Today wasn’t as ram-tear as yesterday was. Breakfast was a continental at the resort center which was a surprise considering all the stories I’ve heard about Kingsmill, but I chock up the differences to a cost-conscious host like Sage and not because the venue just can’t get their host on.
Most of the day was spent bouncing from one room to another, learning some initially upsetting things and then as time went on realizing the inherent rightness of what I needed to do, essentially upgrade via scorched-earth policy. The best way to go from where we are with our product and where we have to go is to rip out everything, and reinstall from scratch. What was going to be an onerous task now became a sluggardly onerous task, but not insurmountable.
Lunch was quick, another continental, and the rest of the sessions went by in a blur. I caught up on my email, caught up on a huge wad of unread RSS feed material and made some headway clearing out my “favorite twitter” queue.
Dinner was shortly after that. We went to Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill on South Boundary Street in Williamsburg. The restaurant was initially quite pleasant however it was designed by the same people who assembled our ballroom office-space in Walwood Hall, it is organized like a rabbit warren, little connecting pathways between staging rooms. It’s not that I found fault with my food, it’s not that I didn’t like the restaurant either, but the menu selections were agonizingly assorted. If you wanted Shrimp you could have that, but you also got Oysters. If you wanted Tilapia, you also got Crab Cakes. The short two-page menu was rife with this sort of thing and I looked it over and frankly couldn’t find anything that I could order from the menu that I wanted to eat. Individual items, of course, but each dish was a mishmash of different seafood types and I’m not one for clams, oysters, or mussels. I ended up selecting a special, Tilapia-in-a-bag and got hosed. The dish was $26 but I got food that was really $8.99, at the most generous. The scallops that came with this dish were quarter size and nominally acceptable, but they weren’t properly washed and so I got a little sand in my diet tonight. If you are going to pump a $26 plate, wash the ingredients. In the end the meal was “very light” and that was a generous estimation from some of my dining compatriots who also had what I had. “This is it?” was what we heard up and down. I didn’t pitch a fit because it was a very high-class establishment and in the end it wasn’t my money on the line. If you are visiting Williamsburg, trust me on skipping this restaurant. I’m sure their other foods are outstanding, but if you are in any way picky about your seafood like I am, you’ll either leave hungry or upset, and poorer for it.
After dinner we decided that the night wasn’t over and some of my peers went out to get beer and wine so we could have a chat about our convention and enjoy each others company. The “party” devolved into a conference group meeting and we talked about obvious things that were on our minds, mostly about the company hosting us, Sage. Almost everything we remarked on was positive and we were all generally pleased with how Sage had compensated for their earlier problems that we chided them on in Denver, Atlanta, and our Users Group meeting in St. Olaf. Some people are apparently driven to see the two co-chairs, me and another lady, attend the Sage Summit 2011 in Washington, DC. I don’t see the reason or the justification for it since I’ve already attended here in Williamsburg, but I may have to go in order to make sure that Sage keeps in line with the wishes from our group. Only time will tell with that one.
Meanwhile, I’m contemplating going to visit family tomorrow afternoon after my last session ends, but I don’t have any method of conveyance from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach as I don’t have access to the rental vehicle that I once thought I might have had. The visit to VA Beach is still a possibility, but I haven’t the foggiest how I’m going to get there.
There are some oddities that do bear sharing. Kingsmill is a fantastic resort, but their bathrooms have been outfitted with occupancy sensors that were mounted about head-level, so when you make the slightest move, the toilet flushes and you get progressively more and more spritzed. I discovered that I could fix this … annoying problem by wrapping the occupancy sensor in toilet paper until I was good and ready for it to figure out that it was time to flush. I also noticed that in high traffic areas Kingsmill spares no expense and lays out cloth napkins to dry your hands after using the lavatory. In lesser used areas? Just paper towels. It’s not a problem, but it is kind of funny to see cleverness all the way down to how patrons dry their hands. The only other irking thing has nothing to do with the resort itself, but the obvious and annoying lack of any cellular signal whatsoever. I suppose if you are visiting for the spa, or the golf, or the grounds you don’t care so much about cellular technology. For me it would be a problem, if it weren’t for free Wifi and Google Voice.
Tomorrow is another day, up at 7ish, some more conference sessions and then? We’ll have to see…