Well, the first of two public days is over, and the hotel was absolutely swarmed with people. They raised over $8000 for the SladeChild Foundation charity, which is great news.
After the public cleared out, there was a game of Bingo, a few awards were handed out, and three games were announced: a chess tournament, a speed build of the new Taj Mahal set, an Agents Turbocar Chase set build-off, and a chess tournament. Participation in the games was by raffle, and sadly I didn’t make it into any of them, so I just wandered around, taking photos and chatting with people.
I took over 200 photos today, and they’re all up on Flickr. Hopefully soon I’ll have a chance to sort through them and pick out the best ones, which I’ll put into a new set. Also, some of them probably require some editing, to rotate the images or fix color balance, exposure, etc. I have RAW images of each photo so I may be replacing some of the photos if they’re worth the effort.
Now, it’s time for bed and I have to also get my things partially packed to go home tomorrow…
I flew from San Francisco to Washington DC on Virgin America, and I have to say that it’s been the best air travel experience I’ve had in decades. Can’t say enough good things about that airline. Here’s hoping when I go home Sunday I have as good of an experience.
Anyway I got to Dulles airport and took a SuperShuttle to the hotel and checked in without incident. I got here just in time for the keynote speech by Tormud Askildsen, LEGO’s head of community development. After that, I set up a few of my recent models (some that have been blogged about here, and others that haven’t yet…) and found some guys who were heading out to dinner and then over to Pontiac Mills for the 50% off scratch-and-dent sale at the LEGO outlet. We got there too late for the best deals but I did score an Indiana Jones set (#7623) and four train motors, all for under $60!
Now I’m heading to bed (3am local time). Tomorrow I plan to take some pictures of exhibits etc.
I just bought my plane ticket to Brickfair in Washington DC.
Now, I need to find at least one roommate. The room is about $100/day so it would be nice to be able to share it. I have a room reserved for both Fri & Sat nights, Aug 29-30. Hit me up if you are interested. (If you already have a room too, that’s OK – the reservations can be canceled up to 4pm on check-in day.)
UPDATE – The convention, Bricks by the Bay, took place on April 9-11, 2010, and we’re in the planning process for the 2011 event. You can read more about it at the Bricks by the Bay site.
Some of us in BayLUG have been talking about having a LEGO convention here in northern California. This would be similar to some of the existing ones that have been taking place around the country for years:
Brickfest (Washington DC and Portland OR)
Brickswest (San Diego CA)
Brickcon (Seattle WA)
Brickworld (Chicago IL)
Brickfair (Washington DC)
There’s a thread on LUGNET about it started by Russell Clark, the BayLUG president.
If you haven’t heard of these before, here’s the basic idea. We take over a hotel or convention center for a weekend (hopefully a 3-day weekend), and 100+ LEGO fans descend upon it from all over the country (and maybe a few from overseas). The LEGO company usually sends some high level executives and other representatives. The local LEGO store usually has some special discounts and an after-hours sale just for con-goers.
We’re currently looking at hotels in and around Santa Clara and San Mateo, since that’s where our two local LEGO stores are. If you have any ideas for venues or would like to offer support, please let Russell or me know.
I’m very excited by the recent announcement that BrickFest PDX 2007 will be held next spring (March 30 – April 1) in Portland, OR. I missed the last one (in 2004) and after attending the big BrickFest in Washington, D.C. I’m very excited about all things BrickFest. I’m definitely planning to go, and hoping some of the other BayLUG members will take part as well. It’s unlikely we’d do anything as organized as schlep an entire train layout up there the way we did for the BricksWest 2003 convention, but hopefully we can make our presence felt in some way…
Mark your calendars now! Will I see you there?