What a lovely day in Sacramento today! Brilliant sunshine, balmy breezes blowing across the lake, all day long a lazy lullabye of white noise: geese arguing and squawking and flapping across the water; the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh as the fountains spray upward; and every hour a freight train winds its way by us, blowing its lonesome whistle into the distance.
Same hotel, different name (today just by coincidence just happens to be the day that ownership changes hands) so this is no longer a Radisson it is as of today back to the name it had 25 years ago: the Woodlake. But same staff, same management. As I’ve written before this is an older resort with updated rooms – not fancy but plenty roomy and comfortable. Nice beds (I don’t remember these great beds in previous years – they may be new) with wonderful “Sleep Number” mattresses and FITTED SHEETS!, lovely snuggly-warm comforters, tons of pillows, plasma TV, work desk, chairs and tables. Free internet. Wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling window looking out on the lake. Very cozy! Bit of a trek to the ballroom (and you have to weave your way, outside, to get there so if it rains (which it will – it always does – forecast is gorgeous today and tomorrow, rain Saturday and Sunday) it’s a pain. But no rain today! Today has been deliriously gorgeous. T-shirt weather.
Few early arrivals wandering around in the sunshine snapping pictures of the fountains and geese. Bumped into a few people making grocery runs. Food is a bit of an issue here – the sole restaurant on the premises closes at 9pm and there is no room service at all, or vending machines, even!, so if you’re hungry and without a car you’re stuck. No more buffets at the restaurant, either, they tell me, just ordering off the menu, standard fare. The event tries to take care of us food-wise: Friday night there’s a midnight breakfast buffet, Saturday evening a full dinner buffet (it’s yummy good!), Sunday cookies, and a Hospitality Suite (not sure what’s there or when – I’ll have to check it out!) but if you get hungry at 5am after a night of dancing you’d best have supplies in your room.
There is a gorgeous sunset as I write this, the lake, palm trees, canopies, and buildings beyond are all glimmering in a deep pink-gold light. I’m beginning to hear voices coming across the water, and strains of music. The first workshops begin in an hour followed by the first contest: the “WCS -101” Jack and Jill, then Awards, and then! The Thursday night Kick-Off dance! Yaaaaay! Here we go!