Saturday, August 1, 2009

How to host a RP Social!

Larry and I spoke today. And I promised to send this note upon reflection.
Nine months in advance of the social, I began to look at hotels in the area. Some were treacherous. Some were spacious and accommodating. Others had no facilities to speak of.
The hotel may require a personal credit card number on file to hold the block of rooms
2. Reserve a block of rooms. This year we needed twenty. You will have until a week or so before the event to 'return' the unbooked rooms. With host's room will need hospitality suite.
Work with the hotel on a menu for the dinner dance to determine cost for registration
3. Set up a website for disseminating information.
4. Publish your invitation to any personal friends with RP, the RP Friends and the RPListerve.
5. Determine a 'soft' schedule of events and publish it to increase interest, and ask for ideas.
6. Make a registration form and post it to the website.
7. Begin working on a logo for T shirts and bandanas. ..or allocate.
8. Make a list of attendees to increase interest and support.
9. Keep active weekly to stimulate enthusiasm for the event.
10. A month before the social make a list of groceries and other things needed to stock hospitality suite.
11. Enlist local support if necessary to help with transportation.
12. Send out activities schedule to determine number of volunteers needed to assist.
13. A week before, confirm volunteers, make budget and be creative in getting food donated if necessary. People love to help one another. Don't be afraid to ask. . .they can always say 'no'...
14. Get your rest and know that there are powers greater than your own at work to bring the Social to fruition.
15. 'It's All Good'...the right people will attend and have a ball, no worries. You are just the facilitator :-)
16. Plan to relax enough to spend time interacting with your guests so you don't feel you missed the party. It is a lot of planning, but do have FUN!

Friday, July 31, 2009

"Shun u tah" : I feel empty, like a bowl that was just happily licked clean.
I am overcome by such a sense of freedom and vastness at having given all I had up in the name of hospitality.
I want to Thank All who left their comfort zones at home to attend the RP Social 2009 in Portland, Oregon:
Anita, Dr. Gislin, Dan and Nora, Gaylen, Ken, Jill and Easter, Jim and Atticus, Bonnie and Olympus, Becky and Shamus, Dale and Alexi, Bob and Carol, Mickie, Larry and Galleon and Ida, Tom, Jacque and Bach, Shelly and Elinor, Laura, Rose, Bob, Mark and Sherri, Johanna and Nicole and Constance, And Donna! I deeply love and honor you all: my family!

And to my great friends,who made our party possible: Kay, who note took and helped me hunt for the right hotel last October,DJ and Michelle who shopped with me,Yvonne at the Shanti, Berta the blueberry lady,Judy the Strawberry lady, Hildi the Veggie Lady,Noranne the Egg lady, 'More than Drivers': Gary, Anna, Sharron, Jim (Elinor and Dan #1), My wine sommolieres Doug and Fran,Susan my dinner coordinator, the coleslaw brigade; Char, Bobbie, Sheryl, Gary the Native American Flautist, Tracy our Masseuse with the golden heart,Mike for generously sharing his week old salmon catch, Dan the Salmon chef supreme. My cupcake girls; Gail and Cathy, 'More than drivers'; Judy R., Sue, Anna (wrong way Grandma), Sharron, Dan #1, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Jordy and Kay again. The Guitarist Mr. Tom, The bevy of room service and (security) personnel who responded to our calls. Plus those who offered their service and I couldn't think of another thing we needed. . .Jo, Charlie, Jim Starr, and Jill; waiting 'on call' should a need arise.
Most of all my Husband Dan. . .'who gave up his wife' for the last months as I devoted myself to being 'at your service'. My abiding love for you and devotion to our common life called me to host an event showcasing the Beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
I am ever grateful for your Presence and Gratitude; The gift we are to one another.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Coulda, woulda, shoulda..."
I heard this phrase from Sheldon Pravda, a newcomer to the RP Social scene from Bellingham Washington.
Yeah, that's where I have been for a few days... But it's really over now. I am not tired of thinking about this event and am still awaiting more 'reviews in word, thought and photos; longing to see the results of nine months of preparation through so many other's eyes.
A favorite scene for me occurred at the pool on Friday afternoon as Johanna, Nicole her dog and me and Mirage were hanging out. I watched Nicole as Johanna swam, swirling in joy and freedom ( Mirage dutifully lay on a chaise and took in the entire sight). Johanna swam across the pool and back effortlessly moving water as she silently slipped around. Her dog raced from 'shore to shore' with the huge smile on her face, dutifully anticipating her arrival. I laughed aloud at the loyalty and love Nicole was showing her sightless mistress.
Alas, no photos...just the JOY.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shopping for fresh produce and bakery items this afternoon with Michelle and DJ. . .with so much help we made quick work of the long lists. Thank You sweet girls :-) Good Friends~

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Today the final piece of the RP Social 'puzzled' fell into place as I was showering.I thought to myself, "Who do we know that could cook salmon beau...ti...fully?
The answer was obvious! Dan Harmic (who is about to open a Martini Bar as a result of loosing his job in December): avid Alaskan fisherman and Gifted Tenor. He just happens to LOVE dogs, having Owen since he was birthed by their first dog:-)
Any who as they say, His first question after I explained the RP Social ("30 people and 8 dogs") Was Eight Guide Dogs?!!!
Well he quickly agreed to alder smoke and bar be que ten pounds of really good salmon for us. He may even have a fish source :-)
I suppose besides the bottle of Pinot Noir, he will insist on delivering the freshly cooked salmon to our hospitality suite.
Sure Dan! And Dan. . . Thank you so much for being a Yes man. . .Huge sigh, I am deeply thankful.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Today the grocery shopping began in earnest; pop,herb tea and coffee. Also paper products such as plates, napkins and coffee cups. We are buying products from Washington and Oregon to reflect local flavors.(Tea and coffee, not edible paper)
Our BIG progress today was to talk to the Pretty Lady Kim, who owns Julianos Pizza. While visiting the hospitality suite on Friday it occured to us to buy a pony keg for the beer drinkers, and some light brews too. Kim did the math and we chose to order the Bridgeport IPA. Here is their website~ $56.00 buys 64 pits of delicious beer. And no cans to litter the Hospitality suite: A very green idea here.
The Social plans are coming along nicely~

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eleven Days!
Dan and I toured the Hotel hospitality Suite on Friday.We spoke to the Manager and the Caterer for our Dinner Dance. We left there 'dancing on air'.
Seeing the suite helped me visualize how 30 people and 8 guides would gather: at tables and conversational groups, serving areas and how our bedroom/ massage center would all flow. We ended up with a second suite for conversation.
We are now considering a pony keg of some yummy beer to minimize cans and be more green. Being green is so important to me, though not in a manic way. . .a simple loving way of not being wasteful with our resources.(So everybody bring your own cup.) Just kidding. A little test to see who is following the blog. tee hee!
The restaurant has make 5 braille copies of their menus, and taught sensitivity training to their staff as to accomodate our visual challenges with ease. There is a well lit relieving station behind the hotel with gorgeous green grass, potty receptacle bags and a bell on the post where they will be available to us. You can even see or hear the planes take off nearby.