For some time I've been pondering the idea of hosting a Vinemeet up here in Canada, on the north shore of Lake Erie, and I've dropped a couple of thoughts about it here and there. Based on the response I've received, I decided I should make it formal with an article polling the community for interest.
Based on that, I'd like to hear from Viners who are in the vicinity, those who've always wanted to visit Canada but just haven't had a good excuse, or who are already planning a trip to the general area and could be talked into a riotous detour.
And especially those of you who are just spontaneous creatures ready to try something new at the drop of a hat.
The location would be at my place, Synth-Henge, which is a two-hour drive west of Detroit, or a boat ride straight north from Cleveland. From Kitchener, that's a one-hour ride (I'll even come and collect you, Jon....), and from Hamilton not much more. From Chicago, it's about six hours. And, Brad...nice as Ottawa is in the summer, so is Southwestern Ontario, and you can do the drive in under 8 hours, with a stop in TO along the way if you like.
For accomodations, there is a good hotel nearby, as well as some charming B&Bs and cottages at the lakeside resort village just a few minutes away. I also have some room to put up a limited number of people - three extra bedrooms and a basement where some Therma-rests and sleeping bags could be pressed into service. Also a sizeable backyard to support those who would be more interested in tenting.
For refreshments, I can recommend an array of very tasty Canadian craft beers, and even the name-brand corporate stuff is pretty good. I am in the corporate backyard of the Labatt Breweries, so it's something of a tradition around here. Also worth trying is a broad spectrum of VQA Niagara wines - they've really become globally competitive in the last few years.
For events, I am thinking pretty casual at the moment, but I can envision a barbecue on the beach at some point, and of course, being a Vinemeet, laptops and video cameras would probably make an appearance, along with YouTube postings and Flickr streams. (All proper consent forms obtained in advance, of course....). And, maybe at some point, a late-night visit to Jumbo the Elephant....
I'm always open to requests for specific agenda items, of course.
As to timing, since it's Canada, it will obviously have to be in the summer months. My first inclination was to have it on the weekend closest to June 21, since I have a long tradition of Solstice Parties, but that is probably coming up too quickly for most. So, my next recommendation is the weekend of July 31 and August 1. It's far enough away to allow for long-term planning, and for Canadians it's the Civic Holiday long weekend, which might allow sufficient recuperation time. I can always entertain other date suggestions, too.
So, what do you say, Newsvine? Any interest out there?