A short, quick post before I go take my nap.
I am mid-vacation in Las Vegas with about 20 good friends for ORKFEST 2012. Most of us met playing MMORPGs – we were in a guild together – The Inn Mates. The “originals” met way back when the first Everquest game came out, and we’ve carried a version of our guild throughout many many MMOs since then.
I think the first Orkfest was in Kentucky back in the late 90s. It was before I became part of the group, so I can’t be completely sure. But for the last few, I have been organizing the trip. It started as a long weekend, but in the last two years we’ve turned it into a week long vacation. When our group was smaller, we’d stay at one of the founding members’ houses, but that was when it was maybe eight of us. Now with 20+ attending each year, it is harder to manage that. We pick a week and hunt down a large vacation rental house somewhere. More often than not we are somewhere on the east coast, such as Virginia Beach or the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. But this year, in an effort to make sure the folks from the west coast don’t have to travel so far every year, us east coasters took a turn traveling. We had a lot of options, but the least expensive place that suited all of our needs was in Las Vegas.
So THIS is where we are staying for the week. A large 10 bedroom house that basically cost each attendee about $250 for the entire week. Can’t beat that for a place to stay, right? This house has been quite a bit of trouble and stress for me, but ultimately we are here to enjoy the company not the house, and I don’t THINK anybody’s gonna fire me from the vacation house hunting job over it. I LOVE the process of trying to find us a good place to stay. Anyway between two of the AC units not working (until today, they have finally been fixed!) and all of the broken things the house had when we got here (I took a ton of pictures and to document that we didn’t do them), the scary bugs in the pool the first morning, and the freezer problems, I would not rent from this company again. Still, it really was the best option for us, so I guess we’ll just have stories to tell.
Really we have been very spoiled in the past. The last three years we’ve rented from very well-managed companies and the houses have been amazing. I think collectively our favorite house we’ve stayed in was two years ago, in Virginia Beach. We enjoyed it so much that we went back the following year to a different house. I would highly recommend that company to anybody looking for a rental in that area.
Aside from the house issues this year, we’ve had a fantastic time so far. What happens at Orkfest? Generally some video games, such as Kinect Sports and Rock Band, and sometimes MMOs or Civ 5. We have a giant collection of board games as well, brought by various attendees – Settlers of Catan, Telestrations, Cosmic Encounter, Quelf, Robo Rally, and many more. Yesterday was “Tiki Night” – my husband’s idea, I think. He is very good at coming up with ideas. We all wore obnoxious Hawaiian shirts and Kim prepared an absolutely fantastic Hawaiian themed meal. And of course there was lots and lots of drinking. Mai tai’s, pina coladas, Skittles vodka shots, mojitos, after eight shots … I could go on. We’ve even had some folks who have attended in the past but couldn’t make it this year join us virtually via Google Hangout.
Here is a shot of the group that we took yesterday. These are truly some of the best, most awesomest people I know! There are 20+ reasons that we look forward to this so much every year, and many of them are in this picture!!
And now … time for a nap so I can be up late again tonight! 😀