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(In-person) East Bay (SF area) Travel Group Meeting - Sat, June 12, 2021

Please join our East Bay (San Francisco area) Travel Group meeting as we meet in person for the first time "since"!

Due to anticipated space limitations at our June location, everyone who has attended one of our in-person and online meetings is welcome! Please RSVP on this thread so that I have a count. Newcomers will be welcome at our next virtual meeting and at our meetings at Geppetto's, once we can resume those.

Non-local travelers: we will miss you this month but we look forward to staying in touch at future virtual meetings intermixed with our in-person gatherings.

WHEN: Saturday, June 12, 2021 @ 11am-1:00pm (Pacific time)

WHERE: in-person!

I will scope out Geppetto's tomorrow to see if they have any additional outdoor dining space, which I've not seen on previous visits; most likely, we will be meeting in Concord - approximately near the Concord Bart station to give you an estimate for mapping - exact details to be provided in individual messages during the next week.

FORMAT: BYO-everything; if we are in Concord, it will be bring your own folding chair; bring your own drink/snack; bring a hat and sunscreen; and bring your mask if you need to step inside.

TOPIC:
Let's hear about the local trips you've taken or have planned. And let's talk about late 2021 and 2022 travels! What tours or trips have you booked or are you planning?

Future meetings (2nd Saturdays except as noted)
July 10, 2021 @ 11am PT (Location: TBD, virtual or in-person)
August 14, 2021 @ 11am PT (Virtual meeting, date subject to change)
September 11, 2021 @ 11am PT (Location: TBD, virtual or in-person)
October 9, 2021 @ 11am PT (Location: TBD)

Posted by
1932 posts

We can arrange a ride for anyone from Orinda Bart (if we meet at/near Geppetto's, 0.7 miles from station) or from Concord Bart (2 miles from station.)

Posted by
1932 posts

Oh Nigel, we shall miss you! But look forward to your company again at our next online meetings, which will continue because we're fortunate to have met new travelers from around the world as a result of the lockdowns!

Posted by
5634 posts

Count us in! (Any other year on that day we would have been heading to family camp in the Sierras.)

Not sure anyone really wants to hear about our road trips to Sparks, Nevada to see DD's new house -- but we are hoping for another Christmas markets trip in November.
Lauri and Ed

Posted by
1932 posts

Yay, mln, so glad you'll be able to drop in while you're here! No need to haul a chair - I'll reserve one of mine for you!

Posted by
1932 posts

I went to Geppetto's today. Had a nice lunch and visited with one of our fellow travelers. Cafe owner Jenny was so happy to see us and she asked about everyone and was eager to offer options as she hopes to see us all again soon!

We have 3 options at Geppetto's:

1) Front patio - just like "before" with their tables; I go early in hopes of getting enough seating. I never know if someone else might already be there and we have to share (until they leave); that's just the nature of their venue. But we usually did pretty well.

2) Inside - Jenny can reserve an area for us, probably left of their counter, but perhaps in the "back" room; the other group that comes on Saturday mornings would also be inside and any other customers might sit inside at other available tables, without masks while they are eating/drinking.

3) Out back - Jenny has 2 parking spaces out the back door of the cafe; she offered to move her cars and arrange as many of her indoor tables as we need. It is fully covered, shaded during our timeframe, and we'd have it all to ourselves. It's blacktop and rather "industrial," so it is quite functional, but no "atmosphere." The advantage is that it's "guaranteed" outdoor space, exclusively ours.

Any of the Geppetto's options are a central location with access to food and drinks, and Jenny's hospitality!

4) At my house (roughly near Concord Bart): I have a covered, shaded patio that can seat 6 at social distances, 8-10 if we're closer, and a smaller shaded area that can seat 3 or 4. In the grassy area, sunny at that time of day, we can all spread out in our folding chairs in one big "circle" or in smaller clusters. Food and drink would be BYO and I've got some lawn chairs but would ask locals to bring a portable chair if you have one.

Please let me know your preference, on this thread or via pm if you prefer. You cannot hurt my feelings, please say what you are comfortable with. I will confirm our location this coming week. I realize that it may not suit everyone, but I'll make the best choice I can for the group.

Whatever we decide for June, our eventual goal will be to return to Geppetto's.

Posted by
1932 posts

Looking at my patio, it can fit all of us - at least 12 or 14 - even distanced. It's twice the width of Geppetto's patio and maybe a little longer. I'd suggest that over the grass.

Only part of the patio is covered... so some would be in sun and others in shade.

I just measured the 7 "squares" on my patio. Each is 7'6" by 8'6". So 2 people per square is 14. And there's a little half square, so 15!

Posted by
5634 posts

All options sound fine -- but preference for Gepetto's (10 minutes from home!) and the "functional" shaded carport space outside.

Posted by
1932 posts

diveloonie, we will miss you too! And I expect we will regularly rotate zoom and in-person meetings!

Posted by
1932 posts

Laura B, yes Geppetto's is more centrally located. And we'd be supporting a local, small business: very Rick Steves! Thanks for the input and to those who have sent me messages.

Posted by
21 posts

Looking forward to seeing the group in person!

I’m up for whatever alternative is chosen. Geppetto’s does sound simplest, though, so I wlll vote for that.

Posted by
1932 posts

Anne, you're right that Geppetto's would be simple in that we can order food and drinks. And it is the most central for our regular participants. Thanks for the vote!

Posted by
1932 posts

If you haven't already, please RSVP by this Wednesday, June 2 so that I can finalize a location that will fit our group.

Based on input so far, we will not be indoors at Geppetto's.

I will choose one of the outdoor options - either my back yard or an outdoor option at Geppetto's. I can handle more people on my back patio than at Geppetto's, where we'd be seated around tables, closer together.

If your attendance depends on location (Orinda vs Concord) please let me know.

Posted by
2154 posts

I plan to attend, either outdoor option is fine but probably Geppetto’s is easier.

Posted by
1932 posts

I have 7 confirmed and 3 tentative. If that's all for this meeting, then we would easily fit at Geppetto's.

Last call for RSVPs - I know it's early this meeting but I need to know if I need to tidy up my yard and house :-)

Posted by
1612 posts

Sorry for not spotting this earlier -- I'm more inclined to Geppetto's in any layout since it's both easier to get to and less imposing on our organizer (I think we're all fully vaccinated so I'm not worried about sharing a table, esp. outdoors. I might not want to be tete a tete like a Parisian terrasse for a gouter, but hanging out together is fine)

Another plus for the cafe is that if you are signed up with any of the Chase dining rewards programs Geppetto's is now in the program -- I can get United points/miles!

Also, if there's decent wifi there I could put a MacBook on the table and Nigel and others remote could look in and chime in too just like we've been doing over zoom -- the view of several people around the patio won't be great, but it won't be too bad either.

Posted by
1932 posts

Based on the weather forecast for June 12th (89 in Concord, 76 in Orinda) we're going with an outdoor option at Geppetto's in Orinda!

If everyone who is "signed up" or "tentative" shows up, we are at at capacity for the space. Feel free to add your name to the waitlist in case someone drops. (Sound familiar?)

avirosemail feel free to bring your MacBook and we can see if anyone wants to give it a try logging in. Even if only for a short time. Also, I'm more than willing to let you buy me lunch so that you can get dining miles :-)

For anyone who is looking for a drive vacation, I'll share my Boise stay and the fabulous hotel on the river! I hope we'll hear from 1 or 2 of our Oregon travelers. And of course we'll talk about tour bookings - who is signed up for where and when? (Hopefully, by then, everyone will be confirmed.)

Posted by
1612 posts

Note also that there is a 2pm showing of the nursing home comedy "Queen Bees" at the Orinda Theatre.
Maybe there's other doings going on too?

Posted by
1932 posts

There's a farmer's market on Saturdays walking distance from Geppetto's.

ETA: Website for Orinda Village Farmer's Market which is on the way between Orinda Bart and Geppetto's. The website page allows you to choose your date and see the vendors expected to be there. On June 12th, they list such vendors as East Bay Bakery, Achadinha Cheese, Epic Ales, La Crepe a Moi, Peter's Gold Honey and more!

Hours are 9am-1pm every Saturday. It's usually closed by the time our group meeting ends, so best to go before. I bet Jenny would put any purchases in her fridge while we're at the cafe.

Posted by
1932 posts

A few comments/reminders for our long-awaited in-person meeting at Geppetto's on June 12th:

  1. You can review the Geppetto's menu in advance; they have coffee, pastries, sandwiches, soup and salads; please try to support this small, Rick Steves style business! They also have gift cards (Laura B, I'll bring yours, thanks for supporting them last year!)

  2. Reminder that there is NO outside food/drink, as a courtesy to Geppetto's and their business - this has been a hard year for them, like many!

  3. I'll confirm with Jenny based on our final headcount whether we'll sit on their patio or in their back parking area

  4. Regardless of location, please bring your mask so that you can step inside to order food/drink

  5. Bring your "free drink" cards if you still have them; I've got a free drink coming from last year!

  6. The cafe does have a restroom, immediately inside their back door

Our official meeting is from 11am - 1pm (Pacific.) The cafe closes around 3pm for those who wish to stay longer, though we'll have to let them begin clean-up between 2 and 3pm.

Posted by
5634 posts

The chicken, brie and pesto sandwich was outstanding as I remember it. Going to run through my gift card in only few meetings!

Posted by
643 posts

Looking forward to Sat. and seeing everyone. Thank you Catherine for all of your care and planning!

Posted by
1612 posts

I’m going to be late but I’ll be there. BART is being itself, only more so.

Posted by
5634 posts

Great meeting, everyone -- so nice to see people in 3D rather than on the screen!!