot afford a maid and chef and I know of no one willing to do it for us free. If you expect room service - you should not consider this gathering. Everyone must work and at least pick up after themselves on this trip, even though we will all be "on vacation".
Note... I have found a house that is entirely affordable for our group. (We had a lovely house for a week near the beach in FL for about $200/person plus food and travel expenses. What a bargain!) Las Vegas is VERY reasonably priced. I will price airport limo service where you and your luggage will be safely transported to and from the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS). (This may mean we meet and ride in a limo as a group to save money.) I will rent a van so we can have transportation to and from areas of interest (can we say casino?). Personally, my family plans to visit Hoover Dam and possibly the Grand Canyon. I'll take as many as will fit into the van!
Just as a hint... the fabulous house I have looked into recently has everything a 5-star hotel has (minus your own personal servant) at about one-third the cost of a MOTEL for a group of 10 or more. But - we have to have enough people and ALL BE WILLING TO PAY A DEPOSIT. The deposit will be $100 per person and payable immediately so we can secure the house. I will get you the details on the house as soon as humanly possible. Your deposit will go toward the total portion you are expected to pay.
THIS WONDERFUL HOUSE SHOULD NOT COST OVER $300 PER PERSON TOTAL. WE ARE TALKING POSH FOR PENNIES! BLING FOR A SONG!
If you are willing to be counted as a participant (and are willing to pay a deposit immediately), email me as soon as possible, please. Use the link that follows so I will recognize your email as one of interest in our Las Vegas Bling.
Publisher, A to Z Recipes
Email me using this link: firstname.lastname@example.org