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Boston GTG Oct 7, 2006

Old Oct 7th, 2006, 04:33 AM
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Boston GTG Oct 7, 2006

i will be reporting later tonight or tomorrow on the actual gtg, but i wanted to start it off today by saying that at least one pre-gtg was held last nite..

i had the pleasure of having dinner with rob and iris mcivor from toronto, canada last nite....we met at their hotel and proceeded to a local restaurant/pub called Joe's American Bar and Grill in Dedham, MA....the food was american, but the talk was all asia...it was a pleasure to meet them and we had lots of laughs and travel talk....

we look forward to hooking up with other fodorites later this morning...

bob
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Old Oct 7th, 2006, 04:58 AM
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I've had two lovely days in New England so far, and can't wait for more. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at the GTG in a couple of hours.
Carol
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Old Oct 7th, 2006, 05:13 AM
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All of Cambridge awaits. I note for the record that we have a nearly perfect fall day weather-wise.
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Old Oct 7th, 2006, 08:56 PM
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we had tons of fun and the travel exchange was exciting...

karen and i forgot to hand out the travel quiz we had prepared until we arrived at dinner....so many missed it...

i will post it here tomorrow...

i will also report here tomorrow about the day and hopefully have pics ready to go...

others will be posting too i am sure...

bob
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 04:40 AM
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Great thanks to Bob, Karen, and Andy for organizing the GTG, and thanks to everyone who came to make the GTG a great success.

I learned a lot, met too many wonderful people to name (all of whom had rich experiences to share), and had a fine time.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 04:53 AM
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I want to add my thanks to Bob, Karen, and Andy and everyone who had a hand in making this GTG such great fun. Thanks lcuy for the coffee from HI. It will taste yummy! I did not see who gave out the fodors luggage tags, but thank you for that as well!

As far as Bob's quiz.. it's IMPOSSIBLE! I thought I was a worldly traveler (compared to most in my small midwest town that is) but I could only answer two of his questions with any certainty. Bob, I'm anxious to see how others will do with it.

Guenmai and I finally sat at the same table and really enjoyed each others' company. We spent the afternoon together at Copley Place and had many a laugh as we discovered just how many things we have in common. I'm sure she will agree. Guen, it was lovely getting to know you. If you have a GTG in LA, count me in!!

As for meeting lovely people, rizzuto is right. There were so many I won't try to name them all. I'll just say that it was a wonderful GTG and I'll be back again next year!

Bob, I look forward to your pictures.

Carol (no e)
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 05:42 AM
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I wanted to add my thanks to Bob, Karen & Andy for putting this together & echo what everyone has said about meeting so many nice people & sharing travel experiences. GTG stsand for Good Time Goodpeople Looking forward to the next one!

Carole (with an 'e')
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 06:06 AM
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i will have a full report before the end of the day and the pictures are being uploaded as i write this....

i will need some help with some of the names so i will do what i can and expect you to correct me and also add names i am missing....they will be available this afternoon also...

GREAT FUN!!! our GTG beats them all!!
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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It was a great day in Cambridge/Boston. Jeane and I enjoyed seeing old friends - (Bob/Karen, Andy/Beth, Laurie/Eric, Carol (no e), Carole (with an e), and Guen. We also enjoyed meeting new ones - Rob/Iris, Terry/Joseph and Lucy. It was a fabulous time - I am also still struggling with the quiz. It is amazing that folks came from Hawaii, Los Angeles, Toronto, Illinois, New York, Connecticut and of course, Massachusetts to attend this event. Jeane and I look forward to seeing everyone again at the next one.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Beth had a very good time. ...Nuff said. There can be no higher praise. Of course, she did not speak to Bob all night. I was not so lucky.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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Joseph and I want to thank Bob and Karen and Andy and Beth for organizing such a Great Time Gathering!! We had a wonderful time with you and everyone else who attended all day and evening long. Thank you too for all the extra touches, such as your goodie bag with the Fodors' luggage tag, Lucy's coffee from Hawaii, and how-to-make-the-rest of-us-feel-dumb questionnaire!

Thank you especially to all of you who came here to Boston for this occasion. You enriched us by your presence and made this GTG extra special!

A wonderful time was had by all! Yay for such an interesting and great group of Generous (and fun-loving) Travel Gurus!!

Terry

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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 01:38 PM
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Iris and I made it back to Toronto in good time.

I just wish to reiterate what everyone is saying. We had a wonderful time with everybody. A special thanks to Bob & Karen for taking the time on Saturday afternoon to show us some of the sights of Boston--and for the bargain hunting.

Iris and I really do hope that we can make the next GTG.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 02:27 PM
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ok, here goes with the report....i will try to keep it to less than 50 pages!!

karen and i picked rob and iris up about 10AM at a church parking lot near to our house and just off of rte 95....we made an easy ride to cambridge with lots of chit chat as karen had not yet met them....they are easy to know as are most fodorites...

we arrvied at the hotel @ MIT about 10:30....carol was not in her chair in the lobby, nor was gloria (ooops, wrong hotel)...

the room was set up nicely, but it is now getting sort of tight for us as we had almost 40 reservations....i asked the staff to move the tables a bit to make a more open area...they did a nice job, as they did for the rest of our stay....

people began to trickle in at 11 or after...some brought some show n tell items, some nothing...

then craig and jeane arrived...craig was carrying a huge long parcel wrapped in cloth....could it be their thai house boy? or a body?? it turned out to be a wonderful buddah like statue which they had sent home from cambodia....thanks so much for sharing that with us....guenmai was sick, it was bigger than her "children", three of whom now reside in england after they were kid-napped this summer...

conversations sprung up all around the room....as in past GTG's the europe people gathered in one part of the room, and the asia people in another section....some of us tried to visit with both groups....

ITS SO GREAT TO SEE SO MANY NEW PEOPLE AND SO MANY RETURN FODORITES...

we had about 2 hours to talk and visit before lunch at about 1PM....

we had a delicious breakfast brunch (long story, don't ask!!)...i think everyone found something that pleased them....

after we sat down. andy (gpanda) welcomed everyone (or maybe it was before we sat down)...he laid out the house rules and generally made people feel at home...well, except for me, who he asked to leave---just kidding...

more conversations sprung up around the tables and thankfully they were a mix of asia and europe board people...

lucy (lcuy) brought each attendee a small packet of hawaiian coffee which was attractively packaged....thank you again....

karen surprised everyone with a luggage tag with the fodors logo, which fodors had sent to us...(ok, so we are copy cats)...we had tied them up with curly ribbons and a small bag of harvest candy corns for the fall...

about 2:30 the only problem of the day arose....paying the bill....we do one bill, split into food and drink sections...at the first pass i was about $300 short....that came in slowly as everyone had not yet paid....we ended up with some small change so each person was refunded 5 cents (ok, so only 3 of the 4 tables got refunds)...

about 3, i made an announcement that we had to vacate the room....some folks ajourned to the hotel living room for more talk, but most of us went along our way...

karen and i took rob and iris for a short boston drive-around with a stop at filenes basement....

i took lots of pictures and they will be available shortly...

i will transmit this and then write a short piece about the evening meal...
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 02:51 PM
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we met at similan, a lovely thai restaurant, on first street in cambridge at 7PM.....

as we were approaching the restaurant i remembered that we had prepared a travel quiz to hand out (i know copy cat--TX rules)...we had forgotten to do it at lunch, so we did it at nite....i will post it below for your interest...

there were about 25 of us....there had been 36 at the luncheon by the way..

andy, beth, karen and i had previous been there for dinner...beth and andy go there often---like 3 times per week...andy has a love affair with a fish tank there--WELL NOT THE TANK, BUT THE FISH...

we were served cocktails while we waited for everyone to arrive...they had given us the whole back of the restaurant...we managed to squeeze in around two rectangular tables...both asia and europe people attended...

eventully we sat down...i got stuck with andy....andy quickly took over our table and made a proposal that he and karen would order for the whole table...he asked about likes and dislikes and then proceeded to order exactly what he wanted....just kidding....he ordered a great variety of things...and all were delicious...

i have no idea what the other table did, but we ordered long before they did and got food before they did...when i went over there to speak to them, they seemed to be enjoying it and there were many empty serving plates.....

at our table, we had spring rolls, wonderful spicy ribs, and one other item that escapes me...

for our entrees they ordered: a fabulous duck breast dish, phad thai with shrimp and chicken, chicken and mango curry, spicy chili shrimp (my favorite), white rice...

some had deserts, some not....unfortunately it is not the season for mango so we were unable to have mango and sticky rice....

andy suggested that we just split the bill for food by the eleven people sitting at our table....rob had agreed to breakdown the drink bill so people paid seperately for that...we ended up with more than enough $$ and each person got $4 back....

it must have been 10PM or after when we said our good-byes...

a lovely day ended....

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!!!

i am 3/4 finished with giving names to the pictures and will finish that tonight and then post the site here...

i have done my best, but undoubtably have misnamed some folks....i am sorry....let me know and i can correct it...

btw, we had attendees from:

massachusetts, new york, connecticut, indiana, michigan, illinois, california, hawaii, toronto canada and kentucky
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 03:09 PM
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here is the quiz...answers will be supplied in a few days:

1. what city boasts a giant swing as a city landmark?

2. what mini-museum in London recalls the dark days of WWII and is virtually unaltered since 1945?

3. what geographic area is most renown for it sparkling wine and holds a unique name branding?

4. what long lost mountainous civilization/town was uncovered in the 20th C?

5. where can you ride on a huge ferris wheel that the vehicle is a wooden box car?

6. if you are having OM Ali for your desert, where might you be eating?

7. what restaurant combines birth control and regional cuisine?

8. where is the world's longest escalator?

9. what town is the world's perfume capital?

10. you are standing in St. Mark's Square, Venice and the audible fire signal sounds....what is happening?

11. you are on an island off the west coast of Africa...you have come to see the ancient volcano...where might you be?

12. who is buried in a tomb on the hillside overlooking the waters at Aswam, Egypt?

13. you would be leaving what country and heading to what other country when crossing the Severn bridge?

14. what newly restored german city museum houses many of the crown jewels and bobbles of the former empire?

15. where would you hire a gelut to ply the turquoise coast?

16. what would you be buying if you bought a double ikat?

17. what city is in both Europe and Asia?

18. Where is Uluwatu and what is it?

19. what famous product starts its life as bamboo and ends up as a smooth shinny black, brown or red object?

20. what product is shiped worldwide, from a semi-automated market in Aalsmeer?

there you have it....answers will be posted on wednesday...

prizes will be awarded at the sole discretion of the judge....that would be me...

first prize: round the world 1st class air ticket on
Aeroflot

2nd prize: dinner with gpanda, in his cage at the Cambridge zoo

runner-up prizes: continued membership in the fodors community...
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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here is the picture link:

share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8BauXDJw2aqIxo
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 04:59 PM
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Bob,
Good job, as always, of providing the pictures to prove that the BOS GTG was yet another successful one! You and Karen and Andy put on a shindig that's pretty hard to beat!
Carol
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 05:18 PM
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Looks like everyone had a wonderful time. So sorry I missed it! Maybe next year. (I'm working on the quiz, though!)
Karen
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 05:27 PM
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Great report and pictures. It's really good to put a face to so many of the familiar names.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 05:43 PM
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Posted a response on the Europe board but know many of you are here---it was one great afternoon and my husband and I really enjoyed it tremendously. Bob, you and your team are great organizers. Now I just have to print out the quiz and see how I do!!!!!

Just a great time--thank you so much for organizing it!!
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